Worthy Of Life Everlasting

From “Knowing the Love of God” by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

The acorn could not become an oak unless it was of the same species and had essentially the same life as the grown tree; the child could not become a man unless he already possessed a human nature, even though in an imperfect state. In the same way, the Christian on earth could not become one of the blessed in Heaven unless he had previously received the divine life. To understand thoroughly the essence of the acorn, it is necessary to consider this essence in its perfect state in an oak tree. In the same way, if we wish to understand the essence of the life of grace in us, we must consider it as an embryonic form of everlasting life, as the very seed of glory. Fundamentally, it is the same divine life but two differences are to be noted. Here below we can know God only obscurely through faith and not in the direct light of vision. Moreover, through the inconstancy of our free will we can lose supernatural life, while in Heaven it is impossible to be lost. Except for these two differences, it is a question of the same divine life.

To the Samaritan woman, Jesus spoke: “But anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside him, welling up to eternal life” (Jn. 4:14).

“For, you must know, the Kingdom of God is among you” (Lk. 17:21).

Like the grain of mustard seed, the leaven that ferments the dough or the treasure hidden in the field, the Kingdom outwardly does not make a striking appearance. Yet the life of grace is basically identical with that in Heaven. Jesus said so.

Without doubt while on earth we cannot see God with clarity of vision and yet truly it is he whom we attain with our faith because we believe his word that already reveals to us the profundity of God.

“Now instead of the spirit of the world, we have received the Spirit that comes from God, to teach us to understand the gifts that he has given us. Therefore we teach, not in the way in which philosophy is taught, but in the way that the Spirit teaches us: we teach spiritual things Spiritually. An unSpiritual person is one who does not accept anything of the Spirit of God: he sees it all as nonsense; it is beyond his understanding because it can only be understood by means of the Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:12-14).

Certainly, supernatural life can be lost but that comes from the fact that we can go astray and fail. Grace, however, the charity in us, is in itself absolutely incorruptible, like spring water that can be preserved for an indeterminate period of time provided its container does not break, or like an indestructible force that would never cease working so long as the instruments it makes use of do not refuse to work.

“For love is strong as Death” (Song. 8:6).

Love is strong, like death, and nothing can resist it. Its ardour is the blaze of fire, the flame of Yahweh.

“Love no flood can quench, no torrents drown” (ibid, 8:7).

It triumphs over persecutions, over the most terrible tortures and the powers of hell. We too will be invincible if we allow ourselves to be penetrated by this love. No created force will be able to overcome us.

This love, then, is identical to that of Heaven. It presupposes that we have been “born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man but of God himself” (Jn. 1:13); that we are the sons and friends of God and not merely his servants; that we participate even in this life in the very nature and infinite life of God (cf. 1 Pet. 1:9). We treat of an adopted yet real sonship, because the gratuitous love of God is essentially active in relation to us, making us similar to him, just and holy in his eyes, worthy of life everlasting.

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