Praedestinati ad gloriam
Predestined for glory
1:11 in quo etiam et nos sorte vocati sumus praedestinati secundum propositum ejus qui operatur omnia secundum consilium voluntatis suae: [n. 31]
1:11 In whom we also are called by lot, being predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will. [n. 31]
1:12 ut simus in laudem gloriae ejus nos, qui ante speravimus in Christo; [n. 35]
1:12 That we may be for the praise of his glory: we who before hoped in Christ: [n. 35]
30. Supra posuit Apostolus abundantiam gratiae, quam ipse et alii apostoli a Christo receperunt. Ne autem crederet aliquis eos propriis meritis eam recepisse, ideo consequenter ostendit, quod gratis eam receperunt, vocati a Deo non propriis meritis.
30. Previously the Apostle wrote of how he and the other apostles received an abundance of grace from Christ. Lest anyone imagine they had it coming to them the Apostle quickly affirms that they were called by God gratuitously, not for their personal merits.
Dividitur autem pars ista in tres: quia
This section is divided into three parts:
primo proponit gratuitam vocationem;
first, the gratuity of the call;
secundo voluntariam Dei praedestinationem, ibi praedestinati secundum propositum eius, etc.;
second, God’s freedom in predestination, at according to the purpose;
tertio utriusque finem, ibi ut simus in laudem gloriae eius, et cetera.
third, what is the end of both the vocation and the predestination, at for the praise of his glory.
31. Dicit ergo: dixi quod huiusmodi gratia superabundavit in nobis, et quod in Christo omnia restaurata sunt. In quo etiam, id est per quem Christum, nos sorte sumus vocati, id est non nostris meritis, sed divina electione. Col. I, 12: gratias agentes Deo et Patri, qui dignos nos fecit in partem sortis sanctorum, in lumine, et cetera. Ps. XXX, 16: in manibus tuis sortes meae.
31. I have indicated, he says, that grace has superabounded in us and that everything has been re-established in Christ. The same Christ in whom we also are called by lot, not by our own merits but by a divine choice: giving thanks to God the Father, who has made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light (Col 1:12) because my lots are in your hands (Ps 31:16).
32. Ad huius autem intellectum sciendum est quod multa fiunt inter homines, quae fortuita videntur et contingentia; quae tamen sunt secundum divinam providentiam ordinata. Sors nihil aliud est, quam exquisitio providentiae divinae de aliquo contingenti et humano. Unde Augustinus super illud Ps. XXX, 16: in manibus tuis sortes meae, dicit quod sors non est aliquod malum, sed in rebus dubiis divinam exquirens voluntatem.
32. To understand this it should be realized that many human events which seem to occur by fate and chance, in reality are arranged according to divine providence. Casting lots is no more than a search for divine guidance in contingent and human affairs. Augustine, commenting on: my lots are in your hands (Ps 31:15), teaches that casting lots is not an evil, but a means of discovering God’s will in a doubtful issue.
Est autem in sortibus triplex peccatum vitandum. Primo quidem superstitionis; nam omnis vana et illicita religio superstitio est. Tunc ergo in sortibus incurritur peccatum illicitae superstitionis, quando in eis initur aliquod pactum cum daemonibus. Unde dicitur Ez. XXI, 21: stetit rex Babylonis in bivio in capite duarum viarum divinationem quaerens, commiscens sagittas. Interrogavit idola, exta consuluit. Commiscere enim sagittas, ad sortilegium pertinet et interrogare idola ad superstitionem. Et ibi sortilegium damnatur inter peccata ad superstitionem pertinentia.
Nonetheless, three sins must be avoided. The first is superstition; for any religion which is shallow and immoral is superstition. The forbidden sin of superstition would be incurred when the casting of lots is performed in league with the devil. The king of Babylon stood in the highway, at the head of two ways, seeking divination, shuffling arrows: he consulted the idols and looked at the liver (Ezek 21:26). The shuffling of the arrows is related to sortilege, and the questioning of idols belongs to superstition. Sortilege, moreover, is condemned there among sins pertaining to superstition.
Secundo vitandum est peccatum tentationis Dei; nam quamdiu per se homo aliquid potest facere et scire quid debeat facere, si tunc a Deo sorte, vel aliquo alio loco tali exploret quid facere debeat, Deum tentat. Quando autem necessitas imminet, neque ipse per seipsum iuvari potest, tunc licite a Deo inquirit quid facere debeat. II Par. XX, 12: cum ignoremus quid agere debeamus, hoc solum habemus residui, ut oculos nostros dirigamus ad te.
Second, the sin of tempting God must be shunned. As long as a man can discover and accomplish by himself what he ought to do, he tempts God if he resorts to lots, or any other such method, to ascertain what he should do. Only when unavoidably threatened by situations where one is powerless by himself can a man licitly resort to questioning God with lots concerning what he must do. But as we know not what to do, we can only turn our eyes to you (2 Chr 20:12).
Tertio vitandum est peccatum vanitatis, quod fit si de inutilibus et impertinentibus ad nos inquiramus, ut puta de futuris contingentibus. Unde dicitur Act. I, 7: non est vestrum nosse tempora, vel momenta, quae Pater posuit in sua potestate.
Vanity is the third sin. It is committed if we inquire into futile matters not pertaining to us; for example, contingent events in the future. It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father has put in his own power (Acts 1:7).
33. Potest ergo secundum hoc triplex sors accipi, scilicet quaedam divisoria, quaedam consultoria et quaedam divinatoria.
33. Relative to this purpose for which they are cast, there are three types of lots: some are divisory, others are consultatory, while still others are divinatory.
Divisoria est cum aliqui dividentes haereditatem et concordare non valentes, mittunt sortes, puta annulum, vel chartam, vel aliquid tale ostendendo, dicentes: ille cuicumque evenerit, habebit partem istam in haereditate. Et huiusmodi sortes possunt mitti licite. Prov. XVIII, 18: contradictiones comprimit sors: et inter potentes quoque diiudicat, id est inter volentes dividere.
Divisory lots are those which people cast when they are dividing an inheritance and cannot agree. Using a certain slip of paper or the like they declare: whoever it will fall to shall have this part of the inheritance. Such lots can be cast lawfully: the lot puts an end to disputes, and decides between powerful contenders (Prov 18:18) when they wish to divide in this way.
Consultoria autem fit, quando quis dubitans quid facere debeat, consulit Deum, mittens sortes. Ionae I, 7 dicitur, quod quando supervenit tempestas illa in mari, consuluerunt Deum, sortem mittentes, ut scirent cuius peccato tempestas illa venisset. Et hic modus licitus est, maxime in necessitatibus et in electionibus potestatum saecularium. Unde faciunt rotulos de cera, in quorum quibusdam ponunt aliquas chartas, et in quibusdam non, quos bussulos vocant, ut illi quibus veniunt bussuli cum chartis, habeant voces in electione. Sed hoc, ante adventum Spiritus Sancti, Apostoli fecerunt etiam in electione spirituali, Act. I, 26, quando sors cecidit super Mathiam; sed hoc post adventum Spiritus Sancti amplius non licet in praedictis electionibus, quia hoc faciendo iniuriaretur Spiritui Sancto. Credendum est enim, quod Spiritus Sanctus providet Ecclesiae suae de bonis pastoribus. Unde post adventum Spiritus Sancti quando apostoli elegerunt septem diaconos, non miserunt sortes; et ideo in nulla electione ecclesiastica hoc modo licet.
Consultatory lots are used when someone doubts what he should do and consults God by casting lots. Jonah recounts how, when the great storm came upon them at sea, they cast lots to seek information from God that they might know for whose sin the tempest had occurred (Jonah 1:7). This method is licit, especially in necessities and in the elections of secular rulers. Hence, men will make small wax balls called ‘bussuli,’ of which some contain slips of paper and others none. Whoever draws a ‘bussulus’ with the paper inside has a voice in the election. This was done also, previous to the Holy Spirit’s coming, in spiritual elections, evidenced in the choice of Mathias by lot (Acts 1:26). Now that the Holy Spirit has come, however, it is no longer lawful in these elections since making use of them would be an insult to the Holy Spirit. It must be believed, after all, that the Holy Spirit will provide his Church with good pastors. After the Holy Spirit’s advent, therefore, when the apostles chose the seven deacons (Acts 6), they did not cast lots. Thus, this method is not lawful in any ecclesiastical election.
Divinatoria autem sors est inquisitio de futuris soli divinae cognitioni reservatis. Et haec semper habet vanitatem admixtam, nec potest sine vitio curiositatis fieri.
Divinatory lots augur future events reserved to the divine knowledge alone. They always are colored by vainglory, nor can they be resorted to without a sinful curiosity.
Quia ergo sors nihil aliud est quam inquisitio rerum quae ex divina voluntate fiunt, gratia autem eius ex sola divina voluntate dependet, inde est, quod gratia divinae electionis dicitur sors, quia Deus per modum sortis secundum occultam providentiam, non ex alicuius meritis, per gratiam internam vocat.
Lots, therefore, are nothing other than a questioning concerning realities whose occurrence depends on the divine will. Since grace depends on the divine will alone, the grace of divine election is termed a lot. For God, as though by lot, according to his hidden providence, calls men through an inner grace and not on account of anyone’s merits.
34. Deinde cum dicit praedestinati, etc., ponit voluntariam Dei praedestinationem, de qua dicitur Rom. VIII, 30: quos praedestinavit, hos et vocavit. Cuius quidem praedestinationis ratio non sunt merita nostra, sed mera Dei voluntas, propter quod subdit secundum propositum eius. Rom. c. VIII, 28: scimus quoniam diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum, his qui secundum propositum vocati sunt sancti.
34. Next, when he says predestined according to his purpose, he writes of the free predestination of God concerning which it is written: and those he predestined he has also called (Rom 8:30). The reason for this predestination is not our merits but the will of God alone, on account of which he adds according to the purpose of him. And we know that to those who love God, all things work together unto good; to those who are called saints according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).
Quod autem secundum propositum praedestinaverit, probat, quia non solum hoc, sed etiam omnia alia, quae Deus facit, operatur secundum consilium voluntatis suae. Ps. CXXXIV, 6: omnia quaecumque voluit dominus fecit. Is. XLVI, 10: consilium meum stabit, et omnis voluntas mea fiet.
He approves of what he has predestined according to his purpose since not only this, but also everything else that God does he works according to the counsel of his will. Whatever he wills Yahweh does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and in all the depths (Ps 135:6). My counsel shall stand, and what I like I shall do (Isa 46:10).
Non autem dicit secundum voluntatem, ne credas quod sit irrationabilis, sed secundum consilium voluntatis suae, id est secundum voluntatem suam quae est ex ratione, non secundum quod ratio importat discursum, sed secundum quod designat certam et deliberatam voluntatem.
He did not say according to his will lest you would believe it was irrational, but according to the counsel of his will. This means, according to his will which arises from reason; not that reason here implies any transition in his thoughts, but it rather indicates a certain and deliberate will.
35. Ultimo autem tangit finem utriusque, scilicet praedestinationis et vocationis, scilicet laudem Dei. Unde dicit ut simus in laudem gloriae eius nos, qui ante speravimus in Christo, et per nos, qui credimus in Christo, laudetur gloria Dei. Is. LV, 12: montes et colles cantabunt coram Deo laudem. Laus autem gloriae Dei, ut dicit Ambrosius, est cum multi acquiruntur ad fidem, sicut gloria medici est cum multos acquirit et curat. Eccli. II, 9: qui timetis Dominum, sperate in illum, et in oblectatione veniet vobis misericordia.
35. Finally, he briefly mentions the end of one’s predestination and vocation, namely, the praise of God. Thus he states that we may be for the praise of his glory, we who before hoped in Christ. Through us, who believe in Christ, the glory of God is extolled. The mountains and hills shall sing praise before you (Isa 55:12). The praise of God’s glory, as Ambrose remarks, occurs when many persons are won over to the faith, as a doctor’s glory is in a large clientele and their cure. You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for everlasting joy and mercy (Sir 2:9).
Signati Spiritu Sancto
Signed with the Spirit
1:13 in quo et vos, cum audissetis verbum veritatis, Evangelium salutis vestrae, in quo et credentes signati estis Spiritu promissionis Sancto, [n. 37]
1:13 In whom you also, after you had heard the word of truth (the Gospel of your salvation), in whom also believing, you were signed with the Holy Spirit of promise. [n. 37]
1:14 qui est pignus haereditatis nostrae, in redemptionem acquisitionis, in laudem gloriae ipsius. [n. 43]
1:14 Who is the pledge of our inheritance, unto the redemption of acquisition, unto the praise of his glory. [n. 43]
36. Postquam enarravit Apostolus beneficia collata communiter omnibus fidelibus, exhibita specialiter apostolis, hic consequenter enumerat beneficia ipsis Ephesiis collata.
36. Once the Apostle has enumerated the blessings offered generally to all the faithful, then those especially given the apostles, he begins to recount those granted to the Ephesians themselves.
Dividitur autem pars ista in duas, quia
This section is divided into two parts:
primo proponit beneficia eis exhibita;
first, he sets down the favors shown them;
secundo insinuat affectum suum ex ipsis beneficiis excitatum, ibi propterea et ego audiens, et cetera.
second, he describes his feelings aroused by the favors, at wherefore, I also (Eph 1:15).
Prima iterum in tres dividitur, secundum tria beneficia eis exhibita; quia
The first is divided into three parts according to the three blessings granted to them:
primo proponit beneficium praedicationis;
first, the blessing of preaching;
secundo beneficium conversionis ad fidem, ibi in quo et credentes signati estis;
second, the blessing of conversion to the faith, at in whom also believing;
tertio beneficium iustificationis, ibi signati estis, et cetera.
third, the blessing of justification, at were signed.
37. Dicit ergo quantum ad primum in quo, scilicet Christo, et vos cum audivissetis, id est cuius beneficio et virtute audivistis, verbum veritatis, id est verbum praedicationis, in quantum ipse Christus ad vos praedicatores misit. Rom. X, 14: quomodo audient sine praedicante? Quomodo vero praedicabunt, nisi mittantur? Item infra eodem: ergo fides ex auditu, auditus autem per verbum Dei. Eius ergo beneficio audiunt, qui praedicatores eis mittit. Lc. XI, 28: beati qui audiunt verbum Dei, et custodiunt illud.
37. In reference to the first point he says: Christ in whom you also, after you had heard, that is, by whose favor and power you have heard the proclamation of the word of truth since Christ himself has sent those who preach it to you. How shall they believe him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent? . . . faith, then, comes by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom 10:14–15, 17). They hear through the blessing of him who sends them the preachers: blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it (Luke 11:28).