Theological Virtues Per St Augustine, Doctor of the Church, Bishop of Hippo (354-430AD)
St. Augustine speaks of this book in his Retractations, l. ii. c. 63, as follows: I also wrote a book on Faith, Hope, and Charity, at the request of the person to whom I addressed it, that he might have a work of mine which should never be out of his hands, such as the Greeks call an Enchiridion (Handbook). There I think I have pretty carefully treated of the manner in which God is to be worshiped, which knowledge Sacred Scripture defines to be the true wisdom of man. The book begins: ‘I cannot express,’ etc. About this page:… Source. Translated by J.F. Shaw. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1302.htm>. editorials and art by CityofGod.blog.
Faith cont. (Chapter 61-67)
Chapter 61. The Church on Earth Has Been Redeemed from Sin by the Blood of a Mediator.
This part of the Church, then, which is made up of the holy angels and the hosts of God, shall become known to us in its true nature, when, at the end of the world, we shall be united with it in the common possession of everlasting happiness. But the other part, which, separated from it, wanders as a stranger on the earth, is better known to us, both because we belong to it, and because it is composed of men, and we too are men. This section of the Church has been redeemed from all sin by the blood of a Mediator who had no sin, and its song is: If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all. Now it was not for the angels that Christ died. Yet what was done for the redemption of man through His death was in a sense done for the angels, because the enmity which sin had put between men and the holy angels is removed, and friendship is restored between them, and by the redemption of man the gaps which the great apostasy left in the angelic host are filled up.
Chapter 62. By the Sacrifice of Christ All Things are Restored, and Peace is Made Between Earth and Heaven.
And, of course, the holy angels, taught by God, in the eternal contemplation of whose truth their happiness consists,know how great a number of the human race are to supplement their ranks, and fill up the full tale of their citizenship. Wherefore the apostle says, that all things are gathered together in one in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth. The things which are in heaven are gathered together when what was lost therefrom in the fall of the angels is restored from among men; and the things which are on earth are gathered together, when those who are predestined to eternal life are redeemed from their old corruption. And thus, through that single sacrifice in which the Mediator was offered up, the one sacrifice of which the many victims under the law were types, heavenly things are brought into peace with earthly things, and earthly things with heavenly. Wherefore, as the same apostle says: For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell: and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself:(Col1:20) by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Chapter 63. The Peace of God, Which Reigns in Heaven, Passes All Understanding.
This peace, as Scripture says, “passes all understanding”, (Phil4:7) and cannot be known by us until we have come into the full possession of it. For in what sense are heavenly things reconciled, except they be reconciled to us, viz. by coming into harmony with us? For in heaven there is unbroken peace, both between all the intelligent creatures that exist there, and between these and their Creator. And this peace, as is said, passes all understanding; but this, of course, means our understanding, not that of those who always behold the face of their Father. We now, however great may be our human understanding, known but in part, and see through a glass darkly. But when we shall be equal unto the angels of God then we shall see face to face, as they do; and we shall have as great peace towards them as they have towards us, because we shall love them as much as we are loved by them. And so their peace shall be known to us: for our own peace shall be like to theirs, and as great as theirs, nor shall it then pass our understanding. But the peace of God, the peace which He cherishes towards us, shall undoubtedly pass not our understanding only, but theirs as well. And this must be so: for every rational creature which is happy derives its happiness from Him; He does not derive His from it. And in this view it is better to interpret all in the passage, The peace of God passes all understanding, as admitting of no exception even in favor of the understanding of the holy angels: the only exception that can be made is that of God Himself. For, of course, His peace does not pass His own understanding.
Chapter 64. Pardon of Sin Extends Over the Whole Mortal Life of the Saints, Which, Though Free from Crime, is Not Free from Sin.
But the angels even now are at peace with us when our sins are pardoned. Hence, in the order of the Creed, after the mention of the Holy Church is placed the remission of sins. For it is by this that the Church on earth stands: it is through this that what had been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again. For, setting aside the grace of baptism, which is given as an antidote to original sin, so that what our birth imposes upon us, our new birth relieves us from (this grace, however, takes away all the actual sins also that have been committed in thought, word, and deed): setting aside, then, this great act of favor, whence commences man’s restoration, and in which all our guilt, both original and actual, is washed away, the rest of our life from the time that we have the use of reason provides constant occasion for the remission of sins, however great may be our advance in righteousness. For the sons of God, as long as they live in this body of death, are in conflict with death. And although it is truly said of them, As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God, yet they are led by the Spirit of God, and as the sons of God advance towards God under this drawback, that they are led also by their own spirit, weighted as it is by the corruptible body; and that, as the sons of men, under the influence of human affections, they fall back to their old level, and so sin. There is a difference, however. For although every crime is a sin, every sin is not a crime. And so we say that the life of holy men, as long as they remain in this mortal body, may be found without crime; but, as the Apostle John says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1Jn 1:8)
WISDOM, (SOPHIA) ….. “be Attentive”!!
Chapter 65. God Pardons Sins, But on Condition of Penitence, Certain Times for Which Have Been Fixed by the Law of the Church. (“Wisdom”)
But even crimes themselves, however great, may be remitted in the Holy Church; and the mercy of God is never to be despaired of by men who truly repent, each according to the measure of his sin. And in the act of repentance, where a crime has been committed of such a nature as to cut off the sinner from the body of Christ, we are not to take account so much of the measure of time as of the measure of sorrow; for a broken and a contrite heart God does not despise. But as the grief of one heart is frequently hid from another, and is not made know to others by words or other signs, when it is manifest to Him of whom it is said,
My groaning is not hid from You, (Ps38:9)…. those who govern the Church have rightly appointed times of penitence, that the Church in which the sins are remitted may be satisfied; and outside the Church sins are not remitted.
For the Church alone has received the pledge of the Holy Ghost, without which there is no remission of sins— such, at least, as brings the pardoned to eternal life. [Sophia]
Chapter 66. The Pardon of Sin Has Reference Chiefly to the Future Judgment.
Now the pardon of sin has reference chiefly to the future judgment. For, as far as this life is concerned, the saying of Scripture holds good: A heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the day that they go out of their mother’s womb, till the day that they return to the mother of all things. So that we see even infants, after baptism and regeneration, suffering from the infliction of various evils: and thus we are given to understand, that all that is set forth in the sacraments of salvation refers rather to the hope of future good, than to the retaining or attaining of present blessings. For many sins seem in this world to be overlooked and visited with no punishment, whose punishment is reserved for the future (for it is not in vain that the day when Christ shall come as Judge of quick and dead is peculiarly named the day of judgment); just as, on the other hand, many sins are punished in this life, which nevertheless are pardoned, and shall bring down no punishment in the future life. Accordingly, in reference to certain temporal punishments, which in this life are visited upon sinners, the apostle, addressing those whose sins are blotted out, and not reserved for the final judgment, says: For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Chapter 67. Faith Without Works is Dead, and Cannot Save a Man.
It is believed, moreover, by some, that men who do not abandon the name of Christ, and who have been baptized in the Church by His baptism, and who have never been cut off from the Church by any schism or heresy, though they should live in the grossest sin and never either wash it away in penitence nor redeem it by almsgiving, but persevere in it persistently to the last day of their lives, shall be saved by fire; that is, that although they shall suffer a punishment by fire, lasting for a time proportionate to the magnitude of their crimes and misdeeds, they shall not be punished with everlasting fire. But those who believe this, and yet are Catholics, seem to me to be led astray by a kind of benevolent feeling natural to humanity. For Holy Scripture, when consulted, gives a very different answer. I have written a book on this subject, entitled Of Faith and Works, in which, to the best of my ability, God assisting me, I have shown from Scripture, that the faith which saves us is that which the Apostle Paul clearly enough describes when he says: For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which works by love. But if it works evil, and not good, then without doubt, as the Apostle James says, it is dead, being alone. The same apostle says again, What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith, and have not works?(Jas2:14). Can faith save him? And further, if a wicked man shall be saved by fire on account of his faith alone, and if this is what the blessed Apostle Paul means when he says, But he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire; then faith without works can save a man, and what his fellow-apostle James says must be false. And that must be false which Paul himself says in another place: Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners; shall inherit the kingdom of God. For if those who persevere in these wicked courses shall nevertheless be saved on account of their faith in Christ, how can it be true that they shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
CCC #846 “Outside the Church there is NO Salvation”
Reformulated positively, means ALL salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: