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In the theological sense, a supernatural merit can only be a salutary act ( actus salutaris ), to which God in consequence of his infallible promise owes a supernatural reward, consisting ultimately in eternal life, which is the beatific vision in heaven.
As the main purpose of this article is to vindicate the Catholic doctrine of the meritoriousness of good works, the subject is treated under the four following heads: (a) If we analyse the definition given above, it becomes evident that the property of merit can be found only in works that are positively good, whilst bad works, whether they benefit or injure a third party, contain nothing but demerit ( demeritum ) and consequently deserve punishment.
Enhancing Technical Assistance to Rural Program Grantees Responding to Violence Against Women: A Report to the Office on Violence Against Women, U. Department of Justice Prepared by Praxis International: Maren Woods, Praxis International, Melanie Shepard, Ph. D., Consultant; with contributions by Jane Sadusky, Consultant; and Julie Tilley and Janice Wick, Praxis International Rural domestic violence and sexual assault advocates and practitioners face geographic, political, and philosophical isolation in their work to end violence against women.Some grantees operate in extremely remote areas, some in rural cities, and others are implementing regional or statewide projects.Grantees are a mix of nonprofit advocacy programs, tribal and state governments, law enforcement and prosecution agencies, child protection and other social service agencies, and statewide coalitions and organizations.Such exaggerations gave rise in 1527 to the fierce Antinomian controversy, which, after various efforts on Luther's part, was finally settled in 1540 by the recantation forced from Agricola by Joachim II of Brandenburg. It condemned as heretical Luther's doctrine of the sinfulness of good works (Sess. xxv), and declared as a dogma that the just, in return for their good works done in God through the merits of Jesus Christ, should expect an eternal reward (loc. The Old Testament already declares the meritoriousness of good works before God. Cyprian with the declaration: "You can attain to the vision of God, if you deserve it by your life and works" ("De op. Even human laws are provided with sanctions, which are often very severe.Although the doctrine of modern Protestantism continues obscure and indefinite, it teaches generally speaking that good works are a spontaneous consequence of justifying faith, without being of any avail for life eternal. "But the just shall live for evermore: and their reward is with the Lord" ( Wisdom ). It is worthy of note that, in these and many others good works are not represented as mere adjuncts of justifying faith, but as real fruits of justification and part causes of our eternal happiness. Even Protestants concede that, in the oldest literature of the Apostolic Fathers and Christian Apologists, "the idea of merit was read into the Gospel," and that Tertullian by defending "merit in the strict sense gave the key-note to Western Catholicism " (Realencykl., pp. He who denies the meritoriousness of good works performed by the just must necessarily also deny the culpability and demerit of the sinner's misdeeds; must hold that sins remain without punishment, and that the fear of hell is both groundless and useless.