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48. The Efficacy of the Passion of Christ

1. Christ as man suffered voluntarily to redeem mankind.He suffered for justice, and therefore grace came to him asmerited, and this merited grace overflows into the members ofChrist, the children of his Church, and indeed all men. Thus Christby his Passion merited salvation for his members.

2. Because he suffered willingly, out of love andobedience towards God, our Lord gave back to God more than enoughto compensate for the offenses of the whole human race. Hence, thePassion is a superabundant atonement for the sins ofmankind. Scripture says (I John 2:2): "He is the propitiationfor our sins; and not for ours only, but for those of the wholeworld."

3. A sacrifice is something acceptable to God, offered toappease him and to manifest his supreme dominion over all things.The sacrifice offered by our Lord in the Passion was the mostperfect sacrifice possible.

4. And the Passion was our redemption. To redeem a man isto secure his release from captivity. Man was a captive of sin,which is the bondage of the devil; man lay also under the bondageof God'soffended justice. Now, the Passion of Christdissolved both bonds, releasing man from the thrall of sin andSatan, and atoning to God for man's rebellion against him.Therefore, the Passion is truly a work of redemption.

5. God in Trinity is the first cause of our redemption.But the immediate cause is Christ. The life of Christ (or hisblood, which makes life possible), is the price paid to redeem us.Our Lord voluntarily paid this price. Hence, in the sense ofimmediate action and payment, our redemption was accomplished byour Lord alone. Thus Christ alone is our Redeemer.

6. The principal effecting cause of man's salvation isGod. And the humanity of Christ is the instrument of the Godhead inworking out man's salvation. All that Christ as man does andsuffers for us, is truly done by him instrumentally; that is, ascarrying out the effectiveness rooted in, and proceeding from, theGodhead. Now, what Christ does and suffers for us is called hisPassion. Therefore, the Passion of Christ is the effecting cause ofman's salvation.

"Obedience is a short cut to perfection."
St Philip Neri

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"O Lord, my God, who will seek you with simple and pure love, and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first and go out to meet those who seek you? "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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