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49. Actual Effects of the Passion of Christ

"We are reconciled to God by the death of his Son."The Passion, in addition to its delivering of man from thethralldom of sin, is a most pleasing sacrifice to God. So pleasingindeed, and so powerful is this sacrifice, that God is appeased byit for every human sin if the sinner makes himself one with Christand complies with his will and his institution for removing sin andgaining grace.

1. The first effect of the Passion is the delivering ofman from sin. The Passion renders human sin forgivable. Itfurnishes a medicine which cures sin in those who take thatmedicine rightly. A man's individual responsibility for hisacts, and his sins, is not taken away; nor is free will nullified.But the Passion removed the barrier of original sin which madeheaven inaccessible to mankind, and merited the grace man needs toraise him out of actual sins and set him in the sure way to heaven.These graces man obtains through the faith by the use of thesacraments and prayer which have efficacy because of the Passionand its merits.

2. The Passion delivered man from the power of the devil.It made sin forgivable, and, through the forgiveness of sin, mancan be reconciled with God and put in the way to heaven. Thus Satanis defeated, and no man need longer remain in his power. Satanoverreached himself in conspiring to bring about the death of ourLord, for that death meant Satan's own defeat.

3. The Passion freed men from the punishment due to sin.Christ paid superabundantly on man's behalf. Henceforth, if aman deserve such punishment, it is his own personal and individualdoing, his own actual sinning. And even such actual sin can beforgiven, and its punishment cancelled, by the forgivability of sinestablished by the Passion.

4. The Passion reconciled man with God. St. Paul (Rom.5:10) says:

5. Original sin closed the gates of heaven to all mankind.And serious actual sin also closes heaven to the sinner. Now, thePassion atoned for original sin, and so opened heaven to the wholerace, and made it possible, on Christ's terms, for a man to getthere. As for the personal sinner, the Passion, by making actualsin forgivable, opens heaven to the truly repentant.

6. Christ humbled himself in his Passion, and so meritedto be exalted. Says scripture (Phil. 2:8, 9): "He humbledhimself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of thecross. For which cause God also hath exalted him." Christ wasexalted as man in the Resurrection, the Ascension, the placing atthe right hand of God, the receiving of the homage of all rationalcreatures, who are to bow the knee at the mention of his name.

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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