Monday, March 24, 2014

Your Self-Effort Cannot Make You Good Enough

We have all become like one who is unclean,
        and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
        and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls upon your name,
        who rouses himself to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
        and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.  (Isaiah 64:6-7)

[W]e have all lost the integrity of our nature through the sin of the first man.  Hence followed mortality, hence the manifold corruption of body and mind, ignorance and difficulty, useless cares, unlawful desires, sacrilegious aberrations, vain fears, harmful love, unholy pleasures, blamable designs, and as great a host of woes as of sins.  With these and other evils assailing human nature, with faith lost, hope abandoned, the intellect blinded, the will enslaved, no one finds in himself the means of a restoration.  Although some tried, guided by their natural reason, to resist vices, the life of decency they led here on earth was sterile.  They did not acquire true virtues and attain eternal happiness.  Without worship of the true God even what has the appearance of virtue is sin.  No one can please God without God.

Prosper of Aquitaine, The Call of All Nations 1.7

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