Thursday, March 26, 2009

Theodoret of Cyrus: Grace and Free Will

This is from God. Because this gift for Christ's sake has been granted to you, not only of believing in him, but also of suffering for him, having the same struggle you saw in me and now hear of in me (vv.29-30). He called both believing and struggling with distinction gifts of God, not to eliminate freedom of their will, but to bring out that free will of itself, devoid of grace, can achieve no good work: there is need of both, our enthusiasm and divine assistance. In other words, the grace of the Spirit does not suffice for those lacking enthusiasm, nor in turn can enthusiasm bereft of it succeed in amassing the riches of virtue.

- Theodoret of Cyrus (around A.D. 393 to around A.D. 457), Commentary on the Letter to the Philippians, Chapter 1, in Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Volume 2, p. 69 (2001), Robert C. Hill translator.