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Predestination | Predestined

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Arrow Question / Issue:

"The 15th promise of Mary regarding the Holy Rosary states, 'Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.' I'm looking for some way to understand the use of the word 'predestination' as I do not believe in it as a Catholic. I want to give the Rosary and the 15 Promises of Mary to a non-Catholic and I worry about the last promise. Don't know where to go to get an answer to what Mary meant by using this term."

 

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There is a Catholic understanding of the term 'predestination', a concept that is mentioned in Holy Scripture (e.g. Rom. 8:29-30: "For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.").

A correct understanding of the term 'predestination' does not mean one can deny free will. Keep in mind that God foresees who will be saved and who will not be saved. His foreknowledge, however, does not of itself cause one to be saved or to be damned. One who will be saved may be considered 'predestined', but we do not know on earth who is in the 'book of life' (Rv. 3:5). Salvation is open to all who live according to God's will. Of course, not all will do so.

Those who continue to pray the Rosary may be more likely to live according to God's will, and thus be saved. Therefore, a devotion to the Rosary may be seen as a sign of 'predestination'. Note that St. Louis de Montfort said: "Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood." Likewise, St. John Vianney said: "It is impossible to meditate with devotion upon the mysteries of the Rosary and live in a state of sin."

The following footnotes are from the Douay Rheims translation of Holy Scripture. They correspond to the quotation above from St. Paul's letter to the Romans. [Please Note: Items below appear 'exactly' as they appear in the original source.]

VER. 29. For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son, in suffering with Christ, in following his doctrine, in imitating his life. This foreknowledge of God, according to S. Augustin, is not merely a foreseeing of what men will do by the assistance and graces of God's ordinary providence, much less a foreseeing of what they will do by their own natural strength, as the Pelagian heretics pretended: but is a foreknowledge including an act of the divine will, and of his love towards his elect servants; (as to know in the Scriptures, when applied to God, is many times the same as to approve and love) God therefore hath foreseen or predestinated, or decreed that these elect, by the help of his special graces, and by the co-operation of their free-will, should be conformable to the image of his Son, that so his Son, even as man, might be the first-born, the chief, and the head of all that shall be saved. Wi.--God hath preordained that all his elect shall be conformable to the image of his Son. We must not here offer to dive into the secrets of God's eternal election: only firmly believe that all our good, in time and eternity, flows originally from God's free goodness; and all our evil from man's free will. Ch.

VER. 30. And whom he predestinated, them he also called to the true faith and to his service, without any deserts in them, nay, when all mankind were guilty of eternal death, by original sin.--And whom he called, them he also justified, by faith, by hope, by a love of him, and a true penance.--And whom he justified, them he also glorified. That is, hath decreed to glorify. Yet not all who have been justified, but only his elect, who are under his special protection, and to whom he grants a perseverance in his grace to the end: so that the call to faith, their sanctification, their final perseverance, and glorification in heaven, are the effects of their free election and predestination. Wi.

There are also a few quotes on predestination in our Reflections (click on 'Predestination' link appearing here).

Finally, you might search free online resources regarding St. Thomas Aquinas' treatment of the subject in the Summa Theologica (try searching for Predestination, Question 23). Note that the Summa covers various predestination-related questions (e.g. Is predestination suitably attributed to God?, What is predestination, and does it place anything in the predestined?, Are merits the cause or reason of predestination, or reprobation, or election?, Is the number of the predestined certain?, Can predestination be furthered by the prayers of the saints?, etc.)


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Other Resources:

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Catholic Basics

Holy Rosary (Topic Page)

Heaven / Salvation (Topic Page)

 

  

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