Grace and Merit: Cooperators in Charity

As we celebrate the beautiful Catholic Reformation, I thought I’d just reprise an old favorite parody song, which can be sung to the tune of the old Sinatra standard, Love and Marriage.

Grace and merit, grace and merit,
God’s so great He just can’t wait to share it,
‘Specially with His mother; you can’t have one without the other.

Grace and merit, grace and merit,
The cross is heavy but you’ll have to bear it.
Let me tell you, brother: you can’t have one without the other.

Try, try, try to separate them. It’s an illusion.
Try, try, try, and you will only add to the confusion.

Grace and merit, grace and merit:
It’s a legacy we may inherit,
With the blessed mother. You can’t have one. It’s just not done. You can’t have one without the other.

Speaking of the Catholic Reformation on this All Hallows’ Eve, here is a great book on the subject, with special attention to the great reforms and foundings of Religious communities of the period. I highly recommend it. Each chapter follows outstanding heroes of the faith, who gave their lives to God in the Church. “Show me your faith without works,” they seem to say, “and I will show you the faith that underlies my works.”

St. Charles Borromeo makes an appearance in nearly every chapter.

Two other reading recommendations: the sober, careful, and balanced canons of the Council of Trent, and The Foundations by St. Teresa of Avila. The Foundations are too often neglected; they begin where The Autobiography left off, and recount her life’s adventures.

Gaudeamus omnes in Domino diem festum celebrantes
sub honore Sanctorum omnium:
de quorum solemnitate gaudent angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei.

Exsultate iusti in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.