Yes, the Catholic Church believes in Predestination, but not as the Calvinists teach it. The Council of Trent teaches that no one, without special divine revelation to one’s self, knows if a person will persevere until the end of his life. However, many of the Early Church Fathers, according to Garrigou-Lagrange, wrote that there are some signs in a person’s life that they most likely are predestined for heaven.
These signs are clear.There are twelve, but remember that no one goes to heaven if one is not in the state of grace at death, and that if one goes to hell, it is one’s own fault. The twelve are not only specific, but difficult to attain, even with grace, though not impossible.
The first is a good life. This means a holy life according to the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes.
The second is “the testimony of a good conscience,” that is that one has a well-formed conscience and is living by it.
The third is patience in trials for the love of God, not merely because one is stoical.
The fourth is zeal in reading and wanting the light of the Scriptures, and the truths of God’s light.
The fifth is mercy towards those who suffer.
The sixth is love of one’s enemies.
The seventh is humility.
The eighth is love and devotion to Our Lady Mary.
The ninth is a great intimacy with God in prayer.
The tenth is perfect mortifications of the passions.
The eleventh is an ardent desire to suffer for Christ, for His glory.
The twelfth is an “indefatigable zeal for souls.”
I look at myself and I am concerned. I look at trad and liberal Catholics and I am concerned. The first two are difficult to see, but a well-trained conscience begins in childhood, as does the living of a good life. Patience in trials is learned, if one accepts grace. Desiring and reading Scripture is a must. Mercy towards those who suffer is becoming rare even among Catholics, who tend to judge more than be merciful now. Love of one’s enemies—no, I do not see that online at all, just hatred, bigotry and the refusal to engage. Humility, well…Eight and nine are personal and not necessarily visible. Eleven is amazing and lacking in many who only want to avoid suffering for Christ’s sake, And, the last is, sadly rare and rarer.
Today, I unfriended a person online who refuses to allow those who are Muslims to comment on his threads. I tried to explain to that person that our duty was to evangelise, with patience and zeal. We are to have that tireless zeal for souls. He did not get it.
I am far from filling in these categories of predestination. I pray for the graces and for help from God to fulfil those signs. Facing death, I have less time than most of you. Pray for final perseverance, that special grace, completely independent of all graces.
JMJ, pray for us!
God is good,