ARE THE RULES OF SCRIPTURES BY WHICH WE CAN ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE)
a) That, before we can have
faith, we must first do penance according to the preaching of John and of
our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who fail to do penance now will receive a
harsher judgment than those who were condemned in the Old Testament.
Thus, Christ began His preaching, saying: "Do
penance, for the kingdom of God is at hand." (Mat. 4.17) Then,
He upbraided Corozain for she had not done penance in spite of the countless
b) That this entire present
life is the time for penance and not only the last few years or months.
After this life is the judgment full of justice and either eternal
punishment, if we have failed to obey Christ's commands, or eternal
happiness, if we have obeyed His commands.
"Knowest thou not that the benignity of God leadeth
thee to penance? But, according to thy harness and impenitent heart,
thou piles up to thyself wrath against the day of wrath."
c) That he who is truly
repentant should weep bitterly. "And Peter. . .going forth, wept
bitterly." "And many of them . . .declaring their deeds. . .brought
their books and burnt them before all."
d) That to stop sinning is
not enough for salvation. We must produce fruits worthy of penance.
"Ye brood of vipers. . .bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. Every
tree, therefore, that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down and cast
into the fire."
e) That this life is the
time for good works. Good works is the oil that kept the wise virgins'
lamps lighted. And the apostle Paul adds: "Therefore, whilst we have
time, let us work good to all men."
Morals of St. Gregory (The favorite
book of St. Teresa of Avila)