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Certain quotations are
highlighted within P

Musings 2008/220

Merits of man.

PHeaven is always more
than we could merit,
just as being loved
is never something "merited",
but always a gift. P

So states our marvellous Pontiff Benedict XVI, in his Spe Salvi, a holy work of great splendour.
The Pope also stated in the same historical document:-

PIt has shown us that God 
--Truth and Love in person--
to suffer for us and with us.

Bernard of Clairvaux coined the marvellous expression: Impassibilis est Deus, sed non incompassibilis [29] -- God cannot suffer, but he can suffer with.
Man is
so much to God
that he himself became man
in order to suffer with man in an utterly real way.
This two quotations would seem contradictory at first glance, but the Bishop of Rome made no contradiction at all.
The whole subject centres around the words
worth and merit.
To merit something can mean
to deserve something. But it can also mean to have the right to something.
It seems to me that mankind had
lost the right to salvation, through the rebellion of Adam and Eve and the serpent.
But I contend that mankind still
deserved to be saved in spite of his awful folly in allowing himself to be deceived into disobedience, for he was created in the image of God.
In a roundabout way
merit can mean also, the ability to be saved.

Mankind has certainly lost, had forfeited,
the ability to save himself.

So, Pope Benedict XVI stated that Man is worth so much to God that he himself became man in order to suffer with man in an utterly real way, and the word worth has a similar meaning to merit.
So we perceive that mankind was
worth saving - but in some way we did not merit to be saved.
Of course man was
worth saving, for God became man for that very reason. There is no shadow of a doubt that God perceived mankind as worthy of Salvation, even as he had lost the ability to save himself and, in strict justice, had lost the right to be saved.
We realise that we have lost
the right to salvation and God would have been justified in proclaiming that mankind had failed the test and so, was condemned.
That is not what God ever intended, of course. God did not create man in the same way He created the Angels whose decision for or against God was instantly and forever, decisive. No, God created man in time and space wherein man blundered today but repented tomorrow. Man's will one day can be changed the next day.
Still, it was in this creation of time and space that Adam and Eve made a permanent incision between Creator and creature.
While Adam and Eve were then ejected from Eden and, with their children down the centuries, embraced every form of suffering and then death,

it was always obvious
that God intended to overcome the problem
caused by their rebellion.

P  1 3 14  And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.
  1 3 15  I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed:

she shall crush thy head,
and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. P

And so the children of God have always expected Salvation which would be provided through The Woman and her seed, The Christ.
It seems to me then, that this word
merit, regarding creature and Creator, has the essential meaning:-

loss of ability.

so that when the Pontiff stated Heaven is always more than we could merit this could be stated thus:- Heaven is always more than we could 'achieve by our own abilities, which we forfeited in Adam and Eve'.
It is perfectly clear that The Almighty was aware of the future defiance of Adam and Eve and that He had prepared for this from Eternity.
It is also perfectly clear that The Almighty
intended to restore mankind's ability to attain Heaven.

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