It begins with the grace of God which touches a sinner’s heart and calls him to repentance. This grace cannot be merited; it proceeds solely from the love and mercy of God. It is, however, in man’s power to reject or to receive the inspiration from above; it is in his power to turn to God and to virtue or to persevere in sin. And grace does not constrain but assists the freewill of the creature. So assisted, the sinner is disposed or prepared and adapted for justification; he believes in the revelation and promises of God, especially in the truth “that a sinner is justified by God’s grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus”; he fears the justice, hopes in the mercy, of God, trusts that God will be merciful to him for Christ’s sake, begins “to love God as the fountain of all justice, hates and detests his sins.” “This disposition or preparation is followed by justification itself, which justification consists, not in the mere remission of sins, but in the sanctification and renewal of the inner man by the voluntary reception of [God’s] grace and gifts, whence a man becomes just instead of unjust, a friend instead of a foe, and so an heir according to hope of eternal life.” . . . “By the merit of the most holy Passion through the Holy Spirit the charity of God is shed abroad in the hearts of those who are justified.”

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “justification”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 26 February 2021. <>