On the opposite slope [from Quietism] lies the peril of pure antinomianism; a single false step, and your evangelical enthusiast is over the precipice.

St. Paul, with his Omnia mihi licent (all things are permissible to me); Saint Augustine, with his Ama, et fac quod vis (love and do what you will); Luther, with his Pecca fortiter (sin enthusiastically) –  is it certain that any natural law of morals is binding on a soul which has emancipated itself from the natural, and lives now by a law of grace?

Indulgence of the passions is culpable in the unregenerate soul, helps it on its road to perdition; but the children of predestination are emancipated from the bondage of law; not their actions, but the merits of their Redeemer, avail to justify them.  May it not be that actions which the world counts sinful are, for them, like all their other actions, sanctified?  Alternatively, may they not sin precisely in order that ‘grace may abound’, obligingly offer to Divine grace a broader target (if we may so put it) for redemption?  There have been enthusiasts who, on this principle, were ready to ‘outsin Manasses’.

So much for one mischievous germ which is endemic to all forms of [religious] enthusiasm.

– Monsignor Ronald A. Knox, Enthusiasm, A Chapter in the History of Religion, page 583.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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