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Lastly, the relation between merit and reward furnishes the intrinsic reason why in the matter of service and its remuneration the guiding norm can be only the virtue of justice, and not disinterested kindness or pure mercy; for it would destroy the very notion of reward to conceive of it as a free gift of bounty (cf. If, however, salutary acts can in virtue of the Divine justice give the right to an eternal reward, this is possible only because they themselves have their root in gratuitous grace, and consequently are of their very nature dependent ultimately on grace, as the Council of Trent emphatically declares (Sess. The simple reason is that God, being self-existent, absolutely independent, and sovereign, can be in no respect bound in justice with regard to his creatures. (b) There remains the distinction between merit and satisfaction; for a meritorious work is not identical, either in concept or in fact, with a satisfactory work. The second kind of satisfaction, that namely by which temporal punishment is removed, consists in this, that the penitent after his justification gradually cancels the temporal punishments due to his sins, either ex opere operato , by conscientiously performing the penance imposed on him by his confessor, or ex opere operantis , by self-imposed penances (such as prayer, fasting, almsgiving, etc.) and by bearing patiently the sufferings and trials sent by God ; if he neglects this, he will have to give full satisfaction ( satispassio ) in the pains of purgatory (cf. The substantial and conceptual distinction between merit and satisfaction holds good when applied to the justified Christian, for every meritorious act has for its main object the increase of grace and of eternal glory, while satisfactory works have for their object the removal of the temporal punishment still due to sin.

As a true friend desires to see his friend without thereby sinking into egotism so does the loving soul ardently desire the Beatific Vision, not from a craving for reward, but out of pure love.

In the first place it is evident that prayer as a pre-eminently good work has in common with other similar good works, such as fasting and almsgiving, the twofold value of merit and satisfaction.

Because of its satisfactory character, prayer will also obtain for the souls in purgatory by way of suffrage ( per modum suffragii ) either a diminution or a total cancelling of the penalty that remains to be paid. Hence, it is plain that this whole article is really only a continuation and a completion of the doctrine of sanctifying grace (see GRACE).

It is unfortunately too true that only the best type of Christians, and especially the great saints of the Church, reach this high standard of morality in everyday life.

The great majority of ordinary Christians must be deterred from sin principally by the fear of hell and spurred on to good works by the thought of an eternal reward, before they attain perfect love. Hence the Church urges her children to forming each morning the "good intention ", that they may thereby sanctify the whole day and make even the indifferent actions of their exterior life serve for the glory of God ; "all for the greater glory of God ", is the constant prayer of the faithful Catholic.

The peace of a good conscience that follows the faithful performance of duty is an unsought-for reward of our action and an interior happiness of which no calamity can deprive us, so that, as a matter of fact, duty and happiness are always linked together.

(c) But is not this continual acting "with one eye on heaven ", with which Professor Jodl reproaches Catholic moral teaching, the meanest "mercenary spirit" and greed which necessarily vitiates to the core all moral action?

Matthew ), the fear of hell is a motive of moral action, a "grace of God and an impulse of the Holy Ghost " (Council of Trent, Sess. Besides blaming the Church for fostering a "craving for reward," Protestants also accuse her of teaching "justification by works". As the body receives its life from the soul, so must external actions be penetrated and vivified by holiness of intention. A third charge against the Catholic doctrine on merit is summed up in the word "self-righteousness", as if the just man utterly disregarded the merits of Christ and arrogated to himself the whole credit of his good works. (a) In order to be meritorious a work must be morally good, morally free, done with the assistance of actual grace, and inspired by a supernatural motive.