The essentials and universals of Religion
June 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
Two things are the essentials and at the same time the universals of religion, namely, acknowledgment of God, and repentance. (Divine Providence 340.2)
It is worth noting that the second essential, which is also a universal of religion, is not doing good, but repentance! All the good works you do, all the services you do for others, are not good if you have not and are not shunning evils as sins against the Lord.
The first paragraph in the little work on Charity notes:
THE FIRST OF CHARITY IS TO LOOK TO THE LORD, AND SHUN EVILS BECAUSE THEY ARE SINS; WHICH IS DONE BY REPENTANCE.
To be set forth in this order:
(I) As far as anyone does not shun evils because they are sins, so far he remains in them.
(II) As far as anyone does not take cognizance of sins and know what they are, so far he does not see but that he is without sins.
(III.) As far as anyone takes cognizance of sins and knows what they are, so far he can see them in himself, confess them before the Lord, and repent of them.
(IV.) Good before repentance is spurious good; it is the same with Charity, for good is of Charity.
(V.) Consequently, the first of Charity is to look to the Lord and shun evils because they are sins.
Divine Providence 340 sums this up when it says:
without repentance man is in evil, and evil is hell. (DP 340.3e)
Good works, service to others ought to be done, but not without us working on our repentance.