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Our predestination to eternal unity with God does not rob of us free will; it gives us choices. We are chosen by God from before all time to belong to Him; He requires us to accept His invitation and cooperate with our vocation (calling) freely.



Rom 8:28-30

28 We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

29 For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

30 And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.

- foreknown
- predestined
- called
- justified
- glorified


Our predestination

CCC #381
Man is predestined to reproduce the image of God's Son made man, the "image of the invisible God" (Col 1:15), so that Christ shall be the first-born of a multitude of brothers and sisters (cf. Eph 1:3-6; Rom 8:29).
CCC #2012
"We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him . . . For those whom he fore knew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified."[1]
CCC #2782
We can adore the Father because he has caused us to be reborn to his life by adopting us as his children in his only Son: by Baptism, he incorporates us into the Body of his Christ; through the anointing of his Spirit who flows from the head to the members, he makes us other "Christs."
God, indeed, who has predestined us to adoption as his sons, has conformed us to the glorious Body of Christ. So then you who have become sharers in Christ are appropriately called "Christs."[2]
The new man, reborn and restored to his God by grace, says first of all, "Father!" because he has now begun to be a son.[3]

See also 1 Tim 2:4: "God wills all to be saved."

Mary's Predestination

CCC #488-489
488 "God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him,[4] he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary":[5]
The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.[6]
489 Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living.[7] By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age.[8] Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women.[9] Mary "stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established."[10]
  • Sarah
  • Hannah, the mother of Samuel
  • Deborah
  • Ruth
  • Judith
  • Esther

The predestination of Jesus' suffering and death

CCC #599-600
599: Jesus' violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God's plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: "This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God."[11] This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.[12]
600: To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of "predestination", he includes in it each person's free response to his grace: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place."[13] For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.[14]


God had to choose Judas as an apostle in order to find out what kind of diciple he would be. Once the offer is made, it cannot be unmade. God's "foreknowledge" of what Judas would do is actually knowledge of what Judas actually did. God cannot simultaneously give the choice and take it away at the same time. This is not a defect in omnipotence or omniscience, but a strictly logical necessity entailed by the gift of free will to creatures.


  1. Rom 8:28-30.
  2. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. myst. 3,1:PG 33,1088A.
  3. St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat. 9:PL 4,525A.
  4. Gal 4:4; Heb 10:5.
  5. Lk 1:26-27.
  6. LG 56; cf. LG 61.
  7. Cf. Gen 3:15, 20.
  8. Cf. Gen 18:10-14; 21:1-2.
  9. Cf. 1 Cor 1:17; 1 Sam 1.
  10. LG 55.
  11. Acts 2:23.
  12. Cf. Acts 3:13.
  13. Acts 4:27-28; cf. Ps 2:1-2.
  14. Cf. Mt 26:54; Jn 18:36; 19:11; Acts 3:17-18.