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The History and Refutation of Heresies

Articles by St. Alphonsus Liguori
Answering Objections Against the Real Presence
Errors of Luther and Calvin Concerning Free Will
Faith Alone Cannot Render Us Secure of Justice, Perseverance, or Eternal Life
God Cannot Be the Author of Sin
God Never Predestined Any One to Eternal Damnation without Regard to His Sins
Good Works Are Necessary for Salvation, Faith Alone Is Not Sufficient
Issac-Joseph Berruyer's Errors
It Is Not Impossible to Observe the Divine Law
Mary Is the Real and True Mother of God
Refutation of the Heresy of Eutyches, Who Asserted That There Was Only One Nature In Christ
Refutation of the Heresy of Nestorius, Who Taught That In Christ There Are Two Persons
Refutation of the Heresy of Pelagius
Refutation of the Monethelite Heresy, That There Is But One Nature and One Operation Only in Christ
Refutation of the Semi-Pelagian Heresy
The Authority of General Councils
The Divinity of the Word Proved by the Authority of the Holy Fathers and Councils
The Errors of Cornelius Jansenius
The Errors of Michael Baius
The Heresy of Arius, Who Denied the Divinity of the Word; A Proof of that Divinity in Scripture
The Heresy of Berengarius, and the Pretended Reformers, concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist
The Heresy of Macedonius, Who Denied the Divinity of the Holy Ghost
The Heresy of Michael Molinos
The Heresy of Sabellius, Who Denied the Distinction of Persons in the Trinity
The Heresy of the Greeks, Who Assert That The Holy Ghost Proceeds From the Father Alone
The Manner in Which Jesus Christ Is in the Eucharist, Answering Philosophical Objections
The Sinner Is Not Justified by Faith Alone
The Truth of Transubstantiation, That is, the Conversion of the Substance of the Bread and Wine into the Substance of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ

An Exhoration to Catholics by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Leave heretics in their wilful blindness, I mean wilful when they wish to live deceived and pay no attention to the fallacies by which they would deceive you.


Hold on by the sure and firm anchor of the Catholic Church, through which God has promised to teach us the true faith.


We should place all our hope of eternal salvation in the mercy of God and the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour, but still we should co-operate, our selves, by the observance of the Divine Commandments, and the practice of virtue, and not follow the opinion of the Innovators, who say that faith alone in the merits of Jesus Christ will save us, without works; that God is the author both of all the good and all the evil we do; that salvation or damnation has been decreed for us from all eternity, and, consequently, we can do nothing to obtain the one or avoid the other.


God tells us that he wishes all to be saved, and gives to all grace to obtain eternal salvation; he has promised to listen to those who pray to him, so that if we are lost, it is solely through our own fault. He also tells us that if we are saved it must be by those means of salvation which he has given us, the fulfilment of his holy law, the Sacraments by which the merits of Christ are communicated to us, prayer, by which we obtain the grace we stand in need of; and this is the order of the decree of God’s predestination or reprobation, to give eternal life to those who correspond to his grace, and to punish those who despise it.


The devil always strives to deceive heretics, by suggesting to them that they can be saved in their belief. This was what Theodore Beza said to St. Francis de Sales, when hard pressed by him on the importance of salvation: "I hope to be saved in my own religion." Unhappy hope! which only keeps them in error here, and exposes them to eternal perdition hereafter, when the error cannot be remedied, I think the danger of eternal perdition, by dying separated from the Church, should be a sufficient motive to convert every heretic.


It was this that made Henry IV forsake Calvinism, and become a Catholic. He assembled a conference of Catholics and Calvinists, and after listening for a time to their arguments, he asked the Calvinistic Doctors if it was possible a person could be saved in the Catholic faith; they answered that it was; "then, said the king, if the faith of the Roman Church secures salvation, and the Reformed faith is at least doubtful, I will take the safe side, and become a Catholic." 


All the misfortunes of unbelievers spring from too great an attachment to the things of this life. This sickness of heart weakens and darkens the understanding, and leads many to eternal ruin. If they would try to heal their hearts by purging them of their vices, they would soon receive light, which would show them the necessity of joining the Catholic Church, where alone is salvation. My dear Catholics, let us thank the Divine goodness, who, among so many infidels and heretics has given us the grace to be born and live in the bosom of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and let us take heed and not be ungrateful for so great a benefit. Let us take care and correspond to the Divine Grace, for if we should be lost (which God forbid), this very benefit of Grace conferred on us would be one of our greatest torments in hell.

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