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Post by Yidda on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:31 am


Grace can be divided into two types: ~ qoute from St Tomas Aquinas

a) sanctifying grace also called habitual grace or salvific grace

"whereby man himself is united to God, and this is called sanctifying grace"

"a participation of the Divine Nature, according to 2 Peter 1:4"

Sanctifying grace is not uncreated, for only God is uncreated. Sanctifying grace is not the Holy Spirit, or the Trinity, or the Divine Nature, but rather an effect in the soul directly caused by God. Sanctifying grace is a created quality, and effect created in the soul by the action of God. Sanctifying grace is a divine quality which becomes inherent to the soul by the direct power of God. This quality
continually orders the soul, and thereby the whole person, toward God as our final end and highest good, and in this way unites the person to God.

b) actual grace

Actual grace is God's assistance in particular acts, so that we may act with God as our final end and highest good.

"a movement of the soul"

"a Divine help, whereby God moves us to will and to act"

Comparing the two:

"sanctifying grace ordains a man immediately to a union with his last end,

whereas gratuitous grace (i.e. actual grace) ordains a man to what is preparatory to the end;"

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Re: Grace

Post by Yidda on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:48 am

Sanctifying grace and actual grace are each divided into two sub-types:

a. operating grace

b. cooperating grace

Operating grace is God's grace prior to any choice by our free will, prior to any meritorious act on our part. Operating grace was merited for us by Christ on the Cross; we do not merit operating grace.

Suppose that you pray for grace, and in response, God grants you grace. Before you prayed, God gave you grace to say that prayer. This "prevenient"(arriving first) grace "goes before" any cooperation with grace by us. Any good act in which we cooperate with grace was always without exception preceded by "operating grace"---by God acting first in a free and undeserved, unearned, gift of grace. Operating grace is also called "prevenient" grace, because it occurs first.

Cooperating grace is subsequent to operating grace, and is therefore also called "subsequent grace". Only after God first acts to give you a free gift of grace, are you then able, with free will, to cooperate with subsequent graces.Your cooperation with these subsequent (cooperating) graces is meritorious. But the initial gift of prevenient (operating) grace is undeserved and involves no merit, nor any act at all, on your part.

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Re: Grace

Post by fredms3 on Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:17 pm

Actual grace as i understand it , is the grace that makes a sinner realize his sinfulness before God.


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Re: Grace

Post by Yidda on Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:28 pm

fredms3 wrote:Actual grace as i understand it , is the grace that makes a sinner realize his sinfulness before God.
Yes, fred that is correct.

In addition to the previous post;.Sanctifying grace is not merited, therefore baptism may be given even to infants. The salvation that we receive from the Cross was merited by Christ, not by us. So salvation is a free gift offered to us all without any prior merit on our part.

Once we have sanctifying grace, we receive actual grace before, during, and after all our good works. Actual grace is to some extent not merited, in as much as we cannot merit grace by some act apart from grace -- grace is first and so must be unmerited in that case. But as we cooperate with grace we merit an increase in actual grace; and this is a dogma of the Catholic Faith:

TRENT, CANON XXXII. If any one saith, that the good works of one that is justified are in such manner the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said justified, by the good works which he performs through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life,--if so be, however, that he depart in grace,--and also an increase of glory; let him be anathema.

An increase of grace, eternal life and its attainment, are merited by our cooperation with grace after we have received salvific grace, that is, sanctifying grace.So sanctifying grace is unmerited, which explains why the Virgin Mary could be saved in the first moment of her conception, obviously before she had done anything that would merit sanctifying grace.

But actual grace is to one extent unmerited, since grace must precede any good act of cooperation
with grace, which explains how persons in a state of actual mortal sin can receive the grace to repent, and to another extent it is merited, so that as we cooperate of our own free will with grace, we merit additional graces. And so the Saints could earn a greater level of holiness and a higher reward in heaven, merited but in addition to what is a free gift and not merited.

Good works are an exercise of free will and intellect in cooperation with grace.
Good works do merit additional graces and eternal life.

Grace is an effect in the soul directly from the Divine Nature. Grace does not exist on its own; it is like white on rice, it is a quality of created things and not a created thing itself. Sanctifying grace is identical to love, faith, hope, the infused theological virtues.

There is habitual grace, i.e. sanctifying grace, which is a free gift.
Then there is actual grace, which is initially a free gift, and which is continually offered to everyone, even to those in a state of actual mortal sin. His discretion is to offer grace continually to all souls in this life at all times. But as we cooperate with actual grace, we merit additional graces.

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