Choose a topic from Part 2A:

112. The Cause of Grace

1. Only God can make a man a sharer in the divine nature.Only God can bestow the gift of God. Now, grace is "aparticipation in the divine nature"; grace is a gift of God.Hence, God alone is the true cause of grace.

2. Grace which helps move us to good, in being or action,is all from God, and not in any way from ourselves. Even thepreparation or disposition for grace is entirely from God. Byaccepting cooperating grace, we enter into the disposition whichprepares us for the receiving of sanctifying or habitual grace.

3. In so far as the human will can thus (by acceptingcooperating grace and using it) make preparation for grace, it canset up no necessity or demand that grace should actually followupon the preparation. For no merely human preparation canadequately and compellingly dispose the soul for supernaturalgifts. But in so far as man's preparation is from God, gracefollows it infallibly.

4. Sanctifying grace is a greater or lesser gift (not initself, for in itself it admits of no degrees), according to thecapacity and readiness of the receiver. Yet, since God alone caneffectively dispose the soul to receive grace, it is God who istruly "the measure of grace." St. Paul (Eph. 4:7) says,"To every one of us is given grace according to the measure ofthe giving of Christ."

5. Man cannot know for certain that he has the grace ofGod unless God reveal the fact to him. Merely natural knowledgecannot give certitude of a supernatural fact or experience. But manmay have an imperfect knowledge of the fact that he has grace; thatis, he may havejustified conjectural knowledge, based onsigns, such as delight in the thought of God, a contempt for merelymaterial and worldly goods, and the fact that he is not consciousof mortal sin.

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

* * *

"The name of Jesus, pronounced with reverence and affection, has a kind of power to soften the heart. "
St Philip Neri

* * *

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

* * *