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62. Grace: Chief Effect of the Sacraments

1. The sacraments of the New Law produce grace. For thesacraments incorporate man with Christ, make man a member ofChrist; and such incorporation is effected only by grace. Theprincipal cause of grace is God; the sacraments areinstituted to be instrumental causes of God'sgrace.

2. Grace perfects the essence of the soul; fromgrace, gifts and virtues flow into the soul's powers.To these normal effects of grace in the soul, and in the powers ofthe soul, each sacrament adds a special perfection of its own; thisis the respective sacramental grace of each sacrament.Sacramental grace is a special divine aid bestowed on the soul by asacrament, and meant to help that soul attain the precise end forwhich the sacrament is instituted.

3. Grace is in the sacraments of the New Law as atransient instrumental power.

4. The sacraments are instrumental causes of grace;therefore, they possess an instrumental power for bringing aboutthe effects of grace.

5. The sacraments of the New Law derive their powerespecially from the Passion of Christ; the virtue of the Passion isin some manner communicated to the receiver of a sacrament.

6. The sacraments of the Old Law could not of themselvesconfer sanctifying grace; they could only signify the faith bywhich men are justified, that is, set in the state of sanctifyinggrace.

"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Obedience is a short cut to perfection."
St Philip Neri

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