Choose a topic from Part 3a:

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.

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

* * *

"Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God."
Thomas á Kempis

* * *

"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."
Thomas á Kempis

* * *