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7. The Grace of Christ as a Man

1. That the human soul of Christ had sanctifying grace, iscertain. For: (a) this soul was in union with the Word of God; (b)this soul was dignified above all human souls, and was to know andlove God more perfectly than any other; for such operationssanctifying or habitual grace is necessary; (c) the grace of thissoul was to overflow upon others, according to scripture (John1:10): "Of his fullness we have all received, and grace forgrace."

2. Grace touches the essence of the soul; virtue belongsto the powers of the soul. As powers flow from essence, so virtuesflowfrom grace. From the most perfect grace of Christ'shuman soul the virtues flowed most perfectly. Thus, Christ had allthe virtues in his human soul.

3. Christ as man, from the first moment of his conception,beheld fully the very essence of God. There was, therefore, neitherneed nor possibility of faith in our Lord. For faith is ofdivine things unseen, and Christ saw all divine thingsperfectly.

4. From the beginning of Christ's human existence, hewas in full possession and enjoyment of God, and this is the objectof hope. Hence, there was neither need nor possibility of thetheological virtue of hope in Christ as man. Of course,our Lord could look forward humanly to the future events of hishuman life: his Resurrection, for instance, and his Ascension.

5. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are perfections of thesoul's powers, which make these powers respond readily andconsistently to the inspirations of God. All the gifts were mostexcellently present in the human soul of Christ.

6. Even the gift of fear was there, but it was neither thefear of God's punishments for sin, nor the fear of offendingGod by sinning. It was the deep reverence for God in the perfecthuman soul of Christ.

7. The gratuitous graces (such as miracles, prophecy,tongues) which are given to a man for the conversion andsanctification of others, rather than for his own sanctification,were all in Christ in the most perfect degree. Christ came toredeem us, but also to teach us essential divine truth;gratuitous graces are such a teacher's credentials, and theyconfirm his teaching. All the gratuitous graces exist mostperfectly in the most perfect teacher of divine truth.

8. A prophecy is the certain proclaiming of a future ordistant event; the prophet who proclaims the event must be one ofthe race to whom he speaks. Now, Christ is true man, and what heknows as man the comprehensor (that is, as one who beholds thebeatific vision) he proclaims as man the wayfarer (that is, as oneyet living in this world). Hence, in Christ is the gift ofprophecy.

9. In Christ as man there is the fullness of grace inintensity because of his substantial union with the source ofall grace. In Christ as man there is also the fullness of gracein power, for from him grace flows out to all others whoreceive it, and extends in them to its proper effects, such asvirtues and gifts.

10. Among rational creatures, Christ alone (as man) hasthe perfect fullness of grace, in the sense that he possesses gracein its greatest excellence, its complete extent, and all theexcellences of its effects. The Blessed Mother is called"full of grace" (Luke 1:28), and St. Stephen, the firstmartyr, had fullness of grace (Acts 6:8). Now, the fullness ofgrace in all rational creatures except Christ is fullness accordingto capacity to receive and possess; it is fullness inreceivers; the first and greatest of receivers, in thecapacity for grace and the full dower of grace, is the Mother ofGod. But in Christ the fullness of grace is on the part ofgrace itself. Others with fullness of grace have all the gracethey can receive; Christ has all the grace thatcan be received.

11. The grace of God in a human soul is a creature of God,and therefore is not infinite. Even the grace in Christ's humansoul is not infinite, for that human soul is a creature, and graceitself is a creature. Of course, the grace of union isinfinite, but this grace is the divine Person subsisting with twonatures. We are speaking here of the humanity of Christ, and of hishuman soul with its grace; we are not speaking of the grace ofunion.

12. Since the fullness of grace itself is in the humansoul of Christ, this grace cannot be increased. The end of grace isthe uniting of a rational creature with God; Christ as man is arational creature always perfectly united with God; he, therefore,can have no accession of grace to give him what he alreadypossesses.

13. The habitual or sanctifying grace in the human soul ofChrist follows the union effected by God's assuming of humannature. This is our way of understanding the matter: first, theunion; then, grace in Christ's human soul. But this is no caseof before and after, in the sense of time. The sanctifyinggrace of Christ's human soul follows the union as light followsthe sun; there is no interval of time between the appearance of thesun and the luminosity of the sun.

"Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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