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Message  Javier le Dim 12 Mai 2019, 7:49 am

*Nota de Javier: Comparto aquí con todos vosotros un verdadero TESORO, una JOYA INCALCULABLE, un libro que bien leído y meditado tiene el poder de santificarnos cada vez más y hacernos apreciar y estimar tal cual ciertamente se merece el valor INFINITO de LA GRACIA DIVINA, la cual es la perla preciosa de la que habla el Evangelio, y sin la cual no podemos agradar a Dios. Leedlo bien y considerad atentamente en vuestro espíritu sus santas y sabias palabras, pues Dios nos habla a través de estas líneas, y quiere que crezcamos cada vez más en Su conocimiento y amor, y tengamos así la vida eterna ya en esta vida mortal. ¡A la mayor gloria de Dios siempre!

DIVINE GRACE - A SERIES OF INSTRUCTIONS ARRANGED ACCORDING TO THE BALTIMORE CATECHISM

An Aid to Teachers and Preachers

EDITED BY
REV. EDMUND J. WIRTH, Ph.D., D.D.
Professor at St. Bernard's Seminary, Rochester, N.Y.

NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO
BENZIGER BROTHERS
PRINTERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE
1903


Nihil Obstat.
REMIGIUS LAFORT,
Censor Librorum.

Imprimatur.

+ JNO. M. FARLEY,
Archbishop of New York.

New York, June 3, 1903.


TBC....

DIVINE GRACE Holy-Trinity
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Message  Javier le Lun 13 Mai 2019, 6:27 am

PREFACE

Divine grace is the foundation of the supernatural
life, the source of all supernatural
virtues, the outpouring of the love of God
upon His creatures; it constitutes man a
son of God, and gives him a right to the
kingdom of heaven.
Of grace we may say
what Solomon said of divine wisdom, "All
good things came to me together with her,
and innumerable riches through her hands."
1

We can never understand fully the dignity
and excellence of divine grace
. Grace is
the sum and substance of the " Good News "
announced by God to men. Grace is the
fruit of the Redemption
; for this did the Son
of God become man, for this did He suffer
and die that we have grace, and through it
Redemption and salvation.
Every Christian,
the simple and the learned, the young and
the old, all should know this great " mystery
of Christ, which in other generations was
not known to the sons of men, as it is
now revealed to His holy apostles and
prophets in the spirit; that the Gentiles
should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body,
and copartners of His promise in Christ
Jesus."
2 This knowledge becomes still more
necessary in the circumstances in which we
live. Protestantism has veered from an exaggeration
of grace to a complete denial of it;
the world in which we live is materialistic and Pelagian.

The ideal proposed to the young
outside of the Catholic Church is only
too often the man who is successful
in business, the so-called self-made man.
The world is getting further and further
away from the supernatural ; only what appeals
to the senses is considered real;
the words
"miracle" and "mystery" are for many
synonymous with "myth" and "fable." The
influence of these surroundings cannot but
produce a certain amount of unconscious
Pelagianism, even in our own people
; hence
the necessity of insisting
, especially nowadays (1903)
upon the dignity, gratuitousness, and
necessity of divine grace.


TBC....

1 Wisd. 7. II.

2 Eph. 3. 4-6.
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Message  Javier le Mar 14 Mai 2019, 9:28 am

The doctrine of grace is difficult; grace
is not a thing that falls under the observation
of the senses
; it is supernatural. For
this reason many have thought that it cannot
be explained with any degree of fulness
to children ; yet the greatness of the gift of
God should not be made a reason for passing
it over in silence.
If the natural powers
of the child do not extend so far as to grasp
the sublimity of the truths of God, we must
remember that in trying to learn these truths
that same grace of God will be there to
assist them by its supernatural light. "I
confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven
and earth, because Thou hast hid these
things from the wise and prudent, and
hast revealed them to little ones."
3 With
the aid of His light
, which He denies to
the proud and gives to the humble
, they
will understand something of the mercy of
God and of His goodness
, communicated
to man through divine grace.



TBC....

3 Matt. ii. 25.
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Message  Javier le Mer 15 Mai 2019, 9:49 am

These instructions on divine grace are
intended as a help to the teacher and the
catechist in explaining the doctrine of the
Church on this most important subject. My
aim has been to give in simple language as
full an exposition of the doctrine of grace
as possible under the circumstances. All
questions not of faith and subject to discussion
within the schools have been avoided.
These instructions furnish explanations,
proofs, and illustrations of the doctrine of
the Church to the teacher, who can select
from them according to the needs and capacity
of the pupils. Pupils of academies, high
schools, and the highest grade of grammar
schools will, no doubt, be able to grasp
nearly all contained in these pages ; for
smaller children the less important points
may be passed over. The instructions are
arranged according to the questions of the
Baltimore Catechism, which is now in nearly
general use in our Catholic schools. A few
instructions have been introduced to which
no question corresponds in the catechism.
The reason for this is apparent ; the logical
connection of the doctrine required it ; these
questions are, moreover, of prime importance
,
e.g. the doctrine that God wills all men to
be saved, and hence gives to every man
sufficient grace; the doctrine of the necessity
of good works.
The insertion of these
instructions has compelled me to unite in
several cases two questions in one, since I
wished to retain the number twelve, the
number of questions in the Baltimore Catechism,
as also not to swell the book beyond proportions.
This has been done in the case of such questions
as would permit a briefer treatment, or which were again
touched upon in other parts of the catechism.

The instructions are based on a small German
treatise, Nepefny, Das Uebernatuerliche
Leben
, of which this is an adaptation. The
work of adapting it to the Baltimore Catechism
has, however, necessitated in several
cases the writing of entirely new instructions,
in others the contracting of several
into one, together with many other additions
and omissions, so that this book has
lost much of its resemblance to the original.

EDMUND J. WIRTH.

Rochester, N.Y.
Feast of Pentecost, 1903.

Javier
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Message  Javier le Ven 17 Mai 2019, 3:57 am

DIVINE GRACE

I


INTRODUCTION

Which are the chief effects of the Redemption?
The chief effects of the Redemption are two : the satisfaction
of God's justice by Christ's suffering and death,
and the gaining of grace for men.



All things have a purpose for which they
exist. The tools which we use, the things that
grow in the field, all have their usefulness.
The plants and animals exist to furnish
food and clothing for man. We have eyes to
see, ears to hear, feet to walk, hands to work.
All things have their purpose — is man
alone to be an exception to this rule ?
No, certainly not ; man, too, exists for a purpose.
What this purpose is our catechism tells us
on the very first page : God made me to know
Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this
world, and to be happy with Him forever in
the next.


This is the purpose for which we
were created. There are many people who
have given up all belief in Christianity and
lead bad lives. They say that with death all
is over, that there is no heaven or hell, that
there is no God.
They say that man is nothing
but a more highly developed animal, that
there is no essential difference between man
and the brute animals.
Of course they do not
believe this themselves
; they talk in this manner
that they may the more easily give free
rein to their evil passions, and thus live like
animals.
How could any one in his heart
believe such an absurdity! How much man
differs from an animal!
He has understanding
by which he can know truth
yes,
reach to a knowledge of God Himself.

This lifts him far above the brute, who
knows nothing but to seek its food and
bodily pleasure. Man has free will, and can
direct his own actions.
He is the lord of
creation; all other things are but to serve
him. Even one look at his body shows us
the great difference there is between him
and animals
; whilst the animal has its head
turned toward the earth
, man only touches it
with the sole of his foot
, as if to indicate that
he is not made for the earth, but that his
destiny is higher.
Man is not for the earth, but
the earth is for man. He is made to the
image and likeness of God, and his destiny
is far higher than that of the animals
. Man
is made for heaven.


TBC....

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Message  Javier le Dim 19 Mai 2019, 4:47 am

Heaven is the end of our pilgrimage here upon earth. What a sublime destiny ! We are to be eternally happy! We are made for heaven, the place of perfect happiness with God! The happiness of heaven exceeds all that we can imagine or think. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him." 1 " We see now , through a glass, in an obscure manner; but then face to face." 2 What joy and happiness to see God face to face, to see Him as He is in all His beauty! What joy and happiness to be always with God and His Blessed Mother in the company of all the angels and saints of God!

This is the happiness for which God created man; this is the happiness which man was surely to attain; but by the sin of Adam an obstacle was put in the way. God created man, and to try his fidelity He gave him a command not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree in the garden of Paradise. If he remained faithful, he was to be preserved from death, and after a time to be taken to heaven, there to be happy forever with God. We know from our Bible History what happened : the devil in the shape of a serpent tempted Eve, promising her that if they ate of the forbidden fruit, they should become like God, knowing good and evil. Eve allowed herself to be deceived and took of the fruit and ate and also gave it to Adam, and he, too, ate of it. By this act of disobedience to the law of God our first parents lost all the supernatural gifts bestowed on them by God, and they were driven from Paradise. They lost the gift of immortality, and were made subject to death; they lost heaven, which was promised them on condition that they remain obedient. The punishment was death of the body and death of the soul. They had offended God by transgressing a commandment which God had made for them. God had intended that the state of friendship with Him in which they were created, and the happiness of heaven which was to follow, were to be handed down by them to their descendants. When they lost these gifts which God had bestowed on them, they lost them not only for themselves but also for their descendants. They could not hand down that which they had lost. Through the sin of Adam and Eve we are born, not friends of God, as we should have been had they not sinned, but we are born His enemies ; we are born in sin. This sin is called original sin. The condition of man is, therefore, much worse after the fall than it was before the fall. We have not the gift of immortality, we are not born in the friendship of God ; and with the loss of the right to the inheritance of heaven our understanding is darkened, and there is left in us a strong inclination to evil.

TBC....

1 1 Cor. 2. 9.
2 1 Cor. 12. 13.

Javier
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Message  Javier le Lun 20 Mai 2019, 9:17 am

Sin is an offence against God. Justice
demands that some reparation should be
made for this offence
. When we consider
the greatness of the offence, we see that man
could not repair the injury done. The
offence was against God; He who is infinite
in all perfections was insulted by one whom
He had made out of nothing.
Just as it is
a greater fault to insult one who is far above
us than it is to insult one who is our equal
or even below us, so it was an immeasurably
great crime to insult God, who is infinitely
above man; likewise it is a greater fault
to insult one who has shown us nothing but
kindness than it is to insult a stranger to
whom we owe no gratitude ;
God had been
not merely a friend and benefactor
, but He
had given to man all that man was and
possessed.
We see from the greatness
of the guilt of sin that man was unable
to make reparation for the offence committed
against God. God took pity on the
work of His hand
, and sent His only Son
to redeem us, and thus reinstate us in His
friendship.
It was His love that prompted
Him to do this, for He "so loved the world
as to give His only begotten Son"
1 to
redeem it. The Son of God, being true God
as the Father is God, could make ample
satisfaction for the sins of the world.
This
He did by His Passion and death. Hence
our catechism gives, as the first effect of
the Redemption
, the satisfaction of God's
justice by Christ's Passion and death.


1 John 3. 16.

TBC....
Javier
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Message  Javier le Mer 22 Mai 2019, 6:59 am

The second person of the Blessed Trinity
became man, suffered and died
, not only
to satisfy God's justice,
but also to gain
grace for man.
Christ died not only to make
reparation for the insult offered to God by
sin, but also to raise man again to the state
of friendship with God, to reopen heaven
to him.
Through sin heaven, for which
man had been created, was closed to him;
Christ came to obtain for man that which
was necessary that he might again be made
worthy of that inexpressible happiness which
comes from the possession of God Himself
for all eternity. Through the merits of the
suffering and death of Jesus Christ we are
again called to the inheritance of the kingdom
of heaven.


What must we do in order that we may
reach heaven?
is the all-important question
for us. God wills us to reach heaven
because He is our Father; He has made
heaven for us and wants us, His children,
to be with Him for all eternity. When
we had lost our right to heaven through
sin, God's only begotten Son became man
to regain it for us. If God wills us to
obtain the possession of heaven
, we can
obtain it.
Still, heaven is not to be given
us without our doing something to earn it.

Heaven is to be a reward. St. Paul compares
heaven to a crown that is given to
the victor in a race.1 Our Lord says, " The
kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and
the violent bear it away."
2

TBC....

1 1 Cor. 9. 24.
2 Matt. 11. 12.

Javier
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Message  Javier le Ven 24 Mai 2019, 6:14 am

There is then something to be done on
our part that we may receive the reward
of eternal happiness. What is this ? To be
saved we must believe in God, and keep His
commandments.
First we must believe in
Him; we must believe all that He has
made known and proposes for our belief
through the holy Catholic Church.
This
is the first requisite.
"Without faith it is
impossible to please God."
1
"He that believeth not shall be condemned." 2
One who refuses to believe the truths which
God Himself has revealed insults God.
Such a one will not go to heaven, but will
be punished forever in hell.
We will therefore
always believe all that God has revealed
and teaches us through His holy Church,
for God is all truth and cannot deceive us ;
He is all-knowing and cannot err. We will
therefore always be good, faithful Christians,
clinging to the faith of the holy Catholic
Church.
In this faith we will live, and in
this faith we hope to die.


TBC....

1 Heb. 11. 6.
2 Mark 16. 16.

Javier
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Message  Javier le Sam 25 Mai 2019, 7:11 am

The second condition which we must fulfil in order to be saved is to keep the commandments of God. "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." 1 If we wish to go to heaven, it is not enough to believe ; we must also keep the commandments which God has made for us. We cannot reasonably expect that God will make us eternally happy, merely because we believe what He says, if we refuse to do what He commands us. To be saved we must do His holy will, we must be obedient to Him, we must keep His commandments. Our catechism teaches us this in the question : "Is it enough to belong to God's Church in order to be saved? It is not enough to belong to God's Church in order to be saved, but we must also keep the commandments of God and of the Church." We belong to the Church through faith; this is not enough, we must also obey God by keeping the commandments which He has given us, and those which the Church makes by His authority. We will therefore be good Catholics, believing all that God teaches through the Church, and obeying cheerfully His holy will, as we know it
through His commandments.

TBC...

1 Matt. 19. 17.
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Message  Javier le Dim 26 Mai 2019, 4:26 am

Can we believe and keep the commandments
of God? This most important question
may be answered in two ways. We
may answer, Yes; with the help of God, we
can believe and keep His commandments;
or, we may answer, No ; of our own strength
we can do nothing to deserve the kingdom
of heaven. Both answers, though at first
sight opposite, are true. With God's help
we can do all things.
"I can do all things
in Him that strengtheneth me."
1 Without
that help of God we can do nothing.

"Without Me," says our Lord, "you can do nothing." 2
All therefore depends on the help
of God
; if we have Him with us, all things
become easy to us
. This help of God,
which is_so necessary to believe and to keep
the commandments of God, and hence to be
saved, we call
Divine Grace. If we rely on
our own strength, we shall not be able to
comply with the conditions which our Lord
has laid down for salvation ;
if, however, we
rely upon the help of God, that is, upon
His grace, then we shall be able to believe
and obey in a manner worthy of eternal life.


TBC....

1 Philip. 4. 13.
2 John 15. 5


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Message  Javier le Mar 28 Mai 2019, 1:48 pm

You may often have experienced this
yourselves. Perhaps you had some evil habit,
lying, disobedience, or cursing and at
confession you were really sorry for your
fault ; you promised God faithfully to amend
and to do better for the future, but after a
few days you fell back into your old sin,
and were perhaps even worse than before
confession.
What was the reason of this ?
You were sincere when you promised to
avoid this sin, but you depended on your
own strength, and neglected to pray for the
help of God.
The consequence was that
your strength failed you, and you fell back
into your old ways.
Had you prayed, instead
of depending on yourself
, and said: O my
God, I recognize my fault, and wish to
avoid sin for the future ; but of myself I
am weak and miserable. Give me the help
of your holy grace, strengthen my will, help
me, save me.
Had you prayed in this
manner, instead of trusting in yourself, you
would have overcome your fault, or, at least,
you would have improved remarkably and
not fallen so frequently.
God often permits
one who trusts in himself to fall into sin
that he may learn his own weakness and
so acquire humility.
"God resisteth the
proud and giveth grace to the humble."
1
God assists them that trust in Him, and
confounds them that are self-sufficient and
act as though they did not need His grace
to avoid sin.
Hence the Psalmist sings,
"O God, come to my assistance ; O Lord, .
make haste to help me."
2

TBC....

1 James 4. 6
2 Psalm 69. 1

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Message  Javier le Ven 31 Mai 2019, 1:16 pm

Grace is therefore necessary to believe and
to keep the commandments. To obtain this
grace for us Jesus suffered and died. His
Passion and death satisfied the justice of
God for the sins committed against Him,
and hence St. John the Baptist calls Him
the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of
the world.
3

His Passion and death merited
for us grace so that we might again be able
to enter the happiness of heaven.
"Neither
is there salvation in any other. For there
is no other name under heaven given to
men whereby we must be saved."
1 He, Himself,
tells us that no man can come to the
Father except through Him. Without the
grace of God we cannot be saved; this
grace which is so necessary for our salvation
comes to us from Jesus, who merited it by
His Passion and death. Jesus is called on
this account the second Adam. Just as we
have all fallen in the first Adam, and are
descended from him as sinners, so we must
be freed from sin and descend from the
second Adam as saints.
We will, therefore,
earnestly pray for the help of God's grace
;
we will not trust in our own strength, but
rather put our trust in God.


TBC....

3 John I. 29.
1 Acts 4. 12

Javier
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Message  Javier le Sam 01 Juin 2019, 4:24 am

We answered the question whether we
could believe and keep the commandments
by saying that, although of ourselves we are
unable to do anything, we could believe and
keep the commandments of God with His
help. This answer shows us that grace is
necessary
, but it also shows us that grace
alone will not make us believe and keep the
commandments
, since we say that with the
help of His grace we can believe and keep
the commandments.
We, too, must do something;
God helps us, true, yet He does not
want us to stand by idle ; but rather to work
with His grace in believing and doing what
is good.
 St. Paul says, "I can do all things
in Him that strengtheneth me."
God's help
will not be wanting if only we have the
good will to use His grace and perform
good works.
God has given us free will
because He desires a free service: He
wishes us to serve Him out of love
- not
because we are compelled to serve Him, and
cannot avoid doing so.
In this way the sun,
moon, and stars, the animals and plants,
serve Him. "The heavens show forth the
glory of God, and the firmament declareth
the work of His hands."
1 Man, however, is
to serve God as a rational creature ; he is
to serve Him by submitting his intellect to
faith and his will to obedience.


TBC....

1 Psalm 18. I.

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Message  Javier le Dim 02 Juin 2019, 5:07 am

We have seen that we are created for
heaven, and that after heaven was lost by
sin, Christ, the second person of the Blessed
Trinity became man, and by His death
atoned, i.e. made satisfaction, for sin; that
through the Passion and death of Jesus
Christ heaven was again opened to man,
and grace, necessary to obtain the possession
of heaven, was given us. In the tenth
lesson of the catechism, which we are
about to study, we shall learn what grace is,
how many kinds of grace there are, and
how necessary it is for salvation
. We will
endeavor to be very attentive, so that we
may understand rightly the teaching of the
Church on this most important subject. "O
merciful Lord, incline Thine ears to our
prayers, and enlighten our hearts by the
grace of Thy Holy Spirit; that we may
worthily receive Thy holy mysteries, and
love Thee with an everlasting love."


TBC....
Javier
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Message  Javier le Lun 03 Juin 2019, 8:41 am

II - NATURE AND DIVISION OF GRACE

NATURE OF GRACE

What do you mean by grace ?
By grace I mean a supernatural gift of God bestowed
on us, through the merits of Jesus Christ, for our salvation.




If we meet a great man who is above us
in social position, one to whom we look up
and whom we honor, and he receives us
kindly, speaks to us, gives us some valuable
present, we say of him that he is very kind
and gracious. Grace can signify kindness,
but it may also be taken to signify a present
or gift by which we recognize the kindness
of the giver. In this second sense it is used
in our catechism. Grace is, therefore, a present
or a gift which we receive from One who
is higher than we are.
A gift is something
that we receive without having earned or
deserved it
. If we work for a man for a
certain sum of money, and he gives us this
money at the end of the time we worked for
him, we do not receive a gift — we receive
our wages. Because a man pays us our
wages we do not need to consider him as
especially kind and gracious. If, however,
someone gives us something which we have
not worked for and which consequently we
did not earn, then we receive a gift.
Grace
is not wages, but a gift.


TBC....
Javier
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Message  Javier le Ven 07 Juin 2019, 1:54 pm

Grace is a supernatural gift. A gift such
as we described above is a merely natural
gift. The catechism says that grace is a
supernatural one. What does this mean ?
Let us illustrate by a few examples. Someone
is sick, and God gives him back his
health ; or a boy has received special talents,
quickness of understanding, a good memory,
so that he learns quickly and retains easily
what he has learned ; or we might take the
example of Solomon who received extraordinary
wisdom. All these things are gifts of
God, but they are not supernatural gifts.
They confer only what one might have by
nature, or they strengthen the natural powers
of the soul or body. Health is something
natural, so is understanding and memory, so
also is wisdom.
Grace is something higher
than these things;
it has to do with our
eternal salvation.
It is a gift which is to
help us reach heaven and be eternally happy;
it is a gift which is to help us reach the end
for which we were created ; it is a gift which
does not belong to this world but to the
next;
it is a gift which brings us to God.

When Solomon received from God great
wisdom he obtained a natural gift, because
he might have been the wisest of men and
yet not obey the commandments of God and
so lose heaven. When, however, a boy recites
a prayer before confession, and asks
God to give him true sorrow for his sins and
the help to avoid them for the future,
then
he prays for a supernatural gift.
Likewise
we pray for a supernatural gift when we say,
"Jesus, have mercy on us," because then we
ask for the mercy which is necessary for
the forgiveness of our sins
. When Solomon
received wisdom, it was the wisdom to rule
his people well. This was only a natural
gift, intended for his own temporal welfare
and that of the Jewish people. On the contrary,
when we read in the Sacred Scriptures
the words of Solomon, "And as I knew that I
could not otherwise be continent, except God
gave it, and this was also a point of wisdom,
to know whose gift it was; I went to the
Lord, and besought Him, and said, with my
whole heart, etc,"
1 we see that
here he asked for a supernatural gift, since continence
consists in overcoming nature.
It was also a
supernatural grace to know that it was a gift
of God, and that we must pray for it. The
gift of God which we call grace is not a
natural but a supernatural one, that is, it
is a gift which helps us to obtain eternal
salvation.

1 Wisd. 8. 21.

TBC....

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Message  Javier le Sam 08 Juin 2019, 12:46 pm

The supernatural gift of grace is given us
through the merits of Jesus Christ.
In the beginning
God created man for eternal happiness in heaven,
and gave him all the grace necessary to reach this end.

Man, however, did not remain faithful but sinned, and so
lost the supernatural gift he had received. By this sin
Adam brought misery on himself and on his descendants.

No one could have obtained grace for himself or for others,
had not a Redeemer been promised and sent by God.
This Redeemer was the only-begotten Son of God the Father.
All grace given to man before His coming was given
because God had promised to send Him, and
foreknew that by His suffering and death
He would obtain for mankind
a superabundance of grace.
The Son of God became man, and shed His blood for the redemption
of the world; His blood "that speaketh better than Abel" 1
washed out the sins of the world and merited grace for men.
Abel's blood cried to heaven for vengeance, but the
blood of Jesus cries to heaven for forgiveness and grace.

Grace is bestowed on man on account of
the merits of Jesus Christ ; but it does not
cease to be grace because God is moved to
grant it to us through the merits of His Divine Son.

It still remains undeserved on our part, as well as a gift of
mercy on the part of God
, because even His
Son was a gift of His mercy.
Love does
not destroy God's freedom in giving us His
grace
, for God is all-free and "God is love." 2

1 Heb. 12. 24.
2 I John 4. 16


TBC...

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Message  Javier le Ven 14 Juin 2019, 12:53 pm

The supernatural gift of grace, bestowed
on us through the merits of Jesus Christ, is
given us for our salvation. God made us
for heaven; He wishes us to be forever
happy with Him.
This is the reason why
He gives us His holy grace.
By grace He
acts continually on our souls, giving us the
light of His truth, that we may believe firmly
all that He has revealed, moving our will, that
we may avoid sin and do good.

If we are faithful to Him, He will lead us through
life and crown us with the crown of glory.
This is the purpose of grace and its perfection.

Heaven seems far off ; how can we
reach it? Of our own strength we can
never obtain it, but by God's grace its
possession will be easy. "No man can come
to Me, except the Father, who hath sent
Me, draw him."
1 Let us rejoice to know
that God has not only made us for heaven
,
but also gives us the means of reaching it.
He, as it were, says to us : I have prepared
unspeakable joys for you in heaven; take
courage. I Myself will help to obtain them
if only you do not resist Me. I will give
you the necessary strength by My grace.

"My grace is sufficient for thee." 2

TBC...

1 John 6. 44.
2 2 Cor. 12. 9.

Javier
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Message  Javier le Sam 15 Juin 2019, 8:59 am

Grace is given us to obtain eternal life ; it
is therefore most valuable. Grace, says St.
Thomas
, 3 is more valuable than the whole
world with all that it contains.
St. Augustine
affirms that even heaven and all the
choirs of angels cannot be compared with
grace.
Man ought to be more thankful to
God for the smallest gift of divine grace
than if he had received the perfection of the
highest angels and had been made king of
heaven and earth
. The angels, too, enjoy the
grace of God, and hence St. Augustine is
speaking only of the natural perfections of
the angels. Grace is a ray of the beauty of
God that falls on our souls to make them
also beautiful.
Since grace makes us worthy
of the love and possession of God Himself
,
it cannot be understood by us entirely; its
value cannot be measured by anything
created;
it can only be compared to God.

TBC...

Sum. Theol. I—II, qu. 113, a. 9 ad 2.

DIVINE GRACE Aquinasbotticelli Grace, says St.
Thomas
, is more valuable than the whole world with all that it contains.

Javier
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Message  Javier le Ven 21 Juin 2019, 5:37 am

The angels in heaven cannot appreciate fully
the value of grace
; they stand and adore
the mercy of God, who communicates Himself to
His creatures.
I fear, however, that they also stand
and wonder at the incomprehensible folly of man,
who so lightly casts aside that precious gift for a piece of
dirt in the shape of money or some vile pleasure of
the senses. The angels must weep at seeing
us, who are called to the highest honor and
the greatest happiness in heaven, rushing
headlong into misery and sin, exposing ourselves
to the danger of being cast forever
into hell with the devil and his followers.

Indeed, the prophet spoke the truth when he
said, "With desolation is all the land made
desolate, because there is none that considereth in his heart."
1
If we considered the value of divine grace,
that grace alone can bring us to the end for which we were created, that it
alone can bring us the everlasting happiness
of heaven, would we care so little for it and
cast it aside so readily ? Assuredly not.



1 Jer. 12. 11.

TBC...
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Message  Javier le Sam 22 Juin 2019, 10:12 am

Grace is compared by St. Augustine to
the soul. Matter in itself is dead, and can
never of itself become living
; it requires a
soul to put life and motion into the dead
clay:
man, too, of himself is dead for heaven,
and can no more of his own strength gain
heaven than a piece of lifeless clay can of
itself stand up and walk.
God Himself
cannot create a creature for which grace
should be a natural perfection, just as He
cannot create matter which can think without
having a soul. As the soul is the cause
of natural life, so grace is the cause of the
life of heaven.
The earth receives its light
from the sun, and if the sun should cease to
give light, the earth would be in darkness ;
so our soul is but like the earth, and grace is
the sun that illumines it and gives it all the
beauty that it possesses in the eyes of God.

Grace makes the poor man richer than the
greatest king ;
a man who has the grace of
God has a greater treasure than he who
possesses all the wealth of the earth.


TBC...

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Message  Javier le Dim 23 Juin 2019, 4:39 am

We should be very grateful to God for
the gift of His holy grace.
We thank Him
that He has created us out of nothing, and
has placed us above all His works.
How
much greater gratitude do we not owe
Him for the still greater gift of grace?

We should never for a moment forget the
greatness of this gift of God, lest we become
like those men in the gospel who
were invited to a banquet, but neglected to
come for the sake of some little gain or
pleasure. Of them our Lord said that they
were not worthy of the banquet.
We will
always keep before our mind the inestimable
value of divine grace
, that it is more
valuable than all the things of this earth
or even all that the angels possess, apart from
grace, that it is given us to make us forever
happy, that without it we cannot reach the
end for which God created us, that its perfection
is in the glory of heaven.
With this
before our mind we will not be so foolish as
to imitate the guests invited to the banquet,
of whom our Lord said that they were not
worthy of it because they did not appreciate
the goodness of the host who invited them.

We will not forfeit the heavenly banquet for
some worldly consideration or some passing
pleasure.


COMING NEXT... DIVISION OF GRACE

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"We will not forfeit the heavenly banquet for some worldly consideration or some passing pleasure."
Javier
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Message  Javier le Ven 28 Juin 2019, 5:07 am

DIVISION OF GRACE

How many kinds of grace are there ?
There are two kinds of grace, sanctifying grace and
actual grace.



By grace, as we have seen, we understand
a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us
through the merits of Jesus Christ for our
salvation. Grace, strictly speaking, is only
one, as God who gives it is one, and as Jesus
who merited it is one, but we give it different
names according to the different purposes
for which it is given to us.

Grace is given us to work out our salvation ;
every help that God gives us for this purpose
is called divine grace.
These helps are
especially of two kinds ; God gives us grace
either to be good or to do good. The grace
which God gives us to make us good and
holy in His eyes is called
sanctifying grace.
Sanctifying grace is something that God
puts into our souls to remain there, and
which makes them holy and pleasing to
Him; it is a supernatural beauty.
The
grace which God gives us to perform good
actions, to do good, is called
actual grace.

Actual grace is a supernatural help which
God gives us to turn away from sin, to
pray well, to repent of our sins, to give
alms, to perform our duties properly, etc.

Actual grace does not remain in the soul
as sanctifying grace does;
it is given us
to help us perform some good act; hence
with the performance of the act the grace
also passes away.
Let us see this by an
example: we are going to Mass on Sunday
morning, and some boy meets us and tries
to induce us to stay away from Mass in
order to make some little excursion out into
the woods. Our conscience tells us that
we must hear Mass on Sunday, that it is
a mortal sin to neglect to go to Mass on
Sunday, when we are able to do so.
On
the other hand, it is a fine morning, and
the temptation to stay from Mass and take
a walk instead is great.
The voice of
conscience, warning us not to sin, is from
the influence of the grace of God; God
put this good thought into our minds that
we might resist the temptation and resolve
to go to Mass.
Once we have, under the
influence of divine grace, made the good
resolution, and have by the help of this
same grace carried it out, the good work
is finished and there is no more need of
grace for this particular good work. Actual
grace was necessary for the performance of
the good work, but when the work was
done actual grace also ceased.

Actual grace is, therefore, as you understand now,
a help of God to perform some good act,
whether that good act be to resist temptation,
to avoid sin, or whether it be some
positively good act, such as to hear Mass,
to say our morning and evening prayers, to
say grace before and after meals, to make
a good confession, to forgive someone who
has injured us, etc.
Because this grace is
given us to help us to do good acts, we
call it actual grace.

TBC...

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Message  Javier le Sam 29 Juin 2019, 8:09 am

Sanctifying grace, on the other hand,
is given us not to do good, but to make us
good and holy in the sight of God. It is a
supernatural gift that God puts into our
souls, which makes them pleasing to Him.


Sanctifying grace remains in the soul. It
changes the soul into a temple of the Holy
Ghost and makes it beautiful, giving it a new
life, the life of the love of God.
This grace
remains in the soul until it is driven out by
mortal sin.
Sanctifying grace raises us above
our nature ; it makes us children of God, and
being children of God we become heirs of
heaven. Sanctifying grace makes us partake
of the divine nature itself.
As long as
we have in our souls sanctifying grace, so
long are we friends of God and certain
of the possession of the kingdom of heaven.
As long as this treasure is ours, so long we
possess the love of God ; and if God is our
friend and is with us, whom shall we fear?


Sanctifying grace is the greatest gift that
God can give us, since it insures us the
possession of God Himself.


TBC...

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