DIVINE GRACE (in English)

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#81 Message par InHocSignoVinces » ven. 08 mai 2020 16:53

Hope has been the power that
sustained all true Christians,
and led them to lead good and pious lives.
Without hope in God and in the reward
promised to them that love Him, they would
not have withstood the temptations and dangers
of the world. It was on account of this
that they lived good Christian lives.

"We should live soberly, and justly and godly in
this world, looking for the blessed hope"
was
the exhortation of St. Paul to Titus.1 Hope
will also be our strength in the time of trial
and temptation; then we too, like St. Paul,
shall be consoled in the thought, "that the
sufferings of this time are not worthy to
be compared with the glory to come, that
shall be revealed in us."
2


1 Titus 2. 12, 13.
2 Rom. 8. 18.



Coming up... ON DIVINE CHARITY

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#82 Message par InHocSignoVinces » mar. 12 mai 2020 20:14

ON DIVINE CHARITY

What is charity ?
Charity is a divine virtue by which we love God above
all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves
for the love of God.



Charity is a divine virtue; it comes from
God. Charity is not a natural but a super-
natural love of God.
By reason of our
natural powers we can love God as our
creator and our last end; but this love is
infinitely below the love of God which comes
through the virtue of charity. It differs as
the love of a servant differs from that of a
son. A servant may love his master, but he
will not dare, like the child, to run up to him
and embrace him ; he loves him, so to speak,
from a distance,
whereas the child is closely
united to the father and feels happy in his
embrace.
By our natural reason we know
God to exist, and we know that He has
created us. On account of this we are
entirely His, we belong to Him, we are His
slaves, since we owe our being to Him. By
faith we know that from slaves He has made
us sons and heirs. Likewise by our natural
powers we can and should love Him as our
master;
by the virtue of divine charity we
love Him as our Father.
This love of God
differs from the natural love which we can
have for God as much as heaven differs from
earth, or as God, whose gift charity is, differs
from man. Charity, like faith and hope, is
infused into the soul as a free gift of God ;
it is undeserved. No work of a creature can
merit the gift of divine charity.
"The
charity of God is poured forth in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us."
1


1 Rom. 5. 5.


To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#83 Message par InHocSignoVinces » sam. 16 mai 2020 19:11

By the divine virtue of charity we love God
above all other objects because He is all-good
in Himself and worthy of our love.
Goodness
and excellence move us to love. God
is all-perfect, He is all-good, He is all-beautiful,
He is to be our happiness for eternity.
These perfections of God we know through
divine faith; through faith we know the
supernatural goodness of God toward us.

God's goodness known supernaturally is,
therefore, the object of divine charity or love.

Charity inclines our hearts to love God
above all other things so that we are prepared
rather to lose all than to be separated
from God, the highest good.
The love of
God will make us detest sin because sin is
opposed to God ; it will make us do the will
of God and keep His commandments.
"If
any man love Me he will keep My commandments,"

said Our Lord.



To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#84 Message par InHocSignoVinces » mer. 20 mai 2020 13:46

One of the most powerful means to arouse
in us the love of God is to consider His
mercy and goodness toward us. He has
called us to be His children, and gives us
continually the supernatural help of grace
to make ourselves worthy sons of God.
When man had sinned and was entirely
helpless to rise of himself from sin, God sent
His only-begotten Son to become man and
redeem us from sin and death. "God so
loved the world as to give His only-begotten
Son: . . . that the world may be saved by
Him."
1 If He has loved us so much, should
we not also love Him ? St. Augustine says
that if we were slow to love God, we should
at least now not be slow to love Him in
return. Charity will move us to love God
on account of His infinite perfections, and
among these His mercy toward us appeals
most strongly to our hearts. His love
toward us leads us to gratitude, and from
gratitude we easily proceed to love. This
motive St. Paul proposes to us when he
says, "The charity of God presseth us . . .
Christ died for all, that they also who live,
may not now live to themselves but unto
Him who died for them and rose again."
2


Jesus is God, and if we love Jesus, we
love God. We can therefore be moved to
divine love most effectually in considering
God in Jesus, the God-Man. That men
might be more effectually moved to love
God, "The goodness and kindness of God
our Saviour appeared: not by the works of
justice which we have done, but according
to His mercy, He saved us."
3 How easy
God has made charity, which is the first and
highest command, in letting us contemplate
the goodness of God in the Child laid for our
sake in the crib of Bethlehem ; in Our Lord's
going about instructing the people and
healing the sick, for our sake carrying the
heavy cross and dying upon it !
Such love
cannot but arouse our love in return.



1 John 3. 16, 17.
2 2 Cor. 5. 14, 15.
3 Titus 3. 4, 5.



To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#85 Message par InHocSignoVinces » mer. 27 mai 2020 14:03

The love of God must be above the love of
all other things.
God is most perfect, and the
perfections of all other things are from Him.
He is our last end ; all other things are given
us only as means to reach this end.
This
requires that we value God above all created
things.
It may happen that because we do
not see God, and created things are present
to us, that we seem to love them more intensely;
thus we might be tempted to think
that we love our parents more than God.
Intensity is not required for the love of God
above all things. A man who is suffering
greatly from thirst may desire a drink of
water with more intensity than he desires a
large sum of money, and still he may not
wish to give that sum of money for a drink
of water. He still values the sum of money
more than a glass of water ; so, also, we may
love some person more intensely than God,

and yet not be ready to offend God to please
that person.
If this is the case, we love God
more than that person ; we are ready to lose
that person rather than lose God by offending
Him by sin.
Our love of God shows
itself in the observance of the commandments
and the avoidance of sin.
When we
keep the commandments and avoid sin, we
prefer God and His holy will to all the
pleasures of creatures; we prefer Him to
possessing things which we cannot obtain
without offending Him; we prefer God to
unlawful pleasure; we prefer God to our
own will and inclinations.
This is to love
God above all things.



To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#86 Message par InHocSignoVinces » lun. 01 juin 2020 13:21

Charity makes us love God above all
things on account of His infinite goodness
and perfections, but it also makes us love our
neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

If we love another on account of his natural
excellence and goodness, we love him by a
natural love;
charity is supernatural. We
must love him out of some supernatural
motive; then we love him for the sake of
God.
If we like to associate with another
because he is kind and congenial, our love is
a natural one:
we should love all because
we love God, and God wishes them all to be
His children.
He calls them all to be eternally
happy with Him in heaven. When
we love anyone we wish him good ; so by
the love of God we take delight in God's
perfections, and wish that they be known and
praised by all creatures. In like manner we
should love our neighbor,
i.e. all people.
We should wish them supernatural good
because this is God's will.
God loves them,
and by that love they become the friends of
God, and, if we love God, we must also love
His friends. We see from this that our
charity toward our neighbor is founded on
his friendship with God. In our neighbor
we love the image of God whom we love
above all things.
A child that loves its
parents will also love the picture of its parents.
We are children of God, and by grace
the picture or image of God is in a supernatural
way impressed upon the just. For
the sake of the friendship which exists between
God and the just we love them also.
They are children of God as we are, and,
therefore, they are our brothers. God is the
cause of our loving them.



To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#87 Message par InHocSignoVinces » mer. 10 juin 2020 18:41

Do we by divine charity love only the just
who are in the grace of God, and hence are His
children, and not also those that are in a state
of sin ?
No, we also love the sinners ; not
in as much as they are sinners, but in as
much as they are men, and are called to be
children of God. God wishes them to detest
sin and return to Him ; He wants them to
be forever happy with Him in heaven.
We, as God's friends, wish the same as He
does; we wish them supernatural grace and
happiness. They are called to be friends of
God, and we love them and wish them that
friendship.
As sinners we do not love them,
i.e. we hate sin, and by sin they are enemies
of God;
but because they are called to be
saints and friends of God, and it is the will
of God that they become His friends, we
unite our will with God's, and do all in our
power that the will of God be done.
This
love of our neighbor is commanded by God.
When a Pharisee asked Our Lord, "Master,
which is the great commandment in the
law ? Jesus said to him : Thou shalt love
the Lord, thy God, with thy whole heart, and
with thy whole soul, and with thy whole
mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment;
and the second is like to this:
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
1


1 Matt. 22. 36-39.


To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#88 Message par InHocSignoVinces » mer. 17 juin 2020 18:41

St. John puts the characteristic of charity in
love of the neighbor. He says that we know
that if we love our neighbors, we have
charity, and therefore the grace of God, since
they cannot be separated. "We know that
we have passed from death to life, because
we love the brethren. He that loveth not
(the brethren) abideth in death. Whosoever
hateth his brother is a murderer, and you
know that no murderer hath eternal life
abiding in himself."
1 We cannot love God
without loving also our neighbor because, if
we love God, we are willing to do His will,
and we will then also keep His commandment
of love; if we love God, we will love those
whom He loves, His friends. If we love
God, we love His image ; and this is found in
every soul, endowed with intellect and free
will, and still more in one washed in the
blood of Jesus Christ, and made by grace conformable
to the image of the Son of God. 2


1 I John 3. 14.
2 Rom. 8. 29.


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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#89 Message par InHocSignoVinces » mer. 24 juin 2020 11:30

The divine virtue of charity is absolutely
necessary for salvation.
Without grace
there is no justification, and we cannot have
grace and justification without the virtue of
divine charity. It is so intimately connected
with grace that many consider it to be the
same as grace.
Charity does not remain in
the soul when it is deprived of sanctifying
grace through mortal sin. By grace we become
children of God, and we cannot be His
children without loving Him. One who is
without sanctifying grace is an enemy of
God, and hence cannot at the same time
have the love of God which would unite him
to God as His friend.
If we have divine
charity, we will also love our neighbor, since
divine charity makes us love, not only God,
but also those whom He loves, and God
loves the just, and His love pursues the
sinner that he be converted and live.



To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#90 Message par InHocSignoVinces » dim. 05 juil. 2020 11:44

Of all the virtues the most excellent is
charity.
Of this St. Paul assures us saying,
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of
angels, and have not charity, I am become as
sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal ; and if
I should have prophecy, and should know all
mysteries, and all knowledge : and if I should
have all faith, so that I could remove mountains,
and have not charity, I am nothing;
and if I should distribute all my goods to feed
the poor, and if I should deliver my body to
be burned and have not charity, it profiteth
me nothing. . . . Now there remain faith,
hope and charity: these three; but the
greater of these is charity."
1 Our Lord, as we
have seen, called the commandment of charity
the greatest and first commandment.
All other commandments are summed up in
this, — if we love God, we obey Him; if we
love Him, we love our neighbor, and hence
will not do him any injustice ; if we love God,
we will love to go to Mass and to receive the
sacraments ; we will not injure any one in his
life, possessions, or good name; if we love
God, we will avoid everything that might sully
the purity of our souls and make them displeasing
in the eyes of God.
We might say
with St. Augustine, "Love God and do as
you please,"
because if we love God we will
not do anything except the will of God.


Charity unites us with God and renders us
His friends ; its object is God in His perfections.

God also is the object of the other
divine virtues, but the motive is different, as
by faith we know God, and by hope we tend
toward Him. God is the object of these
virtues, inasmuch as through Him we
receive the knowledge of the highest truth,
and we are made happy by the possession of
the highest good.
In charity, however, we
rest in God ; God's perfections in themselves
are its motive.
We love God for His own
sake and not only because He will constitute
our happiness.



1 I Cor. 13. 1 seqq.


To be continued...
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