DIVINE GRACE (in English)

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#61 Message par InHocSignoVinces » mar. 10 sept. 2019 12:02

These divine virtues differ from the
natural virtues.
By repeating a certain
good act frequently we gain ease and facility
in performing that act;
so, if a boy is
always attentive and ready to obey, he acquires
through this a great facility to obey ;
his first impulse is to obey, it becomes easy
to him ; we say that he has acquired the virtue
of obedience. From such acquired virtues the
divine virtues of faith, hope, and
charity differ very much ; they are not obtained
through our own efforts by a repetition
of acts,
but they are poured into the soul by
God with sanctifying grace ;
they are not
natural, but supernatural.
The difference
might be illustrated by an example. Let us
suppose that we have a young tree ; by great
care we can make that tree bear fruit, better
in quality and greater in abundance, but we
cannot make it bear a different kind of fruit ;
so, also, by our own efforts we may perform
acts of virtue more perfectly, but we cannot
perform any act which is supernatural. If,
however, a branch of a different kind is
engrafted upon the tree of which we spoke,
then it will bring forth also a different kind
of fruit ;
so it is with the infused virtues,
— by them a supernatural element is, so to
say, engrafted upon our natural faculties, and
on this account we are enabled to believe,
hope, and love in a higher, a supernatural,
manner.



To be continued...
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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#62 Message par InHocSignoVinces » jeu. 12 sept. 2019 14:03

That, by the sacrament of Baptism, the
divine virtues of faith, hope, and charity
are infused into the soul,
we learn from the
teaching of the Council of Trent, " Through
the Holy Ghost the charity of God is diffused
in the hearts of those who are justified
and inheres in them, whence in justification
man receives from Jesus Christ together
with the remission of sin, faith, hope, and
charity."
1 That these are not merely the
acts of faith, hope, and charity, we infer
from the fact that the Council teaches that
faith, hope, and charity inhere in the soul,
they remain as something permanent. This
can only be understood in the sense that
they are permanent virtues ; acts are passing,
and cannot be said to inhere in the soul.
The Church therefore teaches that in Baptism
there is infused into the soul something
that remains, by virtue of which we believe
in God, hope in Him, and love Him.
Nature
gives to children an instinct, as it were,
by which they know their parents, trust
them, and love them. There is something
beautiful in the trust that a child puts in
his parents. How he listens to their words
and receives without the least doubt all that
they tell him ! His parents may be without
any great education or learning, still the
child will accept without questioning whatever
he hears from his father. He believes his
father to be able to protect him against all enemies;
he puts the highest trust in him. As
for the love a child bears toward his parents,
it goes above all other human love; the
parents may be in lowly circumstances, yet a
child will prefer his parents to all other men
and women ; he would rather be with his
parents than with the wealthiest and most
influential persons of the world. By grace
we become the children of God.
"And because
you are sons, God hath sent the spirit
of His Son into your hearts, crying : Abba,
Father."
2 By grace, then, God also gives us
the instinct of children ; by grace we know
Him as our Father ; by grace we trust and
hope in Him ; by grace we love Him, and
cry, " Abba, Father." It is most reasonable,
therefore, to believe that, since by grace God
makes us His children, He also infuses into
our hearts with grace the divine virtues of
faith, hope, and charity. By these virtues
we show ourselves His children, and as such
we must know Him in a supernatural way,
a knowledge which comes by faith ; we must
trust in Him, and this is by hope ; we must
love Him, as a child loves his father, which
we do by the virtue of charity. Of these three
virtues St. Paul speaks when he says,
" Now
there remain faith, hope, and charity: these
three ; but the greater of these is charity."
3


To be continued...


1 Con. Trid. Sess. VI, can. 7.
2 Gal. 4- 6.
3 1 Cor. 13. 13.
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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#63 Message par InHocSignoVinces » sam. 21 sept. 2019 10:48

These virtues are infused into the soul with
sanctifying grace ; by it we become children
of God and receive on this account the
virtues which a child of God must have.
It is true we said in a former chapter that
a grown person must believe in God, must
hope in Him and begin to love Him even
before justification; but these acts do not
flow from a virtue which resides permanently
in the soul. They are done under
the influence of actual grace; they are not
permanent virtues flowing from sanctifying
grace.


The divine virtues of faith, hope,
and charity remain in the soul. They are
not passing, transient acts, but rather the root
from which such acts spring. The divine
virtues of faith, hope, and charity are infused
into the soul at Baptism. They are increased
by the worthy reception of the sacraments and
by meritorious good works. The Church
teaches us that the worthy reception of the
sacraments is always productive of grace.
Now if the sacraments always give grace,
then the sacraments of the living, since
they are received by those that already
live by the life of grace, as also the sacraments
of the dead, when received by one who
is in the state of grace, must give an increase
of sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace is
increased in the soul by the worthy reception
of the sacraments and by good works ; for the
Church teaches that by good works we can
merit an increase of sanctifying grace, and
that grace is given to every one according to
his disposition and cooperation. By sanctifying
grace we are made " No more strangers
and foreigners: but fellow-citizens with the
saints, and the domestics of God ; "
1 by the
increase of grace through the worthy reception
of the sacraments and by good works we go
from virtue to virtue, and are " renewed from
day to day." " He that is just, let him be justified
still: and he that is holy, let him be sanctified still."
2


If by the sacraments and good works sanctifying grace is increased,
then it follows that the divine virtues, too, are
increased, since they are infused with sanctifying
grace and flow from it, just as the natural
faculties are derived from the soul. If he that
is just is by grace justified still, then — since
the Church teaches that justification consists
in the remission of sin and the renovation
of the soul through the infusion of grace and
the divine virtues — it follows that by an increase
of justification both sanctifying grace
and the divine virtues are increased. Hence
the apostles prayed, " Increase our faith," 3 and
the Apostle wished the Romans, " Now the
God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
in believing ; that you may abound in hope
and in the power of the Holy Ghost,"
4 and
prayed for the faithful, " That their charity
abound more and more."
The Church, too,
on the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
prays in the Mass, " Omnipotent, eternal God,
give us an increase of faith, hope, and charity."



To be continued...


1 Eph. 2. 19.
2 Apoc. 22. 11.
3 Luke 17. 5.
4 Rom. 15. 13.

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#64 Message par InHocSignoVinces » dim. 29 sept. 2019 13:25

Do the divine virtues of faith, hope, and
charity always remain in the soul, once they
have been produced by the operation of the
Holy Ghost, through sanctifying grace, or
are they lost again when man loses grace
through sin ? This question cannot be
answered by a simple 'yes' or 'no.' It is
certain that the divine virtue of charity or the
love of God is lost when, through mortal sin,
sanctifying grace is lost. Through the love
of God we become the friends of God, but
we cannot be His friends if we are in the
state of sin, and therefore are His enemies.
One that loves God will be loved by Him,
and hence cannot but be a friend of God.
" He that loveth Me shall be loved of My
Father, and I will love him and will manifest
Myself to him."
1 Whom God loves, him He
also gives sanctifying grace. God's love is
not like our love; we love people because
they are good, but God's love makes them
good, holy, and just. God's love gives them
sanctifying grace. Charity, if not the same
as sanctifying grace, is so closely connected
with it that it is impossible to separate the
two ; no one can have charity without having
also sanctifying grace, and no one can
have sanctifying grace without having also
the virtue of charity or the love of God.


Since faith, hope, and charity are infused
together with sanctifying grace, and since
charity is lost with the loss of grace, we
would expect that the same be true also of
faith and hope. However, by a special dispensation
of God's mercy, He has wished that these virtues
remain in the soul, even after grace and charity
have been lost by mortal sin, so that the return of the
sinner to God might be easier.


Although faith and hope, like charity, are derived from sanctifying
grace, yet just as heat, which is caused by fire,
can remain even after the fire is put out, so
also the virtues of faith and hope remain after
the source, sanctifying grace, is expelled from
the soul. By faith we are Christians, and it
is clear that one does not cease to be a
Christian when he commits a mortal sin ;
and even a sinner can and must hope that
through the mercy of God his sin will be
forgiven and that he will finally be saved.


This is the teaching of the Church in the
Council of Trent. " If any man say that by
the loss of sanctifying grace faith is always
lost with it, or that faith which remains,
although no living faith, is not true faith, or
that he who has faith without charity is not
a Christian, let him be anathema."
2 The
Church teaches us, therefore, that faith is not
lost by every mortal sin, but that faith without
grace and charity is dead — that is, that
without grace, although we have faith, we
cannot do anything to merit the reward of
heaven ; we cannot even merit grace.


To be continued...


1 John 14. 21.
2 Con. Trid. Sess. VI, can. 28.

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#65 Message par InHocSignoVinces » mer. 09 oct. 2019 20:48

Faith becomes living faith by charity ;
and of one who has living faith St. Paul says,
" The just man liveth by faith." 1 Writing to
the Corinthians, St. Paul says, " If I should have all
faith, so that I could remove mountains, and
have not charity, I am nothing."
2
He supposes, therefore, that we can have faith so
strong as to be able to work miracles without
charity and grace, but such faith would avail
us nothing for heaven ; it is dead. Although
by this faith we can do nothing to merit
heaven, it is not useless. God, in His mercy,
wished to leave us faith and hope, so that
we would be better disposed to do penance
and return to Him by real sorrow for our
sins. How good and merciful God is
to us! He gives us, without any merit
on our part, His grace of justification, and
even after we have abused this gift, He
still leaves us the virtues of faith and hope,
that we may return to Him. " The Lord is
gracious and merciful : patient and plenteous
in mercy. The Lord is sweet to all; and
His tender mercies are over all His works."
3


To be continued...

1 Rom. 1. 17.
2 I Cor. 13. 2.
3 Psalm 144. 7, 8, 9.


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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#66 Message par InHocSignoVinces » ven. 17 avr. 2020 20:50

ON FAITH

What is faith ?

Faith is a divine virtue by which we firmly believe the
truths which God has revealed.



Faith, hope, and charity are infused into
the soul with sanctifying grace ; they are
the constant companions of grace:
grace
cannot be in the soul without them.
Faith,
hope, and charity constitute the interior
sanctity of justification. Our catechism for
this reason treats here specially of these
three virtues, and first of faith.


Faith is a virtue, that is, it is not merely
a transient act, nor even a series of acts,
but
it is something permanent ; it is a habit that
remains in the soul.
It is called divine
because it comes from God, who infuses it
into the soul, together with sanctifying grace,
without any merit on our part ; it has to do
with God, who is the object of faith, for by
faith we believe in Him; His truthfulness
is the motive of our belief.
When we
learn in school that there is such a country
as China, which we never saw, we believe
this to be true because we trust others who
tell us so. This is human faith. When,
however, God reveals some truth we accept
this truth, because God is truthful ; then
we have divine faith. By faith we believe
firmly, that is without doubt or hesitation.
We accept the truths He has revealed, and
all of them, because He is truth itself;
and if we believe Him on account of His
veracity, there is no reason for doubting
any of the truths He has made known.
Our catechism adds the words which God
has revealed, and this means that we believe
these truths because God has revealed them.
God's truthfulness is the motive of our
belief.
Let us examine these things a little
more in detail.


To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#67 Message par InHocSignoVinces » dim. 19 avr. 2020 13:32

To believe is to hold something: for true,
not because we understand it, but because
we trust him who tells us. In this way we
believe many things. We accept on faith or
believe many things that our parents tell us,
and things that we learn in school. We do
not know whether they are true or false, but
because we trust those who tell us of them, we
hold them as true : we believe them.
Faith
is therefore an assent of the mind, on account
of the truthfulness of one who instructs us.



At times we may doubt the word of another
because we think he does not know
the truth or the falsehood concerning that of
which he speaks. He may not wish to deceive
us, but he may be mistaken himself, or,
if he knows the truth, he may have some
reason for not telling us. In that case he
would deceive us.
Neither of these reasons
holds with God.
He knows all things, and
He is all-holy, and therefore cannot deceive
us nor be deceived. By divine faith we
believe firmly, without any hesitation, all that
God makes known to us, because He can
not be deceived nor can He deceive us. By
faith we come to the knowledge of God ;
we come to know Him more perfectly than
we could know Him by the light of our
own reason; we come to a knowledge of
truths which we could not know by our
own reason, such as His having designed us
to become His sons and to see Him forever
face to face in heaven, etc. These things
we could not know if we were left to ourselves;
by faith we believe them because
we know that God does not deceive us.

Faith is, therefore, something of the intellect;
what reason and intellect are for us
in the natural order,
faith is for us in the
supernatural order.
"By faith we understand
that the world was framed by the word of
God."
1 Faith is supernatural knowledge.
Faith is necessary to salvation, for "He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved : but
he that believeth not shall be condemned."
2


Faith is, therefore, a salutary act ; but we can
do nothing for our salvation by our natural
powers. Hence faith is supernatural. "For
by grace you are saved through faith, and
that not of yourselves; for it is the gift of
God."
3 Without grace our faith would be
mere natural faith;
to believe, so as to please
God, we need the assistance of His all-powerful
grace.



To be continued...

1 Heb. 11. 3.
2 Mark 16. 16.
3 Eph. 2. 8.

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#68 Message par InHocSignoVinces » lun. 20 avr. 2020 19:49

The motive of belief, in order that our
faith be supernatural, must be the veracity
of God.
We believe what God has revealed
because on account of His infinite sanctity
He cannot deceive us. "God is not as a
man, that He should lie, nor as the son
of man, that He should be changed."
1 If
we believe that God became man and
dwelt amongst us, it is because God who
is all truth has revealed this to us. Not
to believe something that God has made
known is to call His truthfulness into
question ; it is to doubt the word of God.
From this we see how foolish those men
are who accept so easily everything that
men tell them, and yet say that they can
not believe the things God has revealed.
They will believe the testimony of men
rather than that of God. Men who call
themselves scientific will often oppose the
small light of their intelligence to the
omniscience of God, and expect us to believe
them rather than the word of God,
who knows all things. They pretend to
know better than He who has made all
things. It often happens that they are not
certain themselves of what they say, and
change their opinions from year to year,
and with all that, they think they can
ridicule those who reject their notions, and
prefer to believe in God, who is all knowledge
and all truth. Because the motive of
our faith is the wisdom and truth of God,
our faith is a firm one. It is more certain
than any other truth which we get by our
own natural understanding.
An example
of this firmness of belief we see in Abraham,
"Who against hope believed in hope,
that he might be made the father of many
nations, according to that which was said to
him : So shall thy seed be. And he was not
weak in faith, . . . and therefore it was reputed
to him unto justice."
2 Abraham had been
promised by God that he should be the father
of many people; naturally speaking there
was every reason for him to doubt this
promise, but he never doubted the word of
God ; he knew that what God said must be
true, and that all that God promised must
be fulfilled, no matter how improbable it
might seem. This was the kind of faith that
God wanted, and "it was reputed to him unto
justice."
Let us learn from the example of
Abraham to believe firmly all that God
has revealed and proposes for our belief ;
His word is more than the intellect of any
man, or even of all men put together, for
He has made them all. The wisdom of
man will pass away, but God's word will
always be true. "Heaven and earth shall
pass, but My words shall not pass."
3


To be continued...


1 Num. 23. 19.
2 Rom. 4. 18-22.
3 Matt. 24. 35.


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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#69 Message par InHocSignoVinces » mer. 22 avr. 2020 14:40

Because the motive of divine faith is the
veracity of God, it follows that our faith
must be universal,
i.e. we cannot have divine
faith unless we are willing to believe all
God has revealed.
This is clear in itself:
if we believe because God who is truth itself
has spoken, we must believe all that He has
revealed.
One who would believe some of
the truths which God has revealed, and reject
the others, would set himself up as a judge
of the truthfulness of God. Such a one
would, as St. Augustine said to the heretics
of his day, not believe God, but himself.
He would believe not because God revealed
the truth, but because the truth pleased him.
As if he said to God, "I will believe those
things which please me, and which I see to
be true, but I will not believe you when I
do not understand how that which you reveal
can be true." Such a one would insult
God, and practically call Him a liar or
would at least say that it is possible for God
to be deceived or to deceive us. The same
must be said of him who, not wishing to
accept some truth which God has revealed,
denies that God has revealed it. Such a
man tries to produce in himself a voluntary
ignorance of what God has revealed. He
knows that God has made known this truth,
but he attempts to blind himself, that he
may be able to deny the truth which does
not please him.
If we wish to be faithful
to God, we must believe all that He has
revealed, and this because He can neither
deceive nor be deceived. We cannot set
our own reason above God, and judge of
what we wish to believe and what we do
not wish to believe. If we have divine faith,
we will believe all that God has made
known;
if we reject even one article, then
we have not the faith which comes from
God, for we believe our own reason and
not the word of God.
We must believe all
that God has revealed, even if it is above
our understanding. God's intellect is infinite;
He knows infinitely more than we
can understand.



To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#70 Message par InHocSignoVinces » jeu. 23 avr. 2020 19:56

If, therefore, God wishes to
make some of these truths known to us,
we must accept them with joy. Such truths
we call mysteries. God has revealed some
mysteries to us, such as the mystery of the
Blessed Trinity, i.e. that God is one in
nature but three in person, that each of
these persons is God, and that still there is
but one God. We cannot understand how
this is, but God, who is all truth, has said
so, therefore we believe it to be true. Faith
is obscure by its nature;
if we understood
all the truths that God makes known to us,
there would be no merit in faith, as we could
not but accept them ; but on account of the
darkness that surrounds the truths of faith,
we believe because of the truthfulness of
God, and not because we see these things
to be true ; this is real faith.
"Faith is the
substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence
of things that appear not."
1 If we
understood all that faith teaches us, we
would not hold these truths because of
God's truthfulness, but on account of our
understanding. This would destroy the
very nature of faith ; it would become natural
knowledge and cease to be faith; it
would destroy all merit. We do not think
that a man should be rewarded for admitting
that two and two are four; he cannot
help admitting it, because he sees that
it is true ;
but when we believe that in God
there are three persons, who are but one
God, we do not understand this truth, and
we accept it only because God has said
so. Such faith honors God and is deserving
of reward.



1 Heb. 11. 1.


To be continued...

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