Ok, sorry for the long delay!…Where were we?
CCC 375 & Lumen Gentium.
Look again at the paragraph in light of Lumen Gentium, which it quotes. One can interpret the final sentence in one of two ways. “This grace of original holiness was ‘to share in…divine life’" could either mean “The definition of original holiness included sharing in the divine life”, or it could also be interpreted, “This grace of original holiness was destined to eventually be elevated to a share in the divine life…” also. I would submit to you in light of several more paragraphs from the catechism, statements from Aquinas and others, and this particular section of Lumen Gentium itself, it is the latter interpretation that is the correct one.
CCC 460 states that, “The Word became flesh to make us ‘partakers of the divine nature’: ‘For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.’ ‘For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.’ ‘The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods’."
Notice the terminology: “The word became flesh to make us partakers of the divine nature.” Not, “…to restore us to divine sonship.” This sentiment is repeated over and over again in the paragraph. Thus, Adam and Eve may have been created in a “state of grace” but that grace does not appear to have been sanctifying, or a participation in the divine life.
As CCC 376 explains, “As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die. The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman, and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called ‘original justice’.”
“Original justice” is how the catechism describes the state of Adam and Eve before the Fall, over and over again in paragraphs 375, 376, 399, 400, 405, 416, and 417, all the while never (to the best of my knowledge) using “sanctifying grace” as a synonym.
CCC 374 states, “The first man was not only created good, but was also established in friendship with his Creator and in harmony with himself and with the creation around him, in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ.” Notice, it does not describe a state that would be “restored” only by the glory of the new creation, but “surpassed”, again suggesting that sanctifying grace and the grace of Adam and Eve were two different things, sanctifying grace being greater.
CCC 398, “Constituted in a state of holiness, man was **destined to be **fully ‘divinized’ by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to ‘be like God’, but ‘without God, before God, and not in accordance with God.’" In contrast with what I said in an earlier post about God not originally having designs to elevate man to a higher state than that in which he found himself in the garden, this paragraph would seem to suggest otherwise, illustrating at the same time that man was not “divinized” (did not share in the divine life) before the Fall.
CCC 399, “Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness. They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.”
CCC 400, “The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination.”
CCC 405, “Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called ‘concupiscence’. Baptism, by imparting (SK’s note: Not “restoring”) the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.”
**CCC 412 **asks, “But why did God not prevent the first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, ‘Christ’s inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon’s envy had taken away.’ And St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, ‘There is nothing to prevent human nature’s being raised up to something greater, even after sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good.’ Thus St. Paul says, ‘Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more’; and the Exsultet sings, ‘O happy fault,. . . which gained for us so great a Redeemer!’”
And finally, CCC 420, “The victory that Christ won over sin has given us greater blessings than those which sin had taken from us: ‘where sin increased, grace abounded all the more’ (Rom 5:20).”
Peace be with you all,