Created Grace?


#1

I would like a Catholic Expert to answer my following question. Where can i find a Catholic Expert to answer my questions?

From what i understand (please correct me if i am wrong), Catholics believe in “habitual or sanctifying grace, gratia gratum faciens, which takes the form of a permanent habit of the soul, infused into man by God, and which may be considered to amount to a participation by man in the divine being
(Alister E. McGrath, Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification, Second Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge Press, 1998) 109 [bold and underline emphasis mine]).
The supernatural habit is “a created gift which is itself is produced within the soul by God, and **yet is essentially indistinguishable from him ** - the supernatural habit.” (McGrath, 146 [bold emphasis mine]).

Again, from what i understand, this habitual or sanctifying grace is a created gift which is essentially indistinguishable from God (please correct me if i am wrong, but this is what i understood from the above quotes). So my question is, how could created habitual or sanctifying grace be essentially indistinguishable from God who is uncreated?


#2

The Catholic Experts are on the “Ask An Apologist” Forum, so maybe you should post your question there.

Sanctifying Grace was always taught to me as “a created sharing in God’s life.” That sounds pretty close to what you have described. But it is not a piece of God Himself, which would not be possible, since God cannot be divided.

As for “essentially indistinguishable from Him,” that is more problematic. Sanctifying Grace raises us above the natural and makes us capable of living in heaven, of seeing God face to face.

Grace is not God himself. But it does allow us to be “in contact” with God in the Beatific Vision. So from our perspective, that may be as close to “essentially indistinguishable” as we can get.


#3

One Catholic has answered me and told me the following “Sanctifying grace is a created supernatural gift that is DISTINCT from God. Check out Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 254.” In case anyone else wanted to know.


#4

Thanx for the reply JimG : )


#5

Analogy:

Lets say I have a wife and two kids. We, as a family, decide to adopt a child we found stranded on the street a while ago. We then raise the child as our own, he is part of our family.

Adoption: A created state independent of our family. It came about after our family, and our family is not dependent on it. But through it, and accepting it, our new child is now able to share fully in the life of the family, and be a member. He was not always a member, but through the created act of adoption, he was made one.

It is thus that through baptism, we are instilled with sanctifying grace, and made coheirs of the divinity of Christ, the son of God.

Josh


#6

how could created habitual or sanctifying grace be essentially indistinguishable from God who is uncreated?

Uncreated Grace = Holy Spirit
Created Grace = gift or charism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 10:45) or the abiding seed of God (1 John 3:9)

From a Catholic viewpoint, it follows that the grace given must be as distinct from the Holy Spirit as the gift from the giver and the seed from the sower. Thus the notion of created and uncreated grace.


#7

Hi anonymousguy,

Quote: "I would like a Catholic Expert to answer my following question. Where can i find a Catholic Expert to answer my questions?

From what i understand (please correct me if i am wrong), Catholics believe in “habitual or sanctifying grace, gratia gratum faciens, which takes the form of a permanent habit of the soul, infused into man by God, and which may be considered to amount to a participation by man in the divine being
(Alister E. McGrath, Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification, Second Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge Press, 1998) 109 [bold and underline emphasis mine]).
The supernatural habit is “a created gift which is itself is produced within the soul by God, and **yet is essentially indistinguishable from him **- the supernatural habit.” (McGrath, 146 [bold emphasis mine]).

Again, from what i understand, this habitual or sanctifying grace is a created gift which is essentially indistinguishable from God (please correct me if i am wrong, but this is what i understood from the above quotes). So my question is, how could created habitual or sanctifying grace be essentially indistinguishable from God who is uncreated?"

My comment: “To Christ, inasmuch as He is the natural Son of God, is due an eternal inheritance, which is the uncreated beatitude through the uncreated act of knowledge and love of God, i.e. the same whereby the Father knows and loves Himself. Now the soul was not capable of this act, on account of the difference of natures. Hence it behooved it to attain to God by a created act of fruition which could not be without grace. Likewise, inasmuch as He was the Word of God, He had the power of doing all things well by the Divine operation. And because it is necessary to admit a human operation, distinct from the Divine operation, as will be shown (Q19,A1), it was necessary for Him to have habitual grace, whereby this operation might be perfect in Him.” ( Q7, Art 1, Reply to Obj 2, Part 3 of the Third Part, Summa, St Thomas Aquinas)

"herefore in Christ the human nature has its proper form and power whereby it acts; and so has the Divine. Hence the human nature has its proper operation distinct from the Divine, and conversely. Nevertheless, the Divine Nature makes use of the operation of the human nature, as of the operation of its instrument; and in the same way the human nature shares in the operation of the Divine Nature, as an instrument shares in the operation of the principal agent. And this is what Pope Leo says (Ep. 28 ad Flavian): “Both forms” (i.e. both the Divine and the human nature in Christ) "do what is proper to each in union with the other, i.e. the Word operates what belongs to the Word, and the flesh carries out what belongs to flesh.“
But if there were only one operation of the Godhead and manhood in Christ, it would be necessary to say either that the human nature had not its proper form and power (for this could not possibly be said of the Divine), whence it would follow that in Christ there was only the Divine operation; or it would be necessary to say that from the Divine and human power there was made up one power. Now both of these are impossible. For by the first the human nature in Christ is supposed to be imperfect; and by the second a confusion of the natures is supposed. Hence it is with reason that the Sixth Council (Act 18) condemned this opinion, and decreed as follows: “We confess two natural, indivisible, unconvertible, unconfused, and inseparable operations in the same Lord Jesus Christ our true God”; i.e. the Divine operation and the human operation.” (Q 19, Art 1, I answer that, Part 3 of the third part, Summa, St. Thomas Aquinas)

This teaching, ie, came about by discussion on the 2 Natures of Christ then applied what was proper to man. I hope I answered the question you asked! LOL

May God bless,

James224


#8

The same Catholic who answered me before saying
"Sanctifying grace is a created supernatural gift that is DISTINCT from God. Check out Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 254."

Also told me that
"McGrath has it wrong."

i.e. his original answer, in order, was
"McGrath has it wrong. Sanctifying grace is a created supernatural gift that is DISTINCT from God. Check out Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 254."

When I replied
"I assumed he (McGrath) meant essentially indistinguishable from God, but could he have meant **essentially indistinguishable from the human or the human’s soul ** who had a created gift produced within his soul by God? Would that be a correct Catholic definition?"

He answered me
"Not really, since a human soul is a separate entity. There are good souls and bad souls. Sanctifying grace is not a substance in itself, but an accidens, in the Aristotelian sense of the term. Trent uses the Latin term “indaerere,” which is an accidental mode of being. As such, it perfects the soul-substance, and thus we say that the sanctified state is a “quality” of the soul. It is the perfected quality of the soul which makes us divine-like (NB: not divine)."


#9

anonymousguy,
For authentic information on any Catholic teaching, always start with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is authoritative and contains all dogma and doctrine of the Church, and much more.
Paragraph 2000 of the Catechism states:
Sanctifying grace is an habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love. Habitual grace, the permanent disposition to live and act in keeping with God’s call, is distinguished from actual graces which refer to God’s interventions, whether at the beginning of conversion or in the course of the work of sanctification.

The section on grace in the Catechism begins with paragraph 1996 and concludes with paragraph 2005. If you’re interested in true Catholic teaching on grace, it’s worth a read.


#10

[quote=anonymousguy]I would like a Catholic Expert to answer my following question. Where can i find a Catholic Expert to answer my questions?

From what i understand (please correct me if i am wrong), Catholics believe in “habitual or sanctifying grace, gratia gratum faciens, which takes the form of a permanent habit of the soul, infused into man by God, and which may be considered to amount to a participation by man in the divine being”
(Alister E. McGrath, Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification, Second Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge Press, 1998) 109 [bold and underline emphasis mine]).
The supernatural habit is “a created gift which is itself is produced within the soul by God, and **yet is essentially indistinguishable from him **- the supernatural habit.” (McGrath, 146 [bold emphasis mine]).

Again, from what i understand, this habitual or sanctifying grace is a created gift which is essentially indistinguishable from God (please correct me if i am wrong, but this is what i understood from the above quotes). So my question is, how could created habitual or sanctifying grace be essentially indistinguishable from God who is uncreated?
[/quote]

Don’t get hung-up on vocabulary. Search for the correct ideation – the things described by the vocabulary.

The problem originates within the being of God.

God is all love.

God is all just.

This creates a problem.

If all-loving God, overflowing with love, creates free will beings who are less than God, then “before grace,” procedurally, we are garbage that does nothing but choose against God, because we have no good reason to not sin.

Outside of the impact of grace, all we want to do is sin, sin, sin, sin, sin.

We are pigs.

Now, for the justice in the all-just God, this is a problem. In effect, before grace, the justice of the all-just God says, “These pigs don’t deserve improvement so that they can shake My hand, in the Beatific Vision! I will NOT give them that for free! SOMEBODY’S got to pay for that grace!”

In response, the Son of God says, “I will! I’ll pay!”

God the Father responds, “I accept your loving offer! And I lovingly offer up this wonderful Son of Mine, Whom I love with something akin to desperation, to suffer and die at the hands of these pigs, to pay for the grace of the pigs’ salvation!”

So, God didn’t create the “grace.” His Son kind of created access to the grace, by truly purchasing it from God’s Own justice, by His suffering and death.

This purchased grace enables us to do what we won’t do, without it. It enables us to see the alternative of love, and it enables us to opt in favor of it without violating free will.

That is the explanation you seek.


#11

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