Faith is Grace


#1

I have been on another forum and have received a lot of negative comments when I post that faith is grace. It’s my understanding that everything received from God is grace and that would include faith. I know we don’t achieve faith on our own. I believe it was St. Therese who once said “Everything is grace” and I thought about it and it makes a lot of sense - so much sense that I think it’s obvious.

I’m interested in Scripture passages that might back up my argument. So far I haven’t see any that would be acceptable to a person who believes in sola scriptura.

Does anyone know of any? Thanks! :smiley:


#2

Faith is not grace, faith is a virtue.

On the contrary, If grace is a virtue, it would seem before all to be one of the three theological virtues. But grace is neither faith nor hope, for these can be without sanctifying grace. Nor is it charity, since “grace foreruns charity,” as Augustine says in his book on the Predestination of the Saints (De Dono Persev. xvi). Therefore grace is not virtue.” - Summa Theologica > First Part of the Second Part > Question 110


#3

I’m perfectly content being unable to truly understand “grace.”

I don’t believe any human being can understand God’s “grace.” I imagine that’s the way He wants it too.

It may be more accurate to say that faith is a part of grace. Or a result of grace. But not grace itself. Just my two cents.


#4

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the section on the Characteristics of Faith, describes faith as a grace

The Glossary that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops appended to their edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes faith as a theological virtue given by God as grace:

Faith: Both a gift of God and a human act by which the believer gives personal adherence to God who invites his response, and freely assents to the whole truth that God has revealed. It is this revelation of God which the Church proposes for our belief, and which we profess in the Creed, celebrate in the sacraments, live by right conduct that fulfills the twofold commandment of charity (as specified in the ten commandments), and respond to in our prayer of faith. Faith is both a theological virtue given by God as grace, and an obligation which flows from the first commandment (26, 142, 150, 1814, 2087).

St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12:4-9, describes faith as a gift given by the Holy Spirit:
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,


#5

1 Corinthians 12:9 describes faith as a gift given by the Spirit as He wills and so a free and undeserved gift given by God which is the very definition of grace.

4 Now there are varieties of [spiritual] gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills., (1 Cor 12:4-11)

Paragraph 153 of the *Catechism of the Catholic Church *is entitled “Faith is a grace.” link


#6

:whacky: I think I’d better read this again when I don’t have vertigo. :slight_smile:


#7

Faith is not grace.

Grace is an action of the Holy Spirit. Sanctifying grace makes us holy. Holiness is a decrease in sin and an increase in virtue.

Faith is trust.

You need grace to have faith.

-Tim-


#8

It seems to me that this post settles the issue, though of course it depends on one’s definition of grace.

You could write it as a syllogism:

Any free and undeserved gift from God is grace.
Faith is a free and undeserved gift from God.
Therefore, faith is grace.

The syllogism hinges on the major premise. But, as with any discussion, terms should always be defined.


#9

Faith is not grace.

The link to paragraph 153 in the Catechism states

"Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him"

and the same paragraph states

Faith is a human act.

Grace is an action of the Holy Spirit. Faith is an act of man moved by the grace (action) of the Holy Spirit.

Tounges are not grace. Works are not grace. Knowledge is not grace. Discernment of spirits is not grace. Healing is not grace. Wisdom is not grace. Faith is not grace. All these are human acts given through grace but they are not grace itself.

-Tim-


#10

The link also states “Faith is a grace.” In fact, it is the first thing it says about faith.

Nowhere does it state that faith is the only grace or that it is the first grace. But it does say “Faith is a grace.” How you got from that to “Faith is not a grace” I can’t begin to fathom.


#11

You are partly correct; faith is indeed a human act as indicated in the *Catechism *by the heading for paragraphs 154-155. However, faith is also a grace as indicated by the heading for paragraph 153.

The Glossary appended to the American edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, underlining mine:
Faith: Both a gift of God and a human act by which the believer gives personal adherence to God who invites his response, and freely assents to the whole truth that God has revealed. It is this revelation of God which the Church proposes for our belief, and which we profess in the Creed, celebrate in the sacraments, live by right conduct that fulfills the twofold commandment of charity (as specified in the ten commandments), and respond to in our prayer of faith. Faith is both a theological virtue given by God as grace, and an obligation which flows from the first commandment of God (26, 142, 150, 1814, 2087).


#12

I agree with several other posters. To me the statement “faith is grace” is just not quite accurate. They are not one and the same-- grace produces faith. According to the CCC grace is the participation in the life of God (CCC 1997). It is first and foremost a gift of the Spirit (CCC 2003). I think it is more accurate to say “faith is our response to grace”, it is our willingness to accept what God has given us.

CCC 166* Faith is a personal act *- the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself.

To say “faith is grace” seems to omit the human act which is absolutely essential to understanding our role in our salvation.


#13

Saying “Faith is grace” is like saying “A leaf is a tree”.

Faith is one of the graces but it is not grace itself.

-Tim-


#14

If it’s one of the graces, doesn’t that make it grace?


#15

St. Therese of Liseieux said:

“No doubt, it is a grace to receive the sacraments. When God does not permit it, it is good too! Everything is grace! When I shall have arrived at port, I will teach you how to travel…on the stormy sea of the world: with surrender and the love of a child who knows his Father loves him and cannot leave him alone in the hour of danger…The way of simple love and confidence is really made for you.”

blog.littleflower.org/prayers/prayer/nine-day-novena/st-therese-novena-day-four-everything-is-grace/

I am no expert on St. Therese of Lisieux. But I’m wondering why she said, “Everything is grace.”


#16

It makes it a grace, not grace itself.

Faith is also a human act. Grace is an action of the Holy Spirit entirely.

This is how people can use the phrase, “Faith moved by grace.” God acts first. The Holy Spirit gives us grace itself, to which we respond with faith, hope and charity.

Faith is trust. God’s grace equips us to respond by trusting him. Faith is one of man’s responses to God’s gift of grace.

-Tim-


#17

What is the difference between “a grace” and grace?"


#18

I wish I could explain it better. :o

Grace is entirely an action of God. The graces of faith, hope and love are actions of man when he cooperates with God’s grace.

-Tim-


#19

Faith is a virtue rthat only comes by grace.


#20

So “grace” has nothing to do any action of ours and “a grace” is dependent on the grace that comes from God but is intertwined with our own actions, which are also dependent on the grace that comes from God?

That makes sense (I think) but I wonder if using a completely different word would be less confusing instead of using the same word preceded by an article.


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