If we don't merit grace, then how come we can increase grace by the performance of good works?


#1

If we don’t merit grace, then how come we can increase grace by the performance of good works?

According to the teaching of the Church, we are justifed by the justice and merits of Christ in such fashion that this becomes formally our own justice and holiness, then there must result an inequality of grace in individuals, and for two reasons: first, because according to the generosity of God or the receptive condition of the soul an unequal amount of grace is infused; then, also, **because the grace originally received can be increased by the performance of good works:bowdown2: ** (Trent, Sess. VI, cap. vii, can. xxiv). This possibility of increase in grace by good works, whence would follow its inequality in individuals, find its warrant in those Scriptural texts in which an increase of grace is either expressed or implied (Proverbs 4:18; Sirach 18:22; 2 Corinthians 9:10; Ephesians 4:7; 2 Peter 3:18; Revelation 22:11)

I thought we cannot merit grace. I thought grace cannot be merited; it proceeds solely from the love and mercy of God. Or am I confusing this with actual grace?:banghead:

I thought we cannot merit grace. I thought grace cannot be merited; it proceeds solely from the love and mercy of God. Or am I confusing this with actual grace?


#2

If we don’t merit grace, then how come we can increase grace by the performance of good works?

According to the teaching of the Church, we are justifed by the justice and merits of Christ in such fashion that this becomes formally our own justice and holiness, then there must result an inequality of grace in individuals, and for two reasons: first, because according to the generosity of God or the receptive condition of the soul an unequal amount of grace is infused; then, also, **because the grace originally received can be increased by the performance of good works:bowdown2: ** (Trent, Sess. VI, cap. vii, can. xxiv). This possibility of increase in grace by good works, whence would follow its inequality in individuals, find its warrant in those Scriptural texts in which an increase of grace is either expressed or implied (Proverbs 4:18; Sirach 18:22; 2 Corinthians 9:10; Ephesians 4:7; 2 Peter 3:18; Revelation 22:11)

I thought we cannot merit grace. I thought grace cannot be merited; it proceeds solely from the love and mercy of God. Or am I confusing this with actual grace?:banghead:


#3

God showers all of us with the Grace to desire to do His Will. Some of us accept this Grace and perform good works. Some of us reject this Grace and it simply flows on by.

Does that help in any way?

(BTW, the view expressed by this post is my own understanding on Grace and may not reflect the views of any other living person).


#4

Let me see if I can tackle this question and make sense of it. God gives to each of us an infinite amount of grace. This is a free gift. It cannot be merited. By praying, obeying God’s commandments, and doing “good works” (aka loving my neighbor) I participate in this free gift of grace and my capacity to receive and act in this grace becomes greater.

I think where we can get stuck is to think of grace as a thing that we can get more of. Grace is the Life of God active in us. It can not be measured, but we can limit our participation in this grace.

Now if someone else can explain it better please do. If I have an incorrect understanding please correct me. I don’t want misinformation to get started.


#5

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