Author Topic: Sufficient Grace  (Read 271 times)

Offline Philip G.

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Sufficient Grace
« on: December 01, 2019, 12:59:48 PM »
I am reading Pascals Provincial Letters right now, and the part about sufficient grace has been really good.  And, it makes me wonder, should perhaps we distinguish between grace as it relates to those in the state of grace, and those who are not in the state of grace?  Because, it seems that this distinction would be needed to define grace more in depth as these parties sought to do. 

Here is the context defining the three schools from Pascal.  Pascal, who was a jansenist sympathizer, says:

"in one word, then, I found that their difference about sufficient grace may be defined thus; the Jesuits maintain that there is a grace given generally to all men, subject in such a way to free will that the will renders it efficacious or in-efficacious at its pleasure, without any additional aid from God, and without wanting anything on his part in order to act effectively; and hence they term this grace sufficient, because it suffices of itself for action.  The Jansenists, on the other hand, will not allow that any grace is actually sufficient which is not also efficacious; that is, that all those kinds of grace which do not determine the will to act effectively are insufficient for action; for they hold that a man can never act without efficacious grace."


As for the doctrine of the new thomists, Pascal says:

"it is rather an odd one, they agree with the jesuits in admitting a sufficient grace given to all men, but they maintain at the same time, that no man can act with this grace alone, but that in order to do this, he must receive from God an efficacious grace which really determines his will to the action, and which God does not grant to all men."  "So, this grace is sufficient without being sufficient?  Exactly."


To apply my theory to this, I would say that I agree with the Jesuits as it regards grace in relation to those in the state of grace.  However, as it regards those not in the state of grace, I would agree with the Jansenists.  Never shall I agree with the new thomists.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 01:09:00 PM by Philip G. »
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 01:34:20 PM »
Yes, the Thomists and the Molinists disagree on the definition of "sufficient grace"; a Catholic is free to hold either position; but the same is not the case with the Jansenists, since their doctrines were condemned by the Church.
Here is an excerpt from the wiki article on Jansenism with the 5 condemned propositions:
Quote

Jansenism's supporters suffered a decisive defeat when the apostolic constitution Cum occasione was promulgated by Innocent X in 1653 which condemned the following five propositions:

  1.  that there are some commands of God which just persons cannot keep, no matter how hard they wish and strive, and they are not given the grace to enable them to keep these commands;
  2.that it is impossible for fallen persons to resist sovereign grace;
  3.that it is possible for human beings who lack free will to merit;
  4.that the Semipelagians were correct to teach that prevenient grace was necessary for all interior acts, including for faith, but were incorrect to teach that fallen humanity is free to accept or resist prevenient grace; and
   5. that it is Semipelagian to say that Christ died for all.
The Catholic teaching as mostly outlined in the Council of Trent in its decree of justification teaches:
1. God does not command the impossible: [that the observance of the commandments of God is impossible for one that is justified. For God commands not impossibilities, but, by commanding, both admonishes thee to do what thou are able, and to pray for what thou art not able (to do), and aids thee that thou mayest be able; whose commandments are not heavy; whose yoke is sweet and whose burthen light. For, whoso are the sons of God, love Christ; but they who love him, keep his commandments, as Himself testifies; which, assuredly, with the divine help, they can do.]
2. That man can reject grace and that in the process of justification, he cooperates with grace: [to convert themselves to their own justification, by freely assenting to and co-operating with that said grace: in such sort that, while God touches the heart of man by the illumination of the Holy Ghost, neither is man himself utterly without doing anything while he receives that inspiration, for asmuch as he is also able to reject it; yet is he not able, by his own free will, without the grace of God, to move himself unto justice in His sight.]
3 & 4.. CANON V.-If any one saith, that, since Adam's sin, the free will of man is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing with only a name, yea a name without a reality, a figment, in fine, introduced into the Church by Satan; let him be anathema.
5. ANON XVII.-If any one saith, that the grace of Justification is only attained to by those who are predestined unto life; but that all others who are called, are called indeed, but receive not grace, as being, by the divine power, predestined unto evil; let him be anathema.
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"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 

Offline Xavier

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 02:23:27 PM »
Dominicans are usually Thomists, while Jesuits are usually Molinists, so there is a friendly disagreement between the sons of the two great Patriarchs and founders of religious Orders, St. Dominic and St. Ignatius. I believe each Catholic school has made important contributions to the final unraveling of the mystery, and the Church will probably issue a definition along some lines that are already clear one day. These are some of the tenets of the Thomistic teaching as I understand it:

1. Grace is truly intrinsically efficacious: Like the vine by a vital influx enables the branches to bear fruit, so God's Grace by conferring supernatural powers on our will, enables us to bear supernatural fruit in meritorious actions. Sufficient Grace and Efficacious Grace would then be related, in Thomism, as are power and act. God giving a bird the power to fly is a natural analog to sufficient Grace. God created the power when He made the bird. God moving the bird to actual flight is a natural analog to efficacious Grace. God used the innate power to bring about this natural act.

2. Grace not only works through free will but enables additional actions of a higher order: That should be clear from the foregoing. In the Thomistic system, supernatural Grace is something so precious that no natural action, human or angelic, can in any way remotely compare to it. "the slightest good of Grace is greater than the greatest good of Nature" is a famous Thomistic axiom. Thomistic critiques of the Molinist system usually say that Molinism almost makes it sound as if Grace is just an additional natural help, like 2 men towing on a plow, or maybe some kind of preter-natural or angelic help - which, however, for Thomists, doesn't sufficiently capture the dramatic difference between the natural human action and the supernatural divine action which is on a different plane and of a higher order. Grace is first cause, free will is second cause; not the other way around.

Cardinal Journet, a great Traditional Thomistic Theologian on Grace, gives this explanation in "The Meaning of Grace"  From: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/meaning-of-grace-3123
Quote
"3. The word 'grace' has three interdependent senses. The first is that of well-wishing. We say of someone: he has the favor, the grace, of the king. So it is an act of love that comes down to make contact with some being. The second sense is that of something given to a person to signify or symbolize this well-wishing. So it is a gift. And the third sense is that of gratitude on the part of the person who has been favored: he is grateful, he gives thanks. You see the interdependence: the favor precedes the gift which, when it is received by someone worthy of it, calls forth the act of thanksgiving. The uncreated divine Grace, the uncreated divine favour, causes in us created graces, created gifts and benefits, for which we render acts of thanksgiving. We shall leave aside this third meaning and consider the first two. There is one great difference between God's love and man's, between God's favour or grace and that of a man: God's love is creative, it pours out being and goodness into things, whereas man's love presupposes the goodness, the beauty of things. It is because a thing is, because it is good or beautiful that it draws me to love it. When it is fully good, it ravishes me; when it is only partly good, it invites me: I can love a human creature in spite of all it lacks, because there is some good in it, because I think of it as willed by God, redeemed by the blood of Christ. Someone may be uncongenial to me, but if I remember the words of St John of the Cross: 'Put love where there is none, and you will reap love', my love will go out to meet him in the attempt to provoke response. But I am not able by my love alone to produce or create the goodness or beauty of any thing; not even a mother, by her act of loving, can change the heart of her son who is a sinner. It is otherwise with God's love, which is prior to the being and goodness of things ...

The normal process is a series of graces which can be resisted but which, if accepted, will lead to one which is irresistible, victorious�a grace that will make me produce the good act and I will thank God for giving me the strength to do so. Let us call the resistible graces that I may frustrate sufficient graces, and the irresistible ones offered in these when they are not impededed - as fruit is offered in the flower - efficacious graces. That will explain the distinction between sufficient and efficacious grace.

10. This distinction brings to mind Pascal's "Lettres Provinciales," but we will not find there anything to throw light on it. Pascal rejects the doctrine, which he attributes to the Jesuits, according to which 'there is a grace given indiscriminately to all men and dependent on free will to the point that it makes this grace efficacious or inefficacious, without any additional help from God', a grace 'they call sufficient because it suffices by itself for acting'. That is the theory of the man at the bottom of a well, who has no need of help to take hold of God's hand stretched out to help him. We, too, along with Pascal, reject this doctrine. He attributes to the Dominicans of Saint Jacques a doctrine which may indeed have been held by several of them, according to which sufficient grace is the simple power God gives to all men of acting aright; we also reject this 'sufficient grace which does not suffice'. We hold that sufficient grace is the movement God gives to all men to make them act rightly, which they may impede (through their fault) or not impede (and then it infallibly attracts efficacious grace and leads to good actions). But Pascal maintained that there were no sufficient graces, only efficacious graces, and that these are not given to all men. Here we have the Jansenist error."
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 02:32:29 PM by Xavier »
Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 5500+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ Please pray this daily and you and your family will be saved. You will avoid Purgatory.

Daily Morning Offering: O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary,  I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the Altars  throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. I desire to gain every Indulgence and Merit I can, offering them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, Whom Thou hast appointed the dispenser of the merits of Thy Precious Blood, especially by means of this Scapular  [Here kiss your Brown Scapular] that She may best apply them to the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Amen.

Consecration to Our Blessed Mother: My Queen, my Mother! I give myself entirely to Thee, and to show my devotion to Thee I consecrate to Thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve, Wherefore, good Mother, as I am Thine own, keep me, guard me, as Thy property and possession." http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/morning-offering.htm

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Offline Philip G.

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 06:50:45 PM »
I heard a sermon a few months ago that may be relatable to this discussion.  It was about how the parable of the prodigal son, the parable of the lost coin, and the parable of the lost sheep are related in relation to Gods saving Grace.

The parable of the lost coin represents how God can save or find something that is incapable of saving or finding itself.  A coin has now power in itself.

The parable of the lost sheep represents how God can save or find something that is not entirely incapable of saving or finding itself.  A sheep has the ability to bleat and let the shepherd know where it is in order to be saved.

The parable of the prodigal son represents how God can save or find someone who is entirely capable of corporeally saving themselves.  The prodigal son repented and returned to the father. 

What is interesting with this is that there are three different applications that warrant distinctions.  You might even say that the lost coin would emphasize efficacious grace.  The prodigal son would emphasize sufficient grace.  And, the lost sheep would emphasize both sufficient and efficacious grace combined.  What is also interesting is the absence of a fourth application for these two definitions of grace(sufficient and efficacious).  That's right, I am talking about you Bishop Barron.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 06:53:05 PM by Philip G. »
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Offline james03

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 07:08:09 PM »
Let's be clear: The distinction of Grace into sufficient and efficacious is not "Thomistic".  St. Thomas never taught this.

Quote
Like the vine by a vital influx enables the branches to bear fruit, so God's Grace by conferring supernatural powers on our will, enables us to bear supernatural fruit in meritorious actions.
  This is called SANCTIFYING Grace.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

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Offline Philip G.

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 12:08:34 AM »
To what extent is sufficient grace an offspring doctrine of sanctifying grace?  And, to what extent is efficacious grace an offspring doctrine of actual grace?  I think there is a direct connection with both of the above.  And, I think that is the problem with both sufficient and efficacious.  Unless confined to the particular that gave rise to them, they are bound to cause problems.  And, that is because both sanctifying grace and actual grace are defined doctrines.  As a result, we cannot part with them for the sake of all things spanish be it dominican or ignatian.  That is what I think is really at the heart of this debate from my OP/Pascal. 
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 10:23:41 AM »
Quote
the Jesuits maintain that there is a grace given generally to all men, subject in such a way to free will that the will renders it efficacious or in-efficacious at its pleasure

But men don't render this grace anything. They don't change its nature any more than a glass changes the nature of the water poured into it. They simply either cooperate with it or they don't. Efficacity is not a "thing" inhering in this grace, it is merely a word to denote that this grace has achieved its end.
 
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Offline james03

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 06:54:50 PM »
Quote
To what extent is sufficient grace an offspring doctrine of sanctifying grace?  And, to what extent is efficacious grace an offspring doctrine of actual grace?
  In the end the false bifurcation of grace ends at Luther's dung pile covered with snow.  Sanctifying Grace does nothing, it is just a legal proclamation. 

Actual Grace is just grace.  Period.  It does not return to the Lord barren. It always accomplishes its purpose, however man can reject it by his Free Will.   Note Sanctifying Grace makes man's cooperation with actual grace meritorious, hence God is the First Cause of this merit. 

Over all of this is Divine Providence, which is Sovereign.

This is Congruentism.
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 01:28:20 AM »
I wonder is sufficient grace is termed from Gods response to St. Paul "my grace is sufficient for thee" in response to St. Paul lamenting the thorn in his flesh?
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 08:25:45 AM »
In the condemnation of the errors of the Jansenists, the following is condemned:

Quote
6. Grace sufficient for our state is not so much useful as pernicious, so that we can justly pray: From sufficient grace deliver us, O Lord.
Denziger 1296
http://patristica.net/denzinger/

What did they mean?

They meant that sufficient grace, understood in the Banezian ("Thomist") sense, is in fact utterly monstrous, since it only serves for a legalistic ratification of the state which God desires: reprobation. And the Jansenists at least had the intellectual consistency to recognize this.

Why would it be condemned?

Because it is in fact not Catholic. But why would this understanding be condemned and not the Banezian position in the De Auxiliis controversy, at least as concerns sufficient grace [sic]?

I don't know. But, it's funny that the Jansenists were partly condemned for a position that the Neo-Thomists would pound the table til sunrise is utterly Catholic.

The Jansenists may have been wrong, but at least they were honest. I can't very well throw that forked compliment at the Banezian Thomists.
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2019, 03:30:31 AM »
In Molinism, grace is like a ball of clay, which man, by his natural power, as though it were superior to the divine power, can mold in any way he wants. Molinism ends up subjugating Grace to free will rather than subjecting the natural to the supernatural. Indeed, in extreme Molinism, man becomes the potter, and God's Grace is the clay.

Is that what God says? Is 64:8 "And now, O Lord, thou art our father, and we are clay: and thou art our maker, and we all are the works of thy hands."

St. Francis De Sales says: ""So tell me, miserable man, what you have done, in all these things, of which you could boast? You have consented, I know it well: the movement of your will freely followed the movement of heavenly grace. But all that-what else is it but to receive the divine working and not to resist? And what do you have in this that you have not received? Yes, even, poor man, you have even received the acceptance of which you boast, and the consent, which you brag about . . . Is it not the part of most insane impiety to think that you gave effective and holy activity to the divine inspiration because you did not take it away by resisting? We can hinder the efficacy of inspiration, but we cannot give efficacy to it ..."

Quote from: Philip
I wonder is sufficient grace is termed from Gods response to St. Paul "my grace is sufficient for thee" in response to St. Paul lamenting the thorn in his flesh?

Yes, definitely, Sufficient Grace is right there in Scripture. What is the Lord's meaning there? (1) "I will give you sufficient actual grace to overcome all your trials", (2) "I will give you a sufficiently high degree of Sanctifying Grace, so as to conquer all your temptations."

Consider the two statements (1) God gives all men sufficient grace to be saved. Here, we are speaking of a sufficient number of actual graces. Second, (2) God certainly gives all cradle Catholics at least, and likely most converts also, sufficient grace to become Saints. Here, the meaning is a sufficient degree of sanctifying grace, beyond the ordinary degree, that is necessary for and - when fully co-operated with - effects real sanctity.

It is true that Actual and Sanctifying Grace are the two "types" of Grace. Sufficient and Efficacious Grace are not types of Grace. , St. Paul says in 1 Cor 15:10 "only, by God’s grace, I am what I am, and the grace he has shewn me has not been without fruit; I have worked harder than all of them, or rather, it was not I, but the grace of God working with me." http://www.newadvent.org/bible/1co015.htm

I. "Only by God's Grace, I am what I am" - here St. Paul is attribution his conversion, and all that he is, to the Grace of God. In other word, the Grace of God effected all that he is. That's what is meant by efficacious grace. Each of the Saints know that all the good actions they actions, and their whole salvation, was the result of the gratuitous and efficacious Grace of God, freely and mercifully given.

II. "the grace he has shewn me has not been without fruit; I have worked harder than all of them" - God gives us Grace that it may bear fruit. That is an example of a grace truly sufficient. We are bound to work, to do all in our power, and then this grace produces its effect. It is an axiom for Thomists, "when one does what lies in his power, sufficient grace flowers into efficacious grace".

III. "or rather, it was not I, but the grace of God working with me" - again, St. Paul takes care to attribute nothing to himself, but the whole effect of the great Apostle that he became, purely to the Grace of God working in him.

Quote from: James
The distinction of Grace into sufficient and efficacious is not "Thomistic".  St. Thomas never taught this.

Not the exact words, no. But the concept, certainly. The Congruism of St. Robert was a correction of Molina's ideas. St. Robert was Molina's friend, and a fellow Jesuit, yet the Doctor felt the system of Molina was lacking in defending Grace as true first cause of every good supernatural act.

This is what St. Thomas says, in explaining that predestination is not because of foreknowledge of merits: "But these seem to have drawn a distinction between that which flows from grace, and that which flows from free will, as if the same thing cannot come from both. It is, however, manifest that what is of grace is the effect of predestination ... there is no distinction between what flows from free will, and what is of predestination; as there is not distinction between what flows from a secondary cause and from a first cause. For the providence of God produces effects through the operation of secondary causes, as was above shown (I:22:3. Wherefore, that which flows from free-will is also of predestination ... We must say, therefore, that the effect of predestination may be considered in a twofold light—in one way, in particular; and thus there is no reason why one effect of predestination should not be the reason or cause of another; a subsequent effect being the reason of a previous effect ...Thus we might say that God pre-ordained to give glory on account of merit, and that He pre-ordained to give grace to merit glory. In another way, the effect of predestination may be considered in general. Thus, it is impossible that the whole of the effect of predestination in general should have any cause as coming from us; because whatsoever is in man disposing him towards salvation, is all included under the effect of predestination; even the preparation for grace. For neither does this happen otherwise than by divine help, according to the prophet Jeremias (Lamentations 5:21): "convert us, O Lord, to Thee, and we shall be converted." http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1023.htm

Grace operates in stages. The more we do all in the natural power of free-will, the more effects it produces as true first cause of them.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 07:00:47 AM by Xavier »
Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 5500+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ Please pray this daily and you and your family will be saved. You will avoid Purgatory.

Daily Morning Offering: O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary,  I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the Altars  throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. I desire to gain every Indulgence and Merit I can, offering them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, Whom Thou hast appointed the dispenser of the merits of Thy Precious Blood, especially by means of this Scapular  [Here kiss your Brown Scapular] that She may best apply them to the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Amen.

Consecration to Our Blessed Mother: My Queen, my Mother! I give myself entirely to Thee, and to show my devotion to Thee I consecrate to Thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve, Wherefore, good Mother, as I am Thine own, keep me, guard me, as Thy property and possession." http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/morning-offering.htm

"I am the Lady of the Rosary. Pray the Rosary (i.e. 15 decades; 5 decades is a part of the Rosary) every day to obtain Peace for the World." ~ Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.
 

Offline james03

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2019, 04:31:23 PM »
Xavier,
I can't find anything I disagree with your discussion as it discusses Grace.  And as a Congruentist, I'm a hyper pre-desinationist, or more accurately, I am hyper committed to Divine Providence.

However your discussion is on "Grace" which is begging the question.  The question: Can regenerated, sanctified man in the state of Sanctifying Grace cooperate freely with sufficient actual Graces without the need for "efficacious" grace.  The Congruentist says yes, and further denies this bifurcation of actual grace.  "Efficacious Grace" is not Thomistic.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Sufficient Grace
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2019, 06:00:44 AM »
Xavier,
I can't find anything I disagree with your discussion as it discusses Grace.  And as a Congruentist, I'm a hyper pre-desinationist, or more accurately, I am hyper committed to Divine Providence.

James, to the first part of the second sentence, do you mean the Congruism of St. Robert Bellarmine as described in the CE below? That's a minor point, but the first one.

CE: "Congruism is the term by which theologians denote a theory according to which the efficacy of efficacious grace (see GRACE) is due, at least in part, to the fact that the grace is given in circumstances favourable to its operation, i.e. "congruous" in that sense. The distinction between gratia congrua and gratia incongrua is found in St. Augustine where he speaks of the elect as congruenter vocati (Ad Simplicianum, Bk. I, Q. ii, no. 13). The system known as Congruism was developed by eminent Jesuit theologians at the close of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04251b.htm

To the second part, great. We agree on Divine Providence or Divine Sovereignty being Supreme then. And yet it is not at the expense of free-will that it is so, but divine sovereignty works through it, or has taken it into account in the divine plan. Catholic Theology is decidedly synergistic, unlike Protestant ideas Divine Grace and Human Freedom work together. Supernatural Grace as First Cause, our Natural Free-will as second cause, when the action is good. Man's free will alone, when it is evil.

Wiki: "In Christian theology, synergism is the position of those who hold that salvation involves some form of cooperation between divine grace and human freedom. It stands opposed to monergism, a doctrine most commonly associated with the Lutheran, as well as Reformed Protestant traditions ... Lutheranism, however, confesses a monergist salvation and synergist damnation (see below). Synergism is upheld by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, and by the Methodist Churches.[2][3][4] It is an integral part of Arminian theology.[5][6]" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synergism

Quote
The question: Can regenerated, sanctified man in the state of Sanctifying Grace cooperate freely with sufficient actual Graces without the need for "efficacious" grace.

Ok, I see the problem. Some Theologians, probably Thomists included, have made it sound as if "Sufficient Grace" does not really suffice for a good action. As if some other, substantially different, "efficacious grace" was required. And people are reacting to that.

I have to disagree with those people who explained "sufficient grace" (in my opinion incorrectly) like that. I would go with the way Our Lord explains it in the Gospel, St. Thomas in the Summa, and Cardinal Journet, a Thomist, in the link above:

To your question: ABSOLUTELY, Sufficient Grace is given so that a good effect of grace may be produced. E.g. supposing God gives a Catholic near death a degree of Sufficient Grace so high that, if he co-operates with it fully, he can make an act of contrition so great, that he receives also the remission of all temporal punishment. He can co-operate with this fully, and then grace has produced its intrinsic effect to the maximum; we say God gave him the efficacious grace to receive the complete remission of all his sins. Or, he co-operates with it only partially. He is still saved, but now he has a long Purgatory, for his venial sins, attachment to sin etc. Or, he completely resists, and then, if he was in mortal sin before, he is lost. He received sufficient grace, but he resisted, so it didn't produce its intrinsic effect for which it was given. But if he was not in mortal sin before, but in sanctifying grace, then this freely willed resistance to grace would be a fresh sin, and since most likely it would not be mortal, he would have to suffer to be purified of it, but in Purgatory.

Sufficient Grace+Man doing all that lies in his power=Efficacious Grace producing the effect. That's the equation I believe in. "Efficacious Grace is offered in Sufficient Grace as the Fruit is offered in the flower" as Thomists like Cardinal Journet say. When the will does not resist but does all that it can, sufficient grace flowers into efficacious grace. That is the true Thomistic position as I understand it.

The Gospel analogy is the Vine or Tree producing its fruit through its branches. That's the analogy for the man already in sanctifying Grace. Apart from the Vine, Christ, we can do nothing meritorious. If we abide in Him, and do what we can, He produces His fruit, i.e. good works, in us and through us by His Grace i.e. His grace produces its intrinsic effect through our free co-operation.

Jn 15:[4] "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. [5] I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.

[6] If any one abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. [7] If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you. http://www.drbo.org/chapter/50015.htm
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 06:10:35 AM by Xavier »
Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 5500+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ Please pray this daily and you and your family will be saved. You will avoid Purgatory.

Daily Morning Offering: O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary,  I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the Altars  throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. I desire to gain every Indulgence and Merit I can, offering them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, Whom Thou hast appointed the dispenser of the merits of Thy Precious Blood, especially by means of this Scapular  [Here kiss your Brown Scapular] that She may best apply them to the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Amen.

Consecration to Our Blessed Mother: My Queen, my Mother! I give myself entirely to Thee, and to show my devotion to Thee I consecrate to Thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve, Wherefore, good Mother, as I am Thine own, keep me, guard me, as Thy property and possession." http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/morning-offering.htm

"I am the Lady of the Rosary. Pray the Rosary (i.e. 15 decades; 5 decades is a part of the Rosary) every day to obtain Peace for the World." ~ Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.