The gratuity of grace PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 August 2016 14:24

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

That may be a redundancy, since grace by definition is always gratuitous. It is something given to us at the sheer initiative of our creator. It is something that we have no right to claim, but is given to us just the same.

And that’s simply because God, our Creator and Father, out of pure goodness and love, wants it that way. He wants that we participate in his very own life by making us his image and likeness and, in fact, children of his.

And in spite of our sin, God still wants to give it to us.

That’s how much he loves us as shown by Christ, the son of God who became man to be our redeemer, who assumed all our sins by dying on the cross and then resurrecting.

As the Compendium of the Catechism would define it, grace is “the gratuitous gift that God gives us to make us participants in his Trinitarian life and able to act by his love.” (423) We cannot love as we are supposed to do unless we have this grace.

This grace is more properly called as the habitual or sanctifying or deifying grace because “it sanctifies and divinizes us.

It is also called supernatural because it depends entirely on God’s gratuitous initiative and surpasses the ability of the intellect and the power of human beings. It therefore escapes our experience.” (423)

Aside from this sanctifying grace, there also are the actual graces which are meant for specific circumstances, sacramental graces which are proper to each sacrament, and other special graces or charisms that are intended for the common good.

Among the charisms are the graces of state that accompany the exercise of Church ministries and the different states and responsibilities of life. (cfr. 424) Examples would be the charism of being a founder of a spiritual group, a leader of a nation, etc.

We have to be aware of the role of grace in our life and activities, since grace is what makes everything that we are and do pleasing to God. Though its presence and action in us is beyond our perception, it would help greatly to be aware of it so we can cooperate with it as much as we can and should.

Most importantly, grace enables us to earn merits before God for any good action that we do, since this action would be united with the most pleasing sacrifice of Christ to his Father.

Such awareness would lead us to be most thankful to God and to do everything with rectitude of intention, that is, with humility, with desire to do things as best as we can, with deep understanding of the twists and turns, the ups and downs of our life.

It endows us with a sense of purpose in life. It prevents us from getting lost in life, or confused and swept away by worldly forces.

With such awareness, we would know that we are never alone in our life, that the source of everything good is God always and not just ourselves or some natural resources. It makes us objective and realistic, not simply subjective and inventive, and much less, up in the clouds.

The nature of grace is