Divine Grace: A Most Precious Gift

“The least prerogative of grace is that it is infinitely above all natural things. ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, according to the assurance of our Saviour,’ says St. Augustine, ‘but the salvation and justice of the elect will remain; for the former contain only the works of God, the latter the image of God.’”

“St. Thomas, again, teaches that it is a greater work to bring a sinner back to grace than to create heaven and earth. For the objects of the latter work are temporary; the former work is so much greater because it leads to the participation in the immutable Divine Nature. In creation God erects for Himself a dwelling only; in giving man a rational nature He places His servants and His creatures in this dwelling, but when He gives man His grace He receives Him into His bosom, makes him His child, and communicates to him His own eternal life.”

“St. Augustine remarks that nature is related to grace in the same way as inanimate matter is to living organisms. Lifeless matter cannot itself give life, but must receive it from another living being.”

“Grace is as a heavenly light which diffuses itself from the depths of the Divinity on the rational creature. The sun pours down its light on the earth, and our nature, like the earth, receives the rays of the Divine Sun and becomes glorified and illuminated by them. Now, as God, whom we possess by grace, not only contains within Himself the perfection of all things, but is infinitely more perfect than all things put together, so grace is more precious than all created things. To despise these great gifts which are offered to us by God with such tender love would be to draw down upon ourselves the punishment of the men in the Gospel, who, having been invited to the king’s banquet, made frivolous excuses to stay away.”

“The least degree of grace is worth more than all the riches of the world. We are not required to shed our blood in this labour. One sign is sufficient, one earnest resolution, one pious wish; the holy Name by which we express our love for Him or invoke His assistance. Who would not gladly invoke Jesus a thousand times a day if he could thereby obtain as many coffers of gold? And yet what is gold untold in comparison to the spiritual treasures which God is prepared to bestow on us by means as simple and easy as these?”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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