Actual Grace From the Holy Spirit

“Sanctifying grace brings with it the supernatural helps of the Holy Ghost which go by the name of ‘actual graces.’ Even when in a state of grace, we require a special attraction and instigation of the Holy Ghost in order to perform a supernatural good work.”

“The natural faculties of the soul cannot pass into active operation without a stimulus from without, which rouses them from inaction; and since a supernatural power cannot be aroused into action by a natural cause, the Holy Ghost, who has given us the power, must also move it to develop itself, and this influence we call ‘actual grace.’ It is necessary for the Holy Spirit to animate these germs of virtue with His breath and inspiration, and to diffuse His own light and heat into them to develop a Divine life in them.”

“Moreover, we must by the acts that we perform in the state of grace rise continually higher, ever ascending to a higher state of grace. But this we are unable to do alone, even with the grace we already possess, because no one can be raised above his condition without the help of a higher agency. The Divine Spirit therefore must prompt us to aspire to a higher degree of grace, and assist us to reach it. For this the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are not sufficient; they indicate a condition, and are therefore dormant qualities of our soul till they are brought into activity by Him. The gifts of the Holy Ghost make a pliant instrument of our soul, but we need the master-hand to play upon it, and so bring out its virtue and harmony.”

“Again, every man in the state of justice requires actual grace, not only for the performance of supernatural good works, but in order to resist temptation to grave sin, and also to avoid the constant temptation to venial sin.”

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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Sayings of Catholic saints and sages: spiritual food for meditation and reflection.
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