Grace to Remove Obstacles

“The merit of an increased reward and dignity for all eternity is not the only fruit of the supernatural works which we perform in a state of grace. They have another supreme advantage, which is that they remove the obstacles which may, after death, delay our entrance into heaven. As grace makes the good works of the children of God very pleasing to Him, and worthy of a heavenly reward, so it makes their sufferings and trials unspeakably meritorious and acceptable to Him.”

“In the same manner as the satisfaction of Christ derives its infinite value from the infinite dignity of His person rather than from the greatness of His sufferings, so the pains and trials of His living members derive a value from grace which they would not otherwise possess.”

“What gratitude, therefore, do we not owe to God for His gift of sanctifying grace, whereby all our actions, and especially the trials and suffering of life endured in a spirit of penance, should acquire such value in His sight as to outweigh our ceaseless offences against Him.”

“Another reason we should have for a high esteem for sanctifying grace is its power of breaking down our vicious habits and strengthening our good ones. . . . ‘Come and see, [St. John Cassian] says, ‘how a hardened usurer is converted to liberality, a spendthrift and debauchee to continency, a proud man to humility, a self-indulgent and delicate person to severe and zealous penance. These are truly works of God, and miracles which in a moment convert, as in the case of Matthew, publicans into Apostles, and, in that of St. Paul, raving persecutors into most zealous preachers of the Gospel.'”

“St. Augustine testifies to the wonders the grace of God had wrought in his own nature. He had long and laboriously battled with the vanities of this world, with his evil habits and passions; and it was only with much difficulty that he could free himself from them. But when grace had suddenly burst these chains asunder, he exclaimed: ‘How sweet on a sudden was it become to me to be without the sweets of those toys! And what I was before so much afraid to lose I now cast from me with joy. For Thou, O my God, didst expel them from me, and didst come Thyself instead of them, sweeter than any pleasure whatever.'”

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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