Clothed With Grace

“By grace, as we have seen, man receives a participation of the Divine Nature. . . . This St. Paul describes as a transformation. ‘You are,’ he says, ‘transformed into the image of God, from glory to glory’ (2 Cor 3:18); for by it we are created anew.”

“St. Cyril of Alexandria speaks of this re-creation in the following terms: ‘If we have once taken leave of the life of the senses, is it not evident by this surrender of our former selves and union with the Holy Spirit that we are changed into a heavenly image, and transformed, to a certain extent, into another nature? We can then, with justice, be called, not men only, but children of God, having become participants in the Divine Nature.'”

“What has been said of a transformation of one nature does not mean that our natural substance is destroyed, or absorbed in the Divine Substance. . . . The change wrought by grace comes from God, not from the will or power of the creature. It is a miracle of the Divine Omnipotence which lifts us into a higher sphere, far above human limitations.”

“As the defects and imperfections of iron are burnt up and destroyed when it is plunged into a furnace, and yet its substance remains the same, in a similar manner, St. Cyril teaches, we do not put off the substance of our nature, but only its lowliness and defects.”

“We lose nothing by sanctifying grace that we have hitherto possessed; rather do we receive what was hitherto wanting to us; according to the word of St. Paul, ‘We would not be unclothed, but clothed upon; that that which is mortal may be swallowed up by life’ (2 Cor 5:4). The garment of grace is not only superadded to the soul, as raiment is to the body; it likewise invests and penetrates the soul in the same way as the glow of fire penetrates the iron which is submitted to its heat.”

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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