Sharing in the Divine Nature Through Grace

Father Cassilly writes: “This marvellous sharing in the Divine nature, of which the Fathers, theologians and mystics speak in such glowing and almost unintelligible words, is supernatural, the effect of grace. Grace being supernatural surpasses, as we have seen, all that is conceivably due to mere nature, whether human or angelic. Hence, spiritual writers inform us that a child, lisping a prayer under the impulse of grace, would perform a greater and more sublime act than any angel by its mere natural powers could effect.”

“According to the Scriptural teaching, grace is a new life, by which man is born again, puts on the new man, and is made to live in Christ. This new life is above nature and belongs to the divine order, and hence it must possess powers and virtues that are supernatural. It sees no longer by reason alone, but by faith; it hopes for things unseen, and loves with charity. Faith, hope, and charity, together with the other infused virtues, are the train of heaven-sent powers that hold sway and dominion within the regenerated soul. Faith opens before our eyes a whole realm of wondrous truth which is sealed to merely natural vision.”

“Blind are all they who have not the divine life, and deaf to the world of the deified spirit. They live in a lower world. They are like the sightless fish that swim in dark, subterranean pools, never dreaming that their inky dwelling place could be transformed by the magic rays of sunlight into translucent depths of crystal, where water-plants build mimic forests, gay colors gleam, and glancing waves, rising and falling in rhythmic motion, break into snow foam and disappear in iridescent spray. Such men are truly blind, and, worst of fates, they think they have clearest vision; they cannot understand, and imagine themselves wise. And what they cannot know, neither can they love. The beauteous things which God spreads out to awaken in His chosen ones desire and love, stir no emotion in their hearts; and, when they follow the wistful gaze of God’s children towards objects of spiritual vision, they see but leaden clouds closing in a wintry horizon.”

“Grace, on the contrary, gives knowledge of things unseen, sets the strings of the heart vibrating with a love not born of earth, and makes life one long melody of sweetness. This Divine gift causes the life currents of the soul to run full with the joy of perpetual youth, and gives buoyancy of unimpaired strength and vigor. This deified existence rises above the fogs of earth into the region of perennial sunshine.”

Quotations from Francis Cassilly, A Story of Love, 2d ed. (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1917).

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