Faith, Hope, and Charity

“Grace, according to the teaching of the Council of Trent, having eradicated sin from the soul of man, works his sanctification, and infuses into him the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.”

“As grace transforms the nature of the soul, and makes it partaker of the Divine Nature, it glorifies also its faculties, and causes them to be capable of performing acts of a dignity proper only to the Divine Nature. And to this supernatural ability, which can be implanted only by grace, theologians give the name of infused virtue.”

“Infused virtue is, then, very different from the so-called acquired virtues. These [acquired virtues] consist in a certain readiness acquired by our efforts, and by practice, whereby we perform acts naturally possible with greater decision and ease. These virtues may be compared to that fruitfulness which careful irrigation and pruning gives to trees, which causes them to produce in greater abundance; whereas the infused virtues are similar to a tree upon which a plant of infinitely superior merit has been grafted, and which in consequence grows a fruit which the original stock was incapable of producing.”

“Faith, hope, and charity have also been called Divine virtues, because they unite us in a Divine manner with God, have Him for their immediate motive, and can be produced in us only by a communication of the Divine Nature. God therefore endows His children with these virtues, so that they may even whilst on earth, in a land of exile, lead a life worthy of their exalted regeneration, and be united to Him who for all eternity will be the Cause of their beatitude.”

“God, who has made us His children and the heirs of His heaven, gives to every creature all that is necessary for the attainment of its end. By grace, therefore, He endows His children with those virtues without which they cannot be united with Him in a supernatural manner.”

“The Christian is cast upon the stormy sea of life to seek the port of heaven. God in these Divine virtues gives faith as a compass to guide his boat aright, hope as a sure anchor, and love as the mighty propelling power which will bear him swiftly to the haven of eternal rest.”

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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