Alice Lady Lovat continues her exposition of Father Juan Eusebio Nieremberg’s seventeenth century treatise “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia.” In previous posts, we covered those sections of the Aprecio that show how sanctifying grace makes us partakers of the Divine Nature. Now we shall consider the intimate union between the soul and God, a union effected by Divine grace.
Lovat writes: “The Holy Spirit it is who, in the words of the Apostle (2 Cor 3:18), transforms us by His power into the image of God. . . . He is the seal by which God impresses upon our soul the image of His holiness and Divine Nature. In giving us His grace the Holy Spirit gives us Himself, as St. Paul says: ‘The charity of God is poured forth into our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us’ (Rom 5:5).”
“‘By sanctifying grace,’ we learn from St. Thomas [Aquinas], ‘the rational creature is thus perfected, that it may not only use with liberty the created good, but that it may also enjoy the uncreated good.’ . . . By grace, therefore, we are not only qualified to know, love, and enjoy God from afar mediately, by the beauty and goodness of His creatures, but to possess Him immediately in His substance.”
“Although the Holy Ghost dwells in the whole created nature as in a vast temple, as the Scriptures say of Him, ‘The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world,’ yet He dwells in a special manner in the soul adorned by grace. Suarez says: ‘If God should cease to be present in other creatures, He would not cease to be in the souls that are in a state of grace, any more than He would thereby separate Himself from the humanity of Christ which is united with Him in one person.'”
“The Holy Spirit does not come to us as a passing guest. Our Saviour prayed for us to the Father that He might send us the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, to abide with us for ever. Never will He leave us unless we ourselves expel Him from our hearts.”
“If Zaccheus called himself blessed because he received for a short time the Son of God under his roof, how much more should we rejoice at the intimate presence of the Holy Spirit of God, who comes to take possession of our souls to abide there for ever!”
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).