Divine Grace: A Wellspring Unto Eternal Life

“The glory of heaven, in which the blessed see and enjoy God, is nothing else but the fruition of the grace given to us here below.”

“Grace is the fountain springing up unto everlasting life; it is the root of which the blossom and fruit is beatitude. ‘The wages of sin is death, but the grace of God life everlasting,’ says the Apostle. The Saints have continually been transported out of themselves at the contemplation of the reward which awaited them. St. Isidore wept over the necessity to eat, because he was compelled like animals to take bodily food, whilst he was destined for the banquet of the Blessed in heaven. But great as the privilege is of participating with the Saints in glory hereafter, there is yet a greater one. For by grace man participates in the uncreated Divine Nature. To speak in more precise terms: man in the state of grace is so superior to all created things because he is so near to God. He partakes of the prerogatives of God as a body partakes of the light and heat of fire in proportion to its proximity to the fire. The Fathers and Doctors of the Church are unanimous in ascribing this meaning to the words of St. Peter, that, ‘by the most great and precious promises God hath made us by Jesus Christ, we may be made partakers of the Divine Nature.’ From this we are to understand that the prerogatives which are above all created nature, and are due to the Divine Nature, are, as far as possible, communicated to our nature.”

“The Saints cannot find words to express the magnificence of this gift. St. Denis says: ‘Sanctity, or sanctifying grace, is a Divine gift, an inexpressible copy of the highest Divinity and the highest goodness, by means of which we enter a Divine rank through a heavenly generation.’ Many of the holy Fathers teach with St. Thomas that by grace we are in a manner deified, and they apply to this mystery the words of our Saviour: ‘I have said you are gods, and all of you sons of the most High.'”

“‘By the union with the Son and the Holy Ghost,’ says St. Cyril of Alexandria, ‘we all, who have believed and have been likened unto God, are partakers of the Divine Nature; not only in name, but in reality, because we have been glorified with a beauty surpassing all created beauty.'”

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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