Alice Lady Lovat continues her exposition of Father Juan Eusebio Nieremberg’s seventeenth century treatise “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia.” Here and in the next few posts, we shall consider the effect and fruits of Divine grace.
Lovat writes: “Fathers and Doctors of the Church have sometimes called grace the light of God; the sublime image of God being for the spiritual world what the sun is for the material world. The Apostles also constantly use light as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. ‘God is light,’ St. John says, ‘and in Him there is no darkness’ (1 John 1:5); and St. James speaks of ‘the Father of lights,’ from whom cometh ‘every best gift and every perfect gift’ (Jas 1:17). Grace, as the best and most perfect gift, is also the purest and sublimest light. It is that light by which we are introduced into the inaccessible light of God, which reveals to us the glory of God in all its depths, and lets us behold it, unveiled, face to face.”
“By grace we are born of the light of God, and the fire of the Holy Ghost; we are made ‘children of light’ and children of God; as St. Paul says: ‘You were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord’ (Eph 5:8). Therefore St. Peter, addressing souls in a state of grace, tells them: ‘You are a chosen generation; . . . that you may declare His virtues who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light’ (1 Pet 2:9).”
The Roman Catechism teaches that Divine grace “is, as it were, a brilliant light that effaces all those stains which obscure the lustre of the soul, and invests it with increased brightness and beauty.”
“The Fathers constantly use the expression of the Sacrament of Illumination for Baptism, by which we are regenerated by grace.”
“By grace we are changed from enemies into children of God. . . . In healing our soul grace does not leave the smallest trace of mortal sin behind. It does not always destroy the inclination to sin which is the fruit of evil habits, but it removes all its guilt; thus, as St. Paul says: ‘There is no condemnation to them that (by grace) are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom 8:1). If our ‘sins are as scarlet,’ God assures us by His prophet, ‘they shall be made as white as snow; and if they were red as crimson they shall be white as wool.'”
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).