Question Twenty-Seven: Grace
Is grace something created which is in the soul positively?
Is ingratiatory grace the same as charity?
Can any creature be the cause of grace?
Are the sacraments of the New Law the cause of grace?
In one man is there only one ingratiatory grace?
Is grace in the essence of the soul?
Is grace in the sacraments?
The question is about grace,
and in the first article we ask:
Is grace something created which is in the soul positively?
[Parallel readings: II Sent., 26, a. 1; C.G., III, 150; S.T., I-II, 110, 1.]
It seems that it is not, forthe life of the body,
1. According to Augustine, “just as the soul is the life of the body, God is the life of the soul.” But the soul is the life of the body without any intervening form. Then God is also the life of the soul in the same way. Thus the life which is had through grace is not had through any created form existing in the soul.
2. Ingratiatory grace (gratia gratum faciens), of which we are speaking, seems to be nothing but that according to which a man is in God’s good graces. But a man is said to be in God’s good graces in so far as he has been favorably received by God; and a person is said to be favorably received by God because of God’s acceptance, which is of course in God Himself. It is just as we say that a person is acceptable to a man, not by something which is in the one accepted, but by the acceptance which is in the one accepting. Grace therefore does not imply anything in man but only in God.
3. We come closer to God by the spiritual existence that comes from grace than by natural existence. But God causes natural existence in us without the intervention of any other cause, because He created us immediately. He therefore also causes gratuitous spiritual existence in us without the intervention of anything else; and so the conclusion is the same as before.
4. Grace is a sort of health of the soul. Now health does not seem to imply anything else in the healthy person than balanced humors. Then grace too does not imply any form in the soul, but presupposes that the powers of the soul are balanced in an equality of justice.
5. Grace seems to be nothing but a sort of liberality; for “to give gratuitously” seems to mean the same as “to give liberally.” Liberality, however, is not in the recipient but in the giver. Then grace too is in God, who gives us His good things, and not in us.
6. No creature is nobler than the soul of Christ. But grace is nobler, because Christ’s soul is ennobled by grace. Grace is therefore not something created in the soul.
7. Grace bears the same relation to the will as truth to the intellect. But according to Anselm, the truth, which all intellects understand, is one. Then the grace by which all wills are perfected is also one. But no one created thing can be in many. Consequently grace is not something created.
8. Nothing but a composite is in a genus. Now grace is not a composite but a simple form. It is therefore not in a genus. But everything created is in some genus. Then grace is not something created.
9. If grace is anything in the soul, it seems to be only a habit. “There are three things in the soul,” the Philosopher says, “power, habit, and passion.” Now grace is not a power, because in that case it would be natural. Nor is it a passion, because then it would be concerned principally with the irrational part of the soul. But it is furthermore not a habit, for a habit is a quality difficult to displace, according to the Philosopher,whereas grace is very easily removed, because this can be done by one act of a mortal sin. Grace is therefore not something in the soul.
10. According to Augustine nothing created intervenes between our soul and God. But grace intervenes between our soul and God, because our soul is united to God through grace. Grace is therefore not something created.
11. Man is nobler and more perfect than the other creatures. But in order to make these latter acceptable to Himself God did not confer upon them anything over and above their natural endowments, since they have been approved by Him as they were, according to the words of Genesis (1: 3 1): “And God saw all the things that He had made, and they were very good.” Then neither is anything added to maWs natural gifts on the basis of which he is said to be acceptable to God; and so grace is not something positively existing in the soul.
To the Contrary
1. Commenting on the words of the Psalm (103:15): “That he may make the face cheerful with oil,” the Gloss says: “Grace is a certain splendor of the soul winning holy love.” But splendor is something in the soul positively which is created. Then so is grace.
2. God is said to be in His saints by grace in a special way that distinguishes them from other creatures. Now God is not said to be in anything in a new manner except by reason of some effect. Grace is therefore an effect of God in the soul.
3. Damascene says that grace is the delight of the soul. But delight is something created in the soul. Then so is grace.
4. Every action is from some form. But a meritorious action is from grace. Grace is therefore a form in the soul.
The term grace is wont to be taken in two senses: (1) For something which is given gratis, as we are accustomed to say, “I do you this grace or favor.” (2) For the favorable reception which one gets from another, as we say, “That fellow is in the king’s good graces” because he is favorably received by the king. And these two senses are related, for nothing is gratuitously given unless the recipient is somehow favorably received.
In divine matters we accordingly speak of two kinds of grace. One is called grace gratuitously given or gratuitous grace, as the gift of prophecy and of wisdom and the like. But this is not in question at present, because it is evident that such gifts are something created in the soul. The other is called grace that makes one pleasing to God or ingratiatory grace, and according to it man is said to be acceptable to God. It is of this that we are now speaking. That this grace implies something in God is obvious, for it implies an act of the divine will welcoming that man. But whether along with this it implies something in the man welcomed was doubted by some, since some” asserted that this kind of grace was nothing created in the soul, but was only in God.
But this cannot stand. For God’s accepting or loving someone (for they are the same thing) is nothing else but His willing him some good. Now God wills the good of nature for all creatures; and on this account He is said to love all things: “For thou lovest all things that are...” (Wisdom 1:25), and to approve all: “And God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good” (Genesis 1:31). But it is not by reason of this sort of acceptance that we are accustomed to say that someone has the grace of God, but inasmuch as God wills him a certain supernatural good, which is eternal life, as is written in Isaiah (64:4): “The eye hath not seen, O God, besides thee, what things thou has prepared for them that love thee.” Hence it is written in the Epistle to the Romans (6:23): “The grace of God [is] life everlasting.”
God does not, however, will this for anyone unworthy. But from his own nature man is not worthy of so great a good, since it is supernatural. Consequently, by the very fact that someone is affirmed to be pleasing to God with reference to this good, it is affirmed that there is in him something by which he is worthy of such a good above his natural endowments. This does not, to be sure, move the divine will to destine the man for that good, but rather the other, way about: by the very fact that by His will God destines someone for eternal life, He supplies him with something by which he is worthy of eternal life. This is what is said inthe Epistle to the Colossians (1:12): “...who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light.” And the reason for this is that, just as God’s knowledge is the cause of things and is not, like ours, caused by them, in the same way the act of His will is productive of good and not, like that of ours, caused by good.
Man is accordingly said to have the grace of God not only from his being loved by God with a view to eternal life but also from his being given some gift (ingratiatory grace) by which he is worthy of eternal life. Otherwise even a person in the state of mortal sin could be said to be in grace if grace meant only divine acceptance, since it can happen that a particular sinner is predestined to have eternal life. Thus ingratiatory grace can be called gratuitous grace, but not conversely, because not every gratuitous grace makes us worthy of eternal life.
Answers to Difficulties
1. The soul is the formal cause of the life of the body, and for this reason gives life to the body without the intervention of any form. God, however, does not give life to the soul as its formal cause, but as its efficient cause. For this reason a form intervenes, as a painter effectively makes a wall white by means of whiteness, but whiteness makes it white by means of no other form, because it makes it white formally.
2. The very acceptance which is in the divine will with regard to an eternal good produces in the man accepted something from which he is worthy to obtain that good, though this does not occur in human acceptance. Ingratiatory grace is accordingly something created in the soul.
3. God causes natural existence in us by creation without the intervention of any agent cause, but nevertheless with the intervention of a formal cause; for a natural form is the principle of natural existence. Similarly God brings about gratuitous spiritual existence in us without the intervention of any agent, yet with the intervention of a created form, grace.
4. Health is a certain bodily quality caused by balanced humors, for it is listed in the first species of quality. Thus the argument is based upon a false supposition.
5. From the very liberality of God by which He wills us an eternal good it follows that there is in us something given by Him by which we are made worthy of that good.
6. No creature is simply nobler than the soul of Christ; but in a certain respect every accident of His soul is nobler than it inasmuch as the accident is compared to it as its form.—Or it can be said that grace is nobler than the soul of Christ, not as a creature, but in so far as it is a certain likeness of the divine goodness more explicit than the natural likeness which is in Christ’s soul.
7. There is one first uncreated truth, from which many truths, likenesses of the first truth, so to speak, are nevertheless caused in created minds, as the Gloss says in comment upon the words of the Psalm (11:2): “Truths are decayed from among the children of men.” Similarly there is one uncreated good, of which there are many likenesses in created minds through participation in it by means of grace. Yet it should be noted that grace does not bear the same relation to the will as truth to the intellect. For truth is related to the intellect as its object, but grace to the will as its informing form. Now distinct beings may have the same object, but not the same form.
8. Everything that is in the genus of substance is composite with a real composition, because whatever is in the category of substance is subsistent in its own existence, and its own act of existing must be distinct from the thing itself; otherwise it could not be distinct in existence from the other things with which it agrees in the formal character of its quiddity; for such agreement is required in all things that are directly in a category. Consequently everything that is directly in the category of substance is composed at least of the act of being and the subject of being.
Yet there are some things in the category of substance reductively, such as the principles of a subsistent substance, in which the composition in question is not found; for they do not subsist, and therefore do not have their own act of being. In the same way, because accidents do not subsist, they do not properly have existence, but the subject is of a particular sort as a result of them. For this reason they are properly said to be “of a being” rather than beings. For something to be in some category of accident, then, it does not have to be composite with a real composition, but may have only a conceptual composition from genus and differentia. Such composition is found in grace.
9. Even though grace is lost because of one act of mortal sin, it is still not easily lost, because for one who has grace, which confers an inclination to the contrary, it is not easy to perform that act. Thus even the Philosopher says” that it is difficult for a just man to act unjustly.
10. Nothing intervenes between our mind and God either as an efficient cause (because our soul is created and justified immediately by God) or as the beatifying object (because the soul is made blessed by enjoying the possession of God Himself). There can nonetheless be a formal medium by which the soul is made like God.
11. Other creatures, which are irrational, are accepted by God only with regard to natural goods. Consequently, in their case divine acceptance does not add anything above the natural condition by which they are made proportionate to such goods. But man is accepted by God with regard to a supernatural good; and so there is required something added to his natural gifts by which he is proportioned to that good.
Q. 27: Grace
In the second article we ask:
Is ingratiatory grace the same as charity?
[Parallel readings: II Sent., 26, a. 4; S.T., I-II, 110, 3.]
it seems that it is, for 1. Ingratiatory grace in us is that gift of God by which we are acceptable to Him. But we are so by charity, as is written in Proverbs (8:17): “I love them that love me.” Ingratiatory grace is therefore the same as charity.
2. Augustine says that the benefit of God by which the will of man is prepared antecedently is faith—not unformed but formed faith, which is achieved by charity. Now since that benefit is antecedent grace, it therefore seems that charity is grace itself.
3. The Holy Spirit is sent invisibly to a person in order to dwell within him. By the same gift, then, He is sent and indwells. Now He
is said to be sent by the gift of charity, just as the Son is said to be sent by the gift of wisdom, because of the similarity of these gifts to the divine persons. But the Holy Spirit is said to dwell in the soul by grace. Grace is therefore the same as charity.
4. Grace is that gift of God by which we are made worthy to have eternal life. But man is made worthy of eternal life by charity, as is evident from the words in John (14:21): “If anyone shall love me he shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Now eternal life consists in that manifestation. Charity is therefore the same as grace.
5. In charity we can distinguish two aspects that are essential to it: by it man is dear to God, and by it man holds God dear. But man’s being dear to God is essential to charity antecedently to his holding God dear, as is made clear in the first Epistle of St. John (4:10): “Not as though we had loved God, but because he hath first loved us.” But this is the essence of grace: by it man is pleasing to God. Now, since it is the same thing to be dear to God and to be pleasing to Him, it therefore seems that grace is the same as charity.
6. Augustine says: “It is only charity which distinguishes between the sons of the kingdom and the sons of perdition, for the rest of God’s gifts are common to the good and the bad alike. But ingratiatory grace distinguishes between the sons of perdition and those of the kingdom and is found only in the good. It is therefore the same as charity.
7. Since ingratiatory grace is an accident, it can only be in the genus of quality, and there only in the first species: habit and disposition. Since it is not knowledge, it does not seem to be anything else than virtue. And no virtue can be called grace except charity, which is the form of the other virtues. Grace is therefore charity.
To the Contrary
1. Nothing precedes itself. But “grace precedes charity,” as Augustine says. Grace is therefore not the same as charity.
2. It is written in the Epistle to the Romans (5:5): “The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost who is given to us.” Then the giving of the Holy Ghost precedes charity as a cause its effect. But the Holy Ghost is given to us as a result of a particular gift of His. Then there is a particular gift in us which precedes charity, and this does not seem to be anything but grace. Consequently grace is something other than charity.
3. Grace is always in its act, because it always ingratiates man with God. But charity is not always in its act; for a man who has charity does not always actually love. Charity is therefore not grace.
4. Charity is a type of love. Now it is on the basis of love that we are loving. It is therefore on the basis of charity that we are loving. But we are not acceptable to God inasmuch as we are loving, but rather the other way about; for our acts are not the cause of grace, but vice versa. Consequently the grace by which we are made acceptable to God is something other than charity.
5. Whatever is common to many is not in any one of them by reason of anything that is proper to that one. But to produce a meritorious act is common to all virtue. It therefore belongs to no particular virtue on the basis of anything proper to it, and so not to charity either. It belongs to charity, then, on the basis of something common to it and all the virtues. But a meritorious act is from grace. Grace therefore expresses something common to charity and the other virtues. But it is apparently not common just predicatively, because then there would be as many graces as there are virtues. It is therefore common causally; and so grace is essentially distinct from charity.
6. Charity peffects the soul in relation to a lovable object. But grace does not imply a relation to any object, because it does not imply a relation to an act but to a particular way of being, namely, being pleasing to God. Therefore grace is not charity.
Some say that grace is essentially the same as virtue in reality, though it differs conceptually, so that virtue is spoken of in so far as it perfects an act, and grace in so far as it makes man and his act acceptable to God. And among the virtues charity especially is grace according to these men. Others,” on the contrary, say that charity and grace differ essentially, and that no virtue is essentially grace. This latter opinion seems the more reasonable.
Since different natures have different ends, there are three prerequisites for obtaining any end among natural things: a nature proportioned to that end, an inclination which is a natural appetite for that end, and a movement toward the end. Thus it is clear that in the element earth there is a certain nature by which being in the center is characteristic of it, and consequent upon this nature there is an inclination to the center according to which earth naturally tends to such a place even when it is violently kept away from it; and so when the obstacle is removed it always moves downward.
Now in his nature man is proportioned to a certain end for which he has a natural appetite and for the obtaining of which he can work by his natural powers. That end is a contemplation of divine things such as is possible to man according to the capabilities of his nature; and in this contemplation philosophers have placed man’s ultimate happiness.
But there is an end for which man is prepared by God which surpasses the proportion of human nature, that is, eternal life, which consists in the vision of God by His essence. That vision is not proportionate to any creature whatsoever, being connatural only to God. It is therefore necessary that there be given to man not only something by which he can work toward that end or by which his appetite should be inclined to that end, but also something by which man’s very nature should be raised to a dignity which would make such an end suited to him. For this, grace is given. But to incline his will to this end charity is given; and for carrying out the works by which that end is acquired, the other virtues are given.
Accordingly, just as in natural things the nature itself is distinct from the inclination of the nature and its motion or operation, in the same way in man’s gratuitous gifts grace is distinct from charity and the other virtues. And that this comparison is rightly taken can be seen from DionysiUS8 where he says that no one can have a spiritual operation unless he first receives a spiritual existence, just as he cannot have the operation of a particular nature unless he first has existence in that nature.
Answers to Difficulties
1. God loves those who love him, yet not in such a way that the love of those who love him is the reason why He Himself loves, but rather the other way about.
2. Faith is said to be an antecedent grace inasmuch as there appears in the first movement of faith the effect of antecedent grace.
3. The whole Trinity dwells in us by means of grace; but indwelling can be appropriated specially to one person because of some other special gift which bears a resemblance to that person and provides the basis for saying that that person is Sent.
4. Charity would not suffice for meriting eternal life unless it presupposed the fitness of the one meriting, and this is had by means of grace. Otherwise our love would not be deserving of so great a reward.
5. It is not out of keeping that something which is prior in reality should only posteriorly fulfill the notion of a particular name. Thus the cause of health is prior to health itself in the subject of health, and yet the term healthy signifies the one having health before it signifies the cause of health. In the same way, even though the divine love by which God loves us is prior to the love by which we love Him, yet charity implies in its notion that it makes God dear to us before it implies that it makes us dear to God. For the first belongs to love inasmuch as it is love, but not the second.
6. The fact that charity alone distinguishes between the sons of perdition and those of the kingdom belongs to it inasmuch as it cannot be unformed like the other virtues. Hence grace, by which charity itself is formed, is not thereby excluded.
7. Grace is in the first species of quality, though it cannot properly be called a habit because it is not immediately directed to an act but to a certain spiritual existence which it causes in the soul; and it is like a disposition in regard to glory, which is consummated grace. Yet nothing like grace is found among the accidents which the philosophers knew, because the philosophers knew only those accidents of the soul which are directed to acts proportioned to human nature.
Answers to Contrary Difficulties
We concede these even though some of them do not arrive at their conclusions correctly.
Q. 27: Grace
In the third article we ask:
Can any creature be the cause ofgrace?
[Parallel readings: I Sent., 14, q. 3; 40, 4, 2 ad 3; II Sent., 26, a. 1; IV Sent., 5, 1, 3 sol. 1; S.T., I-II, 112, 1; III, 62, 1; 64, 1.]
It seems that it can, for
1. In John (20:23) our Lord says to His disciples: “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them.” From this it is evident that men can forgive sins. But sins are forgiven only by means of grace. Then men can confer grace.
2. Dionysius says that, just as the spheres closer to the sun receive light from it and transmit it to other spheres, in the same way the substances that come close to God receive His light more fully and hand it on to others. But divine light is grace. Consequently certain creatures that more fully receive grace can hand it on to others.
3. According to Dionysius, good tends to pour itself out. Then anything that has goodness in greater measure also has diffusiveness in greater measure. But spiritual forms have more goodness than bodily forms, being closer to the highest good. Now, since bodily forms existing in some creatures are the principle of their sharing in the likeness of the species, all the more then can one who has grace cause grace in another.
4. The intellect is perfected by the light of truth just as the will is perfected by the divine light of grace. But one creature can furnish another with the light of the intellect. This is evident from the fact that according to Dionysius the higher angels enlighten the lower, and according to him that enlightenment is “the assumption of divine knowledge.” A rational creature can therefore also furnish another with grace.
5. Christ is our head in His human nature. But it is the function of the head to send forth feeling and movement into the members. Then Christ too in His human nature sends forth into the members of the Mystical Body spiritual feelings and movements, which mean graces according to Augustine.
6. It was said in answer that by His ministry Christ in His human nature poured out grace upon men.—On the contrary, Christ all alone and in preference to all others is the head of the Church. But to work for the conferring of grace by way of the ministry is attributable to other ministers of the Church as well. It therefore does not suffice for the character of the head that He imparts grace by way of the ministry.
7. The death and resurrection of Christ belong to Him according to His human nature. But in commenting upon the words of the Psalm (29:6): “In the evening weeping shall have place,” the Gloss says: “Christ’s resurrection is the cause of the resurrection of the soul in the present time and of the body in the future.” Now the resurrection of the soul in the present is through grace. In His human nature therefore Christ is the cause of grace.
8. A substantial form, which gives existence and life, is nobler than any accidental form. But a created agent has power over a substantial form which gives existence and life, that is, a vegetative and sensitive form. With all the more reason, then, does it have power over an accidental form, grace.
9. It was said that the reason why a creature cannot cause grace is that, since it is not drawn out of the potentiality of matter, it does not come into being except through creation, whereas an infinite power is needed to create because of the infinite distance between being and nothing; and so it cannot be within the competence of any creature.On the contrary, it is impossible to traverse infinite distances. But the distance from being to nothing is in fact traversed, since a creature would of itself fall into nothingness “unless sustained by the hand of its Creator” according to Gregory. The distance between being and nothing is therefore not infinite.
10. The ability to cause grace does not imply a power that is infinite simply but only in a certain respect. That can be seen from this: if we said that God could not make anything but grace, we should not be saying that He has a power simply infinite. But it is not incongruous for a power that is infinite in a certain respect to be conferred upon a creature; for grace itself has a power which is in some sense infinite, inasmuch as it joins one to the infinite good. Consequently nothing prevents a creature from having the power of causing grace.
11. It is a part of the glory of a king to have under him powerful and valorous soldiers. Then it is a part of God’s glory that the saints who are subject to Him should be of great power. If, then, it is held that a saint is able to confer grace, the divine glory will not be prejudiced at all.
12. In the Epistle to the Romans (3:22) it is written: “Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ.” And again in the same Epistle (10:17) we read: “Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ.” Now since the word of Christ comes from a preacher, it therefore seems that grace or justice is from the preacher of the faith.
13. Anyone can give to another what is his own. But grace or the Holy Spirit belongs to a man because it is given to him. A person can therefore give another grace or the Holy Spirit.
14. No one has to give an account of what is not under his control. But the prelates of the Church are to give an account of the souls of their subjects; for we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews (13:17): “For they watch as being to render an account of your souls.” The souls of the subjects are therefore under the control of the prelates so that the latter can justify them by grace.
15. God’s ministers are more acceptable to Him than are the ministers of a temporal king to that king. But the ministers of a king can bestow upon someone the king’s grace or favor. Then God’s ministers too can bestow the grace of God.
16. Whatever is the cause of a cause is the cause of thefeffect. But a priest is the cause of the imposition of hands, which in turn is the cause of the Holy Spirit’s being given, according to the Acts of the Apostles (8:17): “They laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” The priest is therefore the cause of grace in which the Holy Spirit is given.
17. All power that is communicable to creatures has been communicated to them, because, if God could have communicated it and was unwilling to, He was jealous, as Augustine argueS7.to prove the equality of the Son. But the power of conferring grace was communicable to creatures, as the Master says. Therefore the power of conferring grace has been communicated to some creature.
18. According to Dionysius, it is a law of the godhead to lead the last things back to God through intermediate things. But the leading of rational creatures back to God is accomplished especially by means of grace. By means of the higher rational creatures, then, the lower obtain grace.
19. To drive out something principal is more than to drive out something accessory. But the power of driving out demons, the cause of our wickedness, has been given to men, as is evident from Luke (10:17) and Matthew. Then there is also given to men the power of driving out sins, and therefore of conferring grace.
20. It was answered that a man does this only through his ministry—On the contrary, the priest of the gospel is more powerful than the priest of the Law. But the priest of the Law works by way of ministry. The priest of the gospel therefore has something more than ministry.
21. The soul lives by the life, of nature and by the life of grace. But it communicates the life of nature to another, the body. Then it can also communicate to another the life of grace.
22. Guilt and grace are contraries. But the soul can be the cause of its own guilt. Consequently it can be the cause of its own grace.
23 Man is called a microcosm inasmuch as he bears within himself the likeness of the macrocosm. But in the macrocosm a spiritual effect, the sentient and vegetative soul, is from a creature. Then in the microcosm too, that is, in man, the spiritual effect of grace is from a creature.
24. According to the Philosopher, anything is perfect when it can make another like itself; and he is speaking of the perfection of nature. But the perfection of grace is greater than that of nature. Therefore one who has the perfection of grace can establish another in grace.
25. The action of a form is attributed to the one having the form, as heating, which is the’act of heat, is attributed to fire. But to justify is the act of justice. It is therefore attributed to a just person. But justification is effected only through grace. Therefore a just man can give grace.
To the Contrary
1. Augustine says that holy men cannot give the Holy Spirit. But in the gift of grace the Holy Spirit is given. A holy man therefore cannot give grace.
2. If one who has grace can give it to another, he does not do so by creating grace in him from nothing, because creating is the work of God alone. Nor again does he do so by bestowing some of the grace which he himself has, because then his own grace would be diminished and he would become less acceptable to God by doing a work acceptable to God. But that is unreasonable. In no way, then, can a man give grace to another.
3. Anselm proves that the reparation of the human race could not have been done by an angel, because then the human race would have been indebted to the angel for its salvation, and it could by no means attain equality with the angel. But the salvation of man is by grace. The same difficulty would therefore follow if an angel were to give man grace. But much less can a man give man grace. No creature, therefore, can give grace.
4. According to Augustine “to justify a sinner is greater than to create heaven and earth.” But a sinner is justified through grace. Consequently, since no creature can create heaven and earth, neither can it confer grace.
5. Every action takes place through some connection of the agent with the patient. But no creature insinuates itself into the mind, in which grace is found. Therefore no creature can confer grace.
It must simply be granted that no creature can effectively create grace, though a creature can make use of a ministry ordained to the reception of grace. There are three reasons for this.
The first reason is taken from the nature of grace itself. For grace is a perfection raising the soul to a supernatural existence, as has been said. But no supernatural effect can be caused by a creature, for two reasons: (1) Because advancing a thing beyond the state of its nature is the work of him alone whose business it is to establish the degrees of nature and set their limits. But it is obvioVs that only God can do that. (2) Because no created power acts without presupposing the potentiality of matter or of something taking the place of matter. But the natural potentiality of a creature does not go beyond natural perfections. Hence a creature cannot perform any supernatural action. It is for this reason that miracles are worked only by the agency of divine power, even though a creature may cooperate in the accomplishment of a miracle either by praying or by making use of a ministry in any other way whatsoever. Consequently no creature can effectively cause grace.
The second reason is taken from the working of grace. For the will of man is changed by grace, since it is grace which prepares the will of man to will good, according to Augustine.” But it is the work of God alone to change the will, even though a person can in some way change another’s intellect. This is due to the fact that, since the principle of any act is the power and the object together, the act of any power can be changed in two ways: (1) From the point of view of the power, when someone works upon the power itself. Now in regard to the powers which are not attached to organs, namely, the intellect and the will, that belongs to God alone. Upon the other powers someone else can work indirectly, inasmuch as he acts upon their organs. (2) From the point of view of the object, by making use of an object that will move the power.
Now no object moves the will with necessity except one which is naturally willed, such as happiness or the like, which is presented to the will only by God. The other objects do not necessarily move the will. But the intellect is moved with necessity not only by naturally known first principles but also by conclusions, which are not naturally known, because of their necessary relationship to principles. This necessary relationship is not found on the part of the will with regard to the good naturally desired when it is willing other goods, since it is possible to arrive at that good naturally desired in many different ways, at least in one’s own opinion. A creature can therefore sufficiently move the intellect from the point of view of its object, but not the will. But from the point of view of the power neither the intellect nor the will can be so moved. Because, then, no creature can change the will, neither can any creature confer grace, by which the will is changed.
The third reason is taken from the end of grace. For the end is proportioned to the principle which is acting, seeing that the end and principle of the whole universe are one. Consequently, just as the first action by means of which things come into being, creation, is from God alone, who is the first principle and last end of creatures; in the same way the conferring of grace, by means of which a rational mind is immediately joined to the last end, is from God alone.
Answers to Difficulties
1. Only God forgives sins by reason of authority, as is made clear in Isaiah (4 3: 25): “I am he that blot out thy iniquities by my own power.”“ Men are said to forgive sins by their ministry.
2. Dionysius is speaking of the outpouring of divine light through teaching, for it is in this way that the lower angels are enlightened by the higher. That is his meaning in the passage.
3. It is not from any lack of goodness in grace that the one who has it cannot impart it to another; but it is from its surpassing nobility as well as from the deficiency of the one who has it, because it transcends the state of created nature and the one who has it does not share it to such a degree of perfection that he can communicate it.
4. The case of the will is not the same as that of the intellect, for the reason already explained.
5. Christ as God imparts grace effectively, but as man by His ministry. Thus it is written in the Epistle to the Romans (15: 8): “For I say that Christ Jesus was minister...”
6. The reason why Christ in His human nature is called the head of the Church in preference to all the other ministers is that He had a higher ministry than the others inasmuch as we are justified by faith in Him, we undergo the influence of the sacraments by calling upon His name, and by His passion the whole of human nature is cleansed of the sin of our first parent; and there are many other such marks of pre-eminence that are peculiar to Christ.
7. As Damascene says, Christ’s humanity was like an “instrument of His divinity.” For this reason the works of His humanity, such as the resurrection, the passion, etc., are instrumental with regard to the effect of His divinity. Christ’s resurrection, accordingly, does not cause spiritual resurrection in us as the principal agent but as the instrumental cause.—Or it can be said that it is the cause of our spiritual resurrection in so far as we are justified by faith in Him.—Or again the answer could be that it is the exemplary cause of spiritual rcsurrection inasmuch as there is in Christ’s resurrection a pattern of our spiritual resurrection.
8. Like other natural forms, the sentient and vegetative soul does not go beyond the state of created nature. And therefore, given the potentiality which there is in nature as regards such forms, a natural agent has some influence upon their education. But the case is not the same with grace, as is evident from what has bedh said.
9. The reason given in answer is not sufficient in every respect. To be created properly applies to subsistent beings, to which it properly belongs to be and to become; but forms that are not subsistent, whether accidental or substantial forms, are properly not created but co-created, just as they do not have being of themselves but in another. Even though they do not have as one of their constituents any matter from which they come, yet they do have matter in which they are, upon which they depend and by whose change they are brought forth into existence. Consequently their becoming is properly the transformation of their subjects. Hence by reason of the matter in which they are, creation is not properly ascribed to them. The case is different, however, for a rational soul, which is a subsistent form; and so being created properly applies to it.
But granting the reason given, we must answer the argument of the rejoinder, which comes to a false conclusion and in a false manner. It must be said in answer that there are three different cases as regards the distance between two things: (1) It is infinite on both sides, as, for instance, if one man would have infinite whiteness and another would have infinite blackness. The distance between the divine existence and absolute non-existence is infinite in this way. (2) It is finite on both sides, as when one man would have finite whiteness
and the other finite blackness. In this way created existence is distant from non-existence under a certain aspect. (3) It is finite on the one side and infinite on the other, as, for example, if one man would have finite whiteness and the other infinite blackness. The distance between created existence and absolute non-existence is of this kind; for created existence is finite, and absolute non-existence is infinite in the sense that it exceeds every lack that can be thought of. This distance, then, can be traversed from its finite side, inasmuch as finite existence is cither acquired or lost, but not from its infinite side.
10. The ability to cause grace belongs to a power that is absolutely infinite, seeing that it belongs to the power which establishes nature, which is infinite. To be able to give grace and to be unable to create other things are therefore incompatible.
11. The power of his soldiers is a part of the glory of a king if it is of such a kind and of such a degree that it does not withdraw them from their subjection to him, but not if by their power they are removed from that subjection. Now by the power of conferring grace a creature would be made equal to God, as having infinite power. It would therefore derogate from the divine glory if a creature had such power.
12. Hearing is not the adequate cause of faith, as is evident from the fact that many hear who do not believe. But he who makes the believer assent to what is said is the cause of faith. The believer is not, however, forced to assent by any necessity of reason but by his will. Consequently it is not the man who announces the truths externally that causes faith, but God, who alone can change the will. He causes faith in the believer by inclining his will and enlightening his intellect with the light of faith so that he does not fight against the truths proposed by the preacher. The preacher meanwhile does the work of exteriorly disposing him for the faith.
13. I can give what is mine as a possession, but not what is mine as an inherent form. I cannot, for instance, give my color or my quantity. Now grace belongs to a man in this way, and not in the first.
14. Even though a prelate cannot give grace to his subject, still by admonishing and rebuking he can cooperate in giving grace to someone or in keeping him from losing the grace already iiven. In virtue of such a responsibility he is held to give an account of the souls of his subjects.
15. The ministers of a king do not bestow the king’s grace upon anyone except by way of intercession. God’s ministers too can in the same way bestow grace upon a sinner by obtaining it with eir prayers, but not by effectively causing, the grace.
16. The imposition of hands does not cause the coming of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit comes simultaneously with the imposition of hands. It is accordingly not said in the text that the Apostles, imposing their hands, gave the Holy Spirit, but that they imposed their hands and the people received the Holy Spirit, i.e., from God.
Yet if the imposition of hands is in some sense called the cause of the reception of the Holy Spirit (in the manner in which the sacraments are the cause of grace, as will be explained later) the imposition of hands will have this power, not as being from man, but from its divine institution.
17. The opinion of the Master is not commonly held on this point, namely, that the power of creating and justifying can be conferred upon a creature, though even the Master did not say that the power of justifying by authority could be conferred upon a creature, but only of doing so by ministry.
Yet even if it is communicable to a creature, it still does not follow that it was in fact communicated. For when it is said that everything that is communicable to creatures has been communicated to them, this must be understood of the things that their nature requires, not of the things that can be superadded to their natural attributes by the divine liberality alone. Concerning these no jealousy is apparent even if they are not conferred. There is consequently no parallel with the Son. For it is essential to sonship that the son have the nature of his begetter. Hence, if God the Father did not communicate to His Son the fullness of His nature, that would seem to be due either to impotency or to jealousy; and particularly if one follows the opinion of those who said that the Father begot the Son by His will.
18. The statement of Dionysius is not to be taken to mean that the lowest things are joined to the last end by means of the intermediate causes, but that the intermediate causes dispose them for that union either by enlightenment or by any other sort of ministry.
19. That power was given to the Apostles in order to expel demons from bodies, and obviously that is less than to expel sin from the soul. And furthermore it was not given to them to expel the demons by their own power but by calling upon the name of Christ, obtaining it through prayer. This appears from what is said in Mark (16:17): “In my name they shall cast out devils.”
20. The priests of the Law did not do anything to confer grace even by way of ministry except remotely, by their exhortation and doctrine. For the sacraments of the Old Law, of which they were the ministers, did not confer grace, as do the sacraments of the New Law, whose ministers are the priests of the gospel. The new priesthood is therefore nobler than the old, as the Apostle proves in the Epistle to the Hebrews (chs. 7-10).
21. The soul has a different relation to natural life than it has to the life of grace. It stands to the life of grace as that which lives by something else, but to the life of nature as that by which something else lives. Consequently it cannot communicate the life of grace, but receives it when communicated. It does, however, communicate the life of nature; but it does this only as being formally united to the body. Now it is not possible for the soul to be formally united to another soul capable of living by the life of grace. Hence there is no parallel. It is not impossible for an agent to act according to its own species or even beneath it; but nothing can act above its own species. Now grace is above the nature of the soul, whereas guilt is either on the level of nature as regards the animal part or beneath it as regards reason. There is accordingly no parallel between guilt and grace.
23. Even in the microcosm, man, a spiritual accident which does not surpass nature is to some extent caused by a created power; that is, knowledge is caused by a teacher in his pupil. This is not true of grace, however, because it surpasses nature. But the sentient and vegetative soul is contained within the order of natural beings.
24. The perfection of grace is superior to the perfection of nature from the standpoint of the perfecting form, not from that of the thing perfected. For in a way what is natural is more perfectly possessed than what is above nature, inasmuch as it is proportioned to a natural active power which does not measure up to a supernatural gift. It therefore cannot transmit a supernatural gift by its own power, though it can make something like itself in nature.
This is, however, not universally true, because the more perfect creatures cannot make anything like themselves. The sun, for example, cannot produce another sun, nor an angel another angel. It is true only among corruptible creatures, which have been divinely provided with a generative power in order that what cannot perdure as an individual may perdure in the species.
25. The act of a form is of two kinds. There is one which is an operation, such as to heat. This is a second act. And such an act of the form is attributed to the supposite. Another act of the form is the information of the matter, as to give life to the body is the act of the soul. This1s, the first act. Such an act is not attributed to the supposite of the form. Now it is in this sense that the act of justice or of grace is to justify.
Q. 27: Grace
In the fourth article we ask:
Are the sacraments of the new law the cause of grace?
[Parallel readings: IV Sent., I, 1, 4 sol. 1 & 2; 18, 1, 3 sol. 1 ad 1; In Gal., c. 2, lect. 4 (P 13:397b); S.T., IV, 56 & 57; De art. fidei et eccl. sac. (P 16:119b); S.T., I-II, 112, 1 ad 2; III, 62, 1 & 6; Quodl. XII, (10), 14.]
It seems that they are not, for
1. Bernard says: “Just as a canon is invested by means of a book, an abbot by means of a crosier, and a bishop by means of a ring, so the different classes of grace are bestowed by the different sacraments.” But the book is not the cause of the canonry; nor the crosier, of the abbacy; nor the ring, of the episcopacy. Then neither are the sacraments the cause of grace.
2. If a sacrament is the cause of grace, it is either the principal or the instrumental cause. Now it is not the principal cause, because only God is the cause of grace in this way, as has been said. Nor again is it the instrumental cause, because every instrument has some natural action upon the thing on which it works instrumentally. But since a sacrament is something corporeal, it cannot have any natural action upon the soul, which is the recipient of grace. And so it cannot be the instrumental cause of grace.
3. Every active cause is either perfective or dispositive, as can be gathered from the words of Avicenna. But a sacrament is not a perfective cause of grace, because in that case it would be its.principal cause. Nor is it a dispositive cause, because the disposition for grace is in the same subject that grace is in, the soul, which is not affected by anything corporeal. A sacrament is therefore in no way the cause of grace.
4. If it is the cause of grace, it is so either by its own power or by some power added to it. It is not so by its own power, because in that case any water would sanctify just as well as the water of baptism. Likewise it is not so by any power added to it, because whatever is received into another is received after the manner of the recipient. Thus, since a sacrament is “a material element,” as Hugh of St. Victor says, it will not receive anything but a material power, which does not suffice for the production of a spiritual form. A sacrament is therefore in no wise the cause of grace.
5. The power received into this “material element” will be either corporeal or incorporeal. If it is incorporeal, since it is an accident and its subject is a body, it will be nobler than its subject; for something incorporeal is nobler than a body. If, on the other hand, it is a corporeal power and causes grace, which is a spiritual form and incorporeal, the effect will as a consequence be nobler than its cause. But that again is impossible. It is therefore also impossible for a sacrament to cause grace.
6. It was said in answer that this added power is not something complete in a species but something incomplete.—On the contrary, what is incomplete cannot be the cause of what is complete. But grace is something complete, whereas this power is something incomplete. Such an incomplete power therefore cannot be the cause of grace.
7. A perfect agent should have a perfect instrument. But the sacraments act as the instruments of God, who is the most perfect agent. They should therefore be perfect, and so have perfect power.
8. According to Dionysius, it is a law of divinity to conduct the intermediate things by means of the first, and the last thing by means of the intermediate. It is therefore against the law of divinity for intermediate or first things to be led back to God by means of the last things. But in the hierarchy of creatures corporeal ones are the last, and spiritual substances are first. It is consequently out of keeping for grace, by which the human mind is led back to God, to be conferred upon it by means of corporeal elements.
9. Augustine distinguishes” a twofold action on the part of God: one which He performs “by means of a creature which stands for Him,” and another which He immediately performs “by Himself.” “To enlighten souls” is of this latter kind. But to confer grace upon a soul is to enlighten it. God therefore does not make use of a sacrament as an intermediate instrument to confer grace.
10. If any power is conferred upon a material element by which it might cause grace, when the sacrament is finished that power either remains or not. If it remains, then in the case of baptismal water after it has been sanctified by the word of life, if a person were to be baptized after another’s baptism without the pronouncing of any words, he would be baptized. But that is false. If, on the other hand, it does not remain, since no contrary cause of its perishing can be assigned, it will wear out df itself. But since it is something spiritual and one of the greatest goods, being the cause of grace, it seems incongruous for it to disappear so quickly.
11. An agent is superior to its patient. Thus Augustine proves that a body does not imprint upon the soul the likenesses by which the soul knows. But that a body not joined to the soul should cause in it the supernatural form of grace is even more to be rejected than that the body united to it should cause in it a natural effect. It therefore seems by no means possible that such bodily elements, which are found in the sacraments, should be the cause of grace.
12. The soul disposes itself to have grace more effectively than it is disposed by the sacraments, because the disposition which the soul produces in itself leads to grace even without any sacrament, but not vice versa. Now even though the soul disposes itself for grace, it is not called the cause of grace. Consequently, even if the sacraments in some way dispose for grace, they should not be called the cause of grace.
13. No wise craftsman uses a tool except in accordance with its fitness, as a carpenter does not use a saw for hewing. But God is a most wise craftsman. He therefore does not make use of a corporeal instrument for a spiritual effect, which is beyond the competence of a corporeal nature.
14. A wise physician uses more powerful remedies for more virulent diseases. But the disease of sin is most virulent. Consequently for its cure through the conferring of grace God should have used powerful remedies and not corporeal elements.
15. The re-creation of the soul ought to be similar to its creation. But God created the soul without the intervention of any creature. Then in like manner He should re-create it by means of grace without the intervention of a sacrament.
16. It is a sign of the impotence of the agent to have helps. But instruments help toward producing the effect of the principal agent. Then it does not befit God, who is the most powerful agent, to confer grace by means of the sacraments as His instruments.
17. In every instrument its natural action, which contributes something to the effect intended by the principal agent, is required. But the natural action of a material element does not seem to have anything to do with the effect of grace which God intends to produce in the soul. In baptism, for instance, the washing does not have any closer bearing upon the soul than the water itself. Such sacraments therefore do not work toward the conferring of grace as instruments.
18. Sacraments are not conferred without a minister. Now if sacraments are in any way the cause of graceoman will in some way be the cause of grace. But that is contrary to the teaching of Augustine, who says” that the power of justifying has not been conferred upon the minister, lest hope be placed in a man.
19. In grace the Holy Spirit is given. If, then, the sacraments are the cause of grace, they will cause the giving of the Holy Spirit. But that is contrary to Augustine, who says that no creature “can give the Holy Spirit.” Sacraments are therefore by no means the cause of grace.
To the Contrary
1. Defining a sacrament of the New Law, the Master says: A sacrament is the visible form of an invisible grace, in the sense that it bears the image and becomes the cause of the grace.”
2. Ambrose says that grace is stronger than guilt. And this is evident also from the Apostle in his Epistle to the Romans (5:15-19). But guilt is caused in the soul through the infection of the body. Then grace too can be caused in the soul through the sanctification of a bodily element.
3. Through the institution of the sacraments there is added to the natural instruments either something or nothing. If nothing, then nothing has been conferred upon the world in the institution of the sacraments. But that is unacceptable. If, on the other hand, something is added, since it is not added in vain, the natural instrument will be capable of effecting something that it was previously unable to effect. But this can be only grace, since sacraments were instituted to this end. The sacraments are therefore capable of effecting grace.
4. It was said that only a certain ordination to grace is added.On the contrary, an ordination is a relation. But a relation is always founded upon something absolute, on which account there is motion in the category of relation indirectly. Consequently, if an ordination is added, something absolute must be added.
5. What is absolute is not caused by what is relative, because what is relative has a very weak act of being. Now if nothing but a relation is added to the sacraments by their institution, they will not be able to sanctify by reason of their institution. But this is contrary to Hugh of St. Victor.
6. It was said that the cause of the sanctification is not that relation but the divine power attached to the sacraments.—On the contrary, the divine powq, which is God Himself, is connected with the sacraments after their institution either in a different way than before or not. If ftot in a different way, they will not have any different effect after their institution than they did before. If, however, in a different way, since God is said to be in a creature in a new way only because He causes a new effect in it, something new will have to be added to the sacraments themselves. And so the conclusion is the same as before.
7. In certain sacraments consecrate d matter is required, as in extreme unction and confirmation. But that consecration is not without purpose. By it, then, some spiritual power is conferred upon the sacraments by reason of which they can be in some measure the cause of grace, since that power is directed to this end.
It is necessary to hold that the sacraments of the New Law are in some sense the cause of grace. For the Old Law was said to kill and to increase the transgressions because it gave knowledge of sin but did not confer any grace as a help against sin. Now if the New Law did not confer grace, it would likewise be said to kill and to increase the transgressions. But the teachings of the apostles proclaim the contrary. It does not, however, confer grace merely by instruction (because even the Old Law had this feature), but by causing grace in some sense through its sacraments. The Church is accordingly not content with the catechizing by which it instructs a convert; but it adds the sacraments that he may have grace, which the sacraments of the Old Law did not confer but merely signified. But signification pertains to instruction. Thus, because the Old Law merely instructed, its sacraments were only signs of grace; whereas, because the New Law both instructs and justifies, its sacraments are both the sign and the cause of grace. But how they are the cause of grace not all explain in the same way.
Some say that they are the cause of grace, not because they themselves by any power vested in them do anything effective for bringing about grace, but because in their reception grace is given by God, who upholds the sacraments. As a result they are called the cause of grace in the manner of an indispensable (sine qua non) cause. They give as an example of this the case of a man who hands over a lead nickel and receives a hundred dollars in exchange, not because the lead nickel is the cause which brings on the reception of the hundred dollars, but because one who is able to give it has decreed that whoever brings in such a nickel should receive so much money. It has similarly been decreed by God that whoever sincerely receives the sacraments should receive grace, not indeed from the sacraments but from God Himself. And they say that the Master was of this opinion when he said that one receiving a sacrament seeks salvation in things beneath himself, though not from them.
Now this opinion does not seem sufficiently to safeguard the dignity of the sacraments of the New Law. For if the example proposed by them and similar cases are rightly considered, we find that what they call an indispensable cause is related to the effect only as a sign. For the lead nickel is nothing but a sign of the reception of the money, like the staff of authority which is conferred upon an abbot.
Consequently, if the sacraments of the New Law are so related to grace, it will follow that they are only signs of grace; and thus they will have nothing to set them above the sacraments of the Old Lawtinless perhaps one were to say that the sacraments of the New Law are signs of a grace given simultaneously with them, whereas those of the Old Law are signs of a grace that is promised. But this refers more to a difference of time than to the dignity of the sacraments, because at that time grace was promised, but now is the time of the fullness of grace on account of the restoration of human nature already accomplished. According to this opinion, then, if these same sacraments of the New Law had existed then with everything which they now have, they would not have effected anything more than those of the Old Law, nor would the ancient sacraments now effect anything less than the present ones even if nothing were added to them.
We must therefore solve the problem differently and say that the sacraments of the New Law have some effect upon our having grace. Now a thing works for the production of an effect in two ways: (1) By acting of itself. And something is said to act of itself if it acts by means of a form inherent to it after the manner of a complete nature, whether it has that form of itself or from another, and whether naturally or violently. In this way the sun and the moon are said to light things, and fire and red-hot iron and heated water to heat things. (2) A thing is said to work toward the production of an effect instrumentally if it does not do so by means of a form inherent to it but only in so far as it is moved by an agent that acts of itself.
It is the nature of an instrument as instrument to move something else when moved itself. The motion by which the instrument is moved by the principal agent is therefore related to the instrument as a complete form is related to an agent acting, of itself. It is in this way, for instance, that a saw works upon a bench. Now although the saw has an action which attaches to it in accordance with its own form, that is, to divide, n&brtheless it has an effect which does not attach to it except in so far as it is moved by a craftsman, namely, to make a straight cut agreeing with the pattern. Thus an instrument has two operations, one which belongs to it according to its own form, and another which belongs to it in so far as it is moved by the principal agent and which rises above the ability of its own form.
We must therefore say that neither a sacrament nor any other creature can give grace as a principal agent, because this is proper to the divine power exclusively, as is evident from the preceding article. But the sacraments work instrumentally toward the production of grace. This is explained as follows.
Damascene says that in Christ His human nature was like a tool of His divinity, and thus His human nature shared somewhat in the working of the divine power. By touching a leper, for instance, Christ made him clean. The very touch of Christ thus caused the health of the leper instrumentally.
It was not merely in corporeal effects that Christ’s human nature shared instrumentally in the effect of the divine power but also in spiritual effects. Thus Christ’s blood poured out for us had the ability to wash away sins, as is said in the Apocalypse (1: 5): “[Jesus Christ] washed us from our sins in his own blood,” and in the Epistle to the Romans (3:24): “Being justified... in his blood.”
Thus the humanity of Christ is the instrumental cause of justification. This cause is applied to us spiritually through faith and bodily through the sacraments, because Christ’s humanity is both spirit and body. This is done to the end that we may receive within ourselves the effect of sanctification, which is had through Christ. As a consequence the most perfect sacrament is that in which the body of Christ is really contained, the Eucharist; and it is the consummation of all the others, as Dionysius says. But the other sacraments also share some of the efficacy by which Christ’s humanity works instrumentally for our justification. By reason of it a person sanctified by baptism is said by the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews (10: 10-2 2) to be sanctified by the blood of Christ. Christ’s passion is accordingly said to work in the sacraments of the New Law. Thus the sacraments of the New Law are causes of grace working in some sense instrumentally to produce it.
Answers to Difficulties
1. Bernard does not deal adequately with the nature of the sacraments of the New Law, for he speaks of them inasmuch as they are signs and not inasmuch as they are causes.
2. The sacraments of the New Law are not the principal cause of grace as agents acting of themselves, but the instrumental cause; and after the manner of other instruments they have a twofold action: one which surpasses its own form, being from the power of the form of the principal agent, God; and this is to justify; and another which they exercise according to their own form, as to wash or to anoint. This latter action affects in a bodily manner the man who is justifiedin his body directly and in his soul, which senses the bodily action, indirectly. But it affects in a spiritual manner the soul itself inasmuch as by means of the intellect the soul perceives it as a sign of a spiritual cleansing.
3. Because the last end corresponds to the first agent as principal to principal, for this reason not the last end but a disposition for the last end is attributed to instrumental agents. And so the sacraments are said to be the cause of grace as disposing instruments.
4. The sacraments do not work for the production of grace by the power of their own form, for in that case they would work as principal agents; but they work by the power of the principal agent, God, existing in them. That power does not have a complete act of being in nature, but is something incomplete in the line of being. That is shown from the fact that an instrument moves in so far as it is moved. But motion is “an imperfect act” according to the Philosopher. Consequently, things which cause motion as being at the term of the motion and already assimilated to the agent, move by means of a perfect form; but things which cause motion as being in the midst of motion, move by means of an incomplete power. It is this sort of power which is in the air to move sight in so far as it is changed by the color of a wall, in the sense of being in process and not in that of already being in the completed state. The species of the color is accordingly in the air after the manner of an intention, and not after the manner of a complete being as it is in the wall.
In the same way the sacraments have an effect upon grace inasmuch as they are, as it were, moved by God to this effect. And that motion can be considered on the basis of their institution, their sanctification, and their application to the one who goes to the sacraments. They consequently do not have their efficacy after the manner of a complete being, but in a sense incompletely. Thus it is not out of keeping for a spiritual power to be in a material being, just as the species of color are spiritually in the air.
5. That power cannot, properly speaking, be called either corporeal or incorporeal; for corporeal and incorporeal are differences of complete being. Properly it is called a power for something incorporeal, just as motion is rather said to be to a being than a being. But the difficulty argues as if that power were a complete form.
6. Something incomplete cannot be the cause of something complete as a principal agent; yet something incomplete can in a sense be directed after the manner of a cause to something complete, as we say that the motion of the instrument is the cause of the form introduced by the principal agent.
7. It does not pertain to the perfection of an instrument to act by a complete power, but to act in so far as it is moved, and thus by an incomplete power. It therefore does not follow that the sacraments are imperfect instruments even though their power is not a complete being.
8. An instrument is related to an action more like that by which it is done than like that which does it; for the principal agent acts by means of the instrument. Accordingly, although the lowest beings do not lead the intermediate or highest beings back to God, they can still serve as the means by which the intermediate and higher beings are led back to God. Consequently Dionysius also says that it is connatural for us to be led to God by means of sensible things, and he gives this as the reason for the necessity of visible sacraments.
9. It is suitable for God to enlighten the soul without the intervention of any creature which would act in this work as a principal agent acting of itself. There can nevertheless be a means acting instrumentally and dispositively.
10. There are some sacraments in which consecrated matter is required, e.g., extreme unction and confirmation; but there are others in which this is not required as necessary for the sacrament. It is therefore true in the case of all that the power of the sacrament does not consist in the matter alone, but in the matter and form together, both of which constitute a single sacrament. Consequently, however much the matter of the sacrament is applied to a man, if the due form of the words and the other requisites are missing, the effect of the sacrament does not follow.
But in the case of the sacraments which need consecrated matter, the power of the sacrament remains partially though not completely in the matter of the sacrament after its use. But in the case of the sacraments which do not need consecrated matter, nothing remains after the use of the sacrament. Thus the water with which baptism has been conferred has nothing more than any other water, unless it be because of the mingling of the chrism, which is not, however, necessary for the sacrament. Nor is there anything incongruous in the fact that the power ceases immediately, because that power is like a thing in the process of becoming and moving, as has been said. Such things cease to exist when the motion of the mover ceases; for as soon as the mover ceases to move, the mobile ceases to be moved.
11. Although a bodily element is inferior to the soul, and for this reason cannot effect anything in the soul by virtue of its own nature, it can nonetheless effect something in the soul inasmuch as it is an instrument acting by the divine power.
12. In disposing itself for grace the soul acts by virtue of its own nature, whereas a sacrament acts by the divine virtue as God’s instrument. And so the case is not the same.
13 In keeping with its own form a sacrament signifies or is such as to signify the effect to which it is divinely ordained. In this respect it is a suitable instrument, because the sacraments cause by signifying.
14. The sacraments of the New Law are not weak remedies, but powerful, seeing that the passion of Christ works in them. The sacramcnts of the Old Law, however, which preceded the passion of Christ, are called weak, as appears in the Epistle to the Galatians (4:9): “You have turned to the weak and needy elements.”
15. Creation does not presuppose anything in which the action of an instrumental agent could terminate, but re-creation does. There is accordingly no parallel.
16. It is not because of His own need but for the meetness of the effects that God uses instruments or intervening causes in His action. For it is meet that the divine remedies should be presented to us conformably to our condition, that is, through sensible things, as Dionysius says.
17. The natural action of a material instrument helps toward the effect of the sacrament in so far as the sacrament is applied by it to the recipient and in so far as the signification of the sacrament is completed by the said action, as the signification of baptism by washing.
18. There are some sacraments in which a definite minister is not required, as in baptism. In these the power of the sacrament is not situated in the minister at all. But there are some sacraments in which a definite minister is required. The power of these is partially situated in the minister as well as in the matter and the form. And yet the minister is not said to justify except by way of the ministry, inasmuch as he cooperates in justification by conferring a sacrament.
19. The Holy Spirit is given only by him who causes grace as the principal agent; and this is the business of God alone. Thus only God gives the Holy Spirit.
Q. 27: Grace
In the fifth article we ask:
In one man is there only one ingratiatory grace?
[Parallel readings: II Sent., 26, a. 6; IV Sent., I, 1, 4 sol. 5.]
It seems that there is not, for
1. Nothing is distinguished from itself. But grace is distinguished into operating and cooperating grace. Operating and cooperating grace are therefore different kinds, and in one man there is not just one ingratiatory grace.
2. It was said in answer that operating and cooperating grace are one and the same from the viewpoint of the habit, but the distinction is made from the viewpoint of the distinct acts.—On the contrary, habits are distinguished by their acts. If, then, the acts are distinct, the two kinds of grace cannot be a single habit.
3. No one has to ask for what he already has. But a person who has antecedent grace has to ask for subsequent grace, according to Augustine. Antecedent grace and subsequent grace are therefore not one and the same.
4. It was said that a person having antecedent grace does not ask for subsequent grace as a distinct grace but as the preservation of the same one.—On the contrary, grace is stronger than nature. But man in the state of uncorrupted nature was able by himself to remain in possession of what he had received, as is said in the Sentences. Consequently one who has received antecedent grace is able to remain in it, and so he does not have to ask for this.
5. Form is distinguished in the same way as the things to be perfected. But grace is the form of virtues. Since there are many virtues, grace therefore cannot be one.
6. Antecedent grace refers to this present life, but subsequent grace refers to glory. Thus Augustine says: “It precedes in order that we may live piously, and it follows in order that we may always live with God; it precedes that we may be called, and it follows that we may be glorified. Now the grace of this present life is different from that of our heavenly home, since nature as created and nature as glorified do not have the same perfection, as the Master says. Antecedent grace and subsequent grace are therefore not the same.
7.Operating grace pertains to the internal act, whereas cooperating grace pertains to the external act. Augustine thus says: “It precedes in order that we may will, and it follows lest we will in vain.” But the principle of the internal act and that of the external act are not the same. In regard to the virtues, for instance, it is evident that ,charity is given for the internal act, but fortitude, justice, and the like for external acts. Consequently operating and cooperating grace or antecedent and subsequent grace are not the same.
8. Ignorance is a defect in the soul on the part of the intellect like guilt on the part of the will. But no one habit drives all ignorance out of the intellect. Consequently there cannot be a single habit which would drive all guilt out of the will. But grace drives out all guilt. Then grace is not a single habit.
9. Grace and guilt are contraries. But a single guilt does not infect all the powers of the soul. Then neither can a single grace perfect all.
10. On the words of Exodus (3 3: 13): “If therefore I have found favor...” the Gloss comments: “A single grace is not sufficient for the saints; there is one which precedes in order that they may know and love God; and there is another which follows in order that they may keep themselves clean and inviolate and make progress.” There is accordingly not merely one grace in one man.
11. A different manner of acting having a special difficulty requires a different habit. In regard to the granting of large gifts, for example, which cause difficulty because of their magnitude, there is required a special virtue, magnificence, over and above liberality, which is concerned with ordinary gifts. But to persevere in willing rightly has a special difficulty over and above that of simply willing. But simply to will rightly is a matter of antecedent grace, whereas perseverance in willing rightly is a matter of subsequent grace. Thus Augustine says7.that grace precedes in order that man may will, and follows in order that he may fulfill and persist. Subsequent grace is therefore a different habit from antecedent grace.
12. The sacraments of the New Law are the cause of grace, as has been said.ut different sacraments are not ordained to the same effect. Consequently there are different graces in man which are conferred by the different sacraments.
13. It was answered that later sacraments are not conferred in order to introduce grace but to increase it.—On the contrary, the increase of grace does not change its species. If, then, causes are proportioned to their effects, it will follow from the answer given that the sacraments do not differ in species.
14. It was said that the sacraments differ specifically in accordance with the different gratuitous graces which are conferred in the different sacraments and are the distinctive effects of the sacraments.On the contrary, gratuitous grace is not opposed to guilt. Now since the sacraments are especially directed against guilt, it therefore seems that the distinctive effects of the sacraments, in accordance with which the sacraments are distinguished, are not gratuitous graces.
15. Different wounds are inflicted upon the soul by different sins, but all are healed by grace. Since different medicines correspond to different wounds, because (in the words of Jerome) “what heals a heel will not heal an eye,” it therefore seems that there are distinct graces.
16. The same thing cannot at the same time be had and not had by the same thing. But some people who do not have cooperating grace do have operating grace—baptized infants, for instance. Operating grace and cooperating grace are therefore not the same.
17. Grace is proportioned to nature as a perfection to a perfectible thing. But in human nature it so happens that being and operation are not immediately from the same principle; for the soul is the principle of being on the basis of its essence, but that of operation on the basis of its power. Now since on the supernatural plane operating or antecedent grace is the principle from which spiritual existence is had, but cooperating grace is the principle of spiritual operation, it therefore seems that operating and cooperating grace are not the same.
18. One habit cannot produce two acts at one and the same time. But the act of operating grace, which is to justify or heal the soul, and the act of cooperating or subsequent grace, which is to act justly, are in the soul at the same time. Operating grace and cooperating grace are therefore not identical; and so there is not just one grace in man.
To the Contrary
1. Where one thing suffices it is superfluous to posit many. But one grace suffices for man’s salvation, as is said in the second Epistle to the Corinthians (12:9): “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Then there is only one grace in man.
2. A relation does not multiply the essence of a thing. But cooperating grace does not add anything to operating grace except a relation. Cooperating grace is therefore essentially the same as operating grace.
As is clear,from what has been said, grace is so called either because it is gratuitously given or because it puts us in God’s good graces. Now it is evident that there are different graces gratuitously given. For there are different gifts which are conferred upon man by God gratuitously and above the merit and capability of human nature, such as prophecy, the working of miracles, and the like, of which the Apostle says in the first Epistle to the Corinthians (12:4): “Now there are diversities of graces.” But our present inquiry is not concerned with these. But as can be gathered from what has been said,” the grace that puts us in God’s good graces, or ingratiatory grace, is taken in two ways: (1) for the divine acceptance itself, which is the gratuitous will of God, and (2) for a created gift which formally perfects a man and makes him worthy of eternal life.
Now if we take grace in this second sense, it is impossible for more than one grace to be in one man. The reason for this is that grace is spoken of inasmuch as by it man is destined for eternal life, and adequately. For to have grace means to be accepted by God with a view to having eternal life. Now anything held to direct things adequately to one term must itself be only one, because if there were many such, either no one of them would be adequate or every other would be superfluous.
But it is not necessary on this account for grace to be one simple thing. For it is possible that no one thing would sufficiently make a man worthy of eternal life, but that man would be made worthy of it by many things, as by many virtues. But if that were the case, no one of those many things would be called grace, but all taken together would be called one grace, because from all of them there would arise in the man only one worthiness with regard to eternal life. Grace is, however, not one in this way, but rather as one simple habit. This is so because habits in the soul are differentiated in relation to different acts. The acts themselves, however, are not the reason for the divine acceptance; but first the man is accepted by God and then his acts, as is indicated in Genesis (4:4): “And the Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offerings.”
That gift, then, which God grants to those whom He accepts into His kingdom and glory is presupposed to the perfections or habits by which human acts are perfected so as to be worthy of acceptance by God. Thus the habit of grace must remain undivided, as preceding the things by which the differentiation of habits takes place in the soul.
If, on the other hand, grace is taken in the first sense, namely, for God’s gratuitous will, then it is evident that from the viewpoint of God who does the accepting there is only one grace of God, not only in regard to one man, but also in regard to all, because whatever is in Him cannot be distinct. But from the viewpoint of its effects it can be multiple. As a result we say that every effect which God works in us by His gratuitous will accepting us into His kingdom pertains to ingratiatory grace, such as giving us good thoughts and holy affections. In so far, then, as grace is a habitual gift within us, it is only one; but in so far as it refers to an effect of God within us destined for our salvation, there can be said to be many graces in us.
Answers to Difficulties
1. Operating and cooperating grace can be distinguished from the point of view of God’s gratuitous will and from that of the gift conferred upon us. Grace is called operating in regard to an effect which the will of God brings about in us, whereas grace is called cooperating in regard to an effect which God’s will does not produce alone, but with the cooperation of our free choice.
From the point of view of God’s gratuitous will, therefore, the very justification of a sinner, which is brought about by means of the infusion of a gratuitous gift, will be called operating grace. For only God’s gratuitous will causes this gift in us, and free choice is in no way its cause except as a disposition, and that is inadequate. From the same point of view grace will be called cooperating inasmuch as it works in our free choice, causing its movement, removing the obstacles to the execution of the external act, and giving perseverance, in all of which our free choice plays a part. Thus it is clear that operating grace is distinct from cooperating grace.
From the point of view of the gratuitous gift essentially the same grace will be called operating and cooperating. It will be called operating grace in so far as it informs the soul, so that the term operating will be understood formally, in the way in which we speak of whiteness making a wall white. For this information it is nowise the act of our free choice. It will be called cooperating, however, in so far as it inclines us to the internal and the external act and supplies the ability to persevere to the end.
2. The different effects which are attributed to operating and to cooperating grace cannot differentiate the habit. For the effects which are attributed to operating grace are the causes of the effects which are attributed to cooperating grace. As a consequence of being informed by a habit, the will passes into the act of willing, and from the act of willing the external act is caused. Moreover the resistance which we offer to sin is caused by the firmness of the habit. Thus it is one and the same habit which informs the soul, elicits the internal and the external act, and in a sense accounts for perseverance inasmuch as it resists temptations.
3. However much a man has the habit of grace, he still has need of the divine operation working in us in the ways mentioned above. This is because of the infirmity of our nature and the multiplicity of impediments, which were of course not found in the state of nature as it was created. Man was accordingly better able to stand by himself then than even those who have grace can now, not because of any deficiency in the grace but because of the infirmity of our nature, though even then men needed divine providence to guide and help them. One who has grace therefore has the necessity of asking for divine help, which is a form of cooperating grace.
4. The answer is clear from what has just been said.
5. Grace is not called the form of the virtues as being an essential part of the virtues. Were that the case, when the virtues are multiplied, grace would have to be multiplied. But it is called the form of the virtues as formally completing the act of virtue.
Now an act of virtue is given form in three ways. This is done first of all in so far as the due conditions for the substance of the act are placed, setting limits to the act and establishing it in the mean of virtue. The act of virtue has this from prudence; for the mean of virtue is determined by a correct norm, as is said in the Ethics. In this sense prudence is called the form of all the moral virtues. But the act of virtue thus established in the mean is, as it were, material in regard to the ordination to the last end. This order is conferred upon the act of virtue by the command of charity. In this sense charity is said to be the form of all the other virtues. And furthermore grace contributes efficacy for meriting. For no value on the part of our works would be held to be deserving of eternal glory unless divine acceptance were presupposed. In this sense grace is said to be the form both of charity and of the other virtues.
6. Antecedent and subsequent grace are distinguished on the basis of the sequence of factors found in gratuitous existence. The first of these is the information of the subject by grace or the justification of a sinner (which is the same thing). The second is the act of the will. The third is thelexternal act. The fourth is spiritual progress and perseverance in good. The fifth is the obtaining of one’s reward.
Antecedent and subsequent grace are therefore distinguished in the following ways: (1) The grace by which sinners are justified is called antecedent; that by which those already justified operate is called subsequent. (2) That by which a person wills correctly is called antecedent; that by which he carries out his correct will in the external act is called subsequent. (3) Antecedent grace is referred to all of these; subsequent grace, to perseverance in the foregoing. (4) Antecedent grace is referred to the whole state of merit; subsequent grace, to reward.
In the first three distinctions it is clear from what was said about operating, grace and cooperating grace, in what sense antecedent grace and subsequent grace are the same or different, because in these ways antecedent and subsequent grace seem to be the same as operating and cooperating grace. According to the fourth distinction too, if the gratuitous gift which is called grace is taken in itself, antecedent grace and subsequent grace are found to be the same thing. For just as the charity of this present life is not taken away but remains and is increased in our heavenly home because it involves no defect in its essence; in the same way grace too, involving no defect in its essence, when increased becomes glory. Nor is the perfection of nature in the present life and in heaven said to be different in point of grace because of any difference in the perfecting form but because of a difference in the measure of perfection. But if we take grace along with all the virtues to which it gives form, then grace and glory are not the same thing, because some virtues, such as faith and hope, are voided in heaven.
7. Although the external act and the internal act are distinct subjects of perfection, they are nevertheless subordinated, because one is the cause of the other, as has been explained.
8. There are two aspects to be taken into account in sin: turning towards creatures and turning away from God. As regards turning toward creatures sins are distinguished from one another, but as regards turning away from God they are linked, inasmuch as by any mortal sin a man is turned away from the unchangeable good. Virtues are therefore opposed to sins from the standpoint of turning toward creatures, and in this sense different sins are driven out by different virtues, as different types of ignorance by different sciences. From the standpoint of turning away from God, however, all sins are forgiven by one and the same thing, grace. But different types of ignorance are not linked in any one thing; and so the case is not the same.
9. One type of guilt is not found to be the formal completion of all types of guilt as one habit of virtue or of grace completes all the virtues. For this reason one type of gat does not infect all the powers as one grace perfects them—not, of course, in such a way that it is in all as its subject, but as giving form to the acts of all the powers.
10. The grace which follows means either another effect of the divine gratuitous will or the same habit of grace referred to another effect, as is clear from what has been said above.
11. To have the habit and the operation firmly and unchangeably is a condition w1iich is required for every virtue, as is made clear by the Philosopher.That manner, then, does not require a special habit.
12. Just as different virtues and different gifts of the Holy Spirit are directed to different actions, so too the different effects of the sacraments are like different medicines for sin and different shares in the efficacy of our Lord’s passion, which depend upon sanctifying grace, as do the virtues and gifts.
The virtues and gifts have a special name, however, because the acts to which they are directed are evident. They are accordingly distinguished from grace in name also. But the defects of sin, against which the sacraments are instituted, are hidden. Hence the effects of the sacraments do not have a proper name but go by the name of grace; for they are called sacramental graces, and the sacraments are distinguished on the basis of these graces as their proper effects. Those effects, moreover, belong to ingratiatory grace, which also is joined to those effects. Thus along with their proper effects they have a common effect, ingratiatory grace, which is given by means of the sacraments to one who does not have it and increased by them in one who does.
13-14. The answer is clear from the above.
15. From the point of view of turning away from God all sins inflict a single wound, as has been said,” and so are healed by a single gift of grace. But from the point of view of turning towards creatures they inflict different wounds, which are healed by different virtues and by the different effects of the sacraments.
16. Even though there is no cooperating grace in infants actually, there is nonetheless virtually; for the operating grace which they have received will be sufficient to cooperate with free choice when they have its use.
17.just as the essence of the soul is immediately the principle of being but, through the mediation of the powers, the principle of acting; in the same way the immediate effect of grace is to confer spiritual existence. This concerns the information of the subject or the justification of sinners and is the effect of operating grace. But the effect of grace through the mediation of the virtues and gifts is to elicit meritorious acts, and this has reference to cooperating grace.
18. Two acts which are distinct operations not subordinated to one another cannot be caused at one and the same time by one habit. But two acts of which one is an operation and the other the information of a subject, or even two operations of which one is the cause of the other, as an internal act is the cause of an external, can be caused by one habit. It is in this way that operating and cooperating grace are related, as appears from what has been said.
Q. 27: Grace
In the sixth article we ask:
Is grace in the essence of the soul?
[Parallel readings: II Sent., 26, a. 3; IV Sent., 4, 1, 3 sol. 1; sol. 3 ad 1; S.T., I-II, 110, 14.]
It seems that it is not, for
1. A habit or perfection which is in the essence of the soul has the same relation to the effect of the essence as a habit which is in a power has to the effect of the power. But a habit which is in a power perfects the power for its act, as charity perfects the will for willing. But the proper effect of the essence is to be, which the soul confers upon the body, because the soul in its essence is the form of the body. Now since grace does not perfect the soul with regard to the natural act of being which the soul confers upon the body, it will not be in the essence of the soul as its subject.
2. Opposites are by their nature concerned with the same thing. Now grace and guilt are opposed. But guilt is not in the essence of the soul, as is evident from the fact that the essence of the soul suffers no privation, though according to Augustine sin or guilt is “the privation of measure, species, and order.” It therefore seems that grace is not in the essence of the soul as its subject.
3. Gratuitous gifts presuppose natural ones. But the powers are natural properties of the soul according to Avicenna. Grace is therefore not in the essence of the soul unless a power is presupposed. Thus it is immediately in the power as its subject.
4. A habit or form is there where its effect is found. But any effect of grace, whether operating or cooperating, is found in the powers, as can be seen from an enumeration of the effects. Grace therefore has the powers of the soul as its subject.
5. “The image of re-creation” corresponds to “the image of creation.” These two sorts of image are distinguished in the Gloss in its comment upon the words of the Psalm (4:7): “The light of thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us.” But the image of creation is taken with reference to the powers, memory, intelligence, and will, which are three faculties of the soul, as the Master says. Then grace also refers to the powers of the soul.
6. Acquired habits are distinguished from infused habits. But all acquired habits are in the powers of the soul. Then so is grace, which is a habitual infused gift.
7. According to Augustine “the good will of man is prepared” by means of grace. But this is done only in so far as the will is perfected by means of grace. Grace is therefore a perfection of the will, and so it has as its subject the will and not the essence of the soul.
To the Contrary
1. Grace is in the soul in that respect in which the soul is ordained to God. But the whole soul is ordained to God as being in potency to receive something from Him. The soul in its totality is therefore capable of receiving grace. But in the soul the whole is the substance itself, whereas the parts are powers. The soul in its substance is there fore the subject of grace.
2. The first gift of God is in that which is in us first and is closest to God. But grace is the first gift of God in us, “for it precedes both faith and charity” and other such gifts, as Augustine brings out. But what is first and nearest to God in us is the essence of the soul, from which the powers flow. Grace therefore has its subject in the essence of the soul.
3. The same created thing cannot be in distinct subjects. But grace is something created. It therefore cannot be in distinct powers. But since grace extends to the acts of all the powers inasmuch as they are meritorious, it is either in the essence of the soul or in all the powers. But it is not in all. Therefore it is in the essence of the soul as its subject.
4. A secondary cause receives the influence of the first cause before the’effect of the secondary cause does. But the soul’s essence is the principle of its powers, and so it is the secondary cause of the powers, whose first cause is God. The soul’s essence therefore receives the influence of grace before its powers do.
As was said above, there are two opinions about grace. There is one which says that grace and virtue are the same essentially. According to this opinion it is necessary to say that in reality grace is in a power as its subiect. This is because a virtue, which perfects for operating, cannot be anywhere but in a power, the principle of operation. But according to this opinion, by a sort of appropriation it can be said that grace looks to the essence, and virtue to a power, in so far as grace and virtue differ conceptually though not essentially; for being constituted in grace refers to the soul itself before it refers to its act, since the soul is not accepted by God on account of its acts but vice versa, as has been said.
The other opinion, which we hold, is that grace and virtue are not the same essentially. According to this opinion it is necessary to say that grace has as its subject the essence of the soul and not the powers; for in view of the ordination of powers as such to operations, the perfection of powers according to their proper character must be ordained to operation. Now what constitutes the formal character of a virtue is that it proximately perfects a power to act rightly. Consequently, if grace were in a power of the soul, it would have to be the same as some virtue. If, then, this is not maintained, it is necessary to say that grace is in the essence of the soul, perfecting it inasmuch as it gives it a spiritual existence and makes it by a certain assimilation “a partaker of the divine nature,” in the words of the second Epistle of St. Peter (1:4), just as virtues perfect the powers to operate rightly.
Answers to Difficulties
1. Even though grace is not the principle of natural existence, it nevertheless perfects natural existence inasmuch as it adds to it a spiritual existence.
2. Actual guilt can be only in a power, which is the principle of an act, but original guilt is in the soul as to its essence; through its essence it is joined to flesh as its form, and from the flesh the original infection is contracted in the soul. And even though none of its essentials are taken away, nevertheless the ordination of the soul’s essence to grace is hindered by a sort of remoteness, as contrary dispositions make the potency of the matter remote from the act of the form.
3. Gratuitous gifts presuppose natural ones if both kinds are taken proportionally. Thus virtue, which is the gratuitous principle of operation, presupposes a power, which is the natural principle of the same thing; and grace, which is the principle of spiritual existence, presupposes the essence of the soul, which is the principle of natural existence.
4. The first and immediate effect of grace is found in the essence of the soul, namely, information in the line of spiritual existence.
5. “The image of creation” is situated in both the essence and the powers according as the unity of the divine essence is represented by the essence of the soul, and the distinction of the divine persons by the distinction of the powers. Similarly “the image of re-creation” is found in grace and the virtues.
6. Acquired habits are caused by our acts, and so they do not belong to the soul except through the mediation of the powers of which they are the acts. But grace is from the divine influence, and so there is no [Parallel.
7. Grace prepares the will by means of charity, of which grace is the form.
Q. 27: Grace
In the seventh article we ask:
Is grace in the sacraments?
[Parallel readings: I Sent., 15, 5, 1 sol. 1 ad2; IV Sent., I, 1, 4 sol. 4; S.T., I, 43, 6 ad 4; III, 62, 3.]
it seems that it is not, for
1. Guilt is opposed to grace. But guilt is not anything corporeal. Then neither is grace in the sacraments, which are “material elementsil according to Hugh of St. Victor.
2. Grace is subordinated to glory. But only a rational nature is capable of glory. Consequently, in it alone can there be grace, and therefore not in the sacraments.
3. Grace is counted among the greatest goods. But the greatest goods are in intermediate goods as their subject. Now since the intermediate goods grc the soul and its powers, it seems that grace cannot be in any other subject, and therefore not in the sacraments.
4. A spiritual subject stands to a spiritual accident as a corporeal subject to a corporeal accident. Then by transposition, a spiritual subject stands to a corporeal accident as a corporeal subject to a spiritual accident. But a corporeal accident cannot be in any spiritual subject. Then neither can the spiritual accident, grace, be in the corporeal elements of the sacraments.
To the Contrary
1. Hugh of St. Victor says: “From their sanctification the sacraments contain an invisible grace.”
2. In his Epistle to the Galatians (4:9) the Apostle says that the sacraments of the Law are “weak and needy elements,” and this is because they do not contain grace, as the Gloss explains. Then if grace were not in the sacraments of the New Law, they also would be “weak and needy elements” themselves. But that is absurd.
3. On the words of the Psalm (17:12): “And he made darkness his covert,” the Gloss comments: “The forgiveness of sins has been placed in baptism.” Now the forgiveness of sins is had through grace. Grace is therefore in the sacrament of baptism, and for like reason in the other sacraments.
Grace is in the sacraments, not as an accident in a subject, but as an effect in a cause—in the manner in which the sacraments can be the cause of grace. Now an effect can be said to be in its cause in two ways. In one way it is in the cause inasmuch as the cause has control over the cffcct, as our acts arc said to be in us. In this sense no effect is in an instrumental cause, which does not move except when moved. Consequently neither is grace in the sacraments. In another way it is in the cause by means of its own likeness, inasmuch as the cause produces an cffect like itself. This happens in four ways:
(1) When the likeness of the effect is in the cause as regards its natural existence and in the same manner, as it is in univocal effects. In this way it can be said that the heat of the air is in the fire which heats it.
(2)When the likeness of the effect is in the cause as regards its natural existence but not in the same manner, as is the case with cquivocal effects. In this way the heat of the air is in the sun.
(3) When the likeness of the cffect is in the cause not as regards its natural existence but as regards a spiritual existence, and yet statically, as the likenesses of works of art are in the mind of the artist; for the form of a house in the builder is not a real being, like the heating power in the sun or heat in a fire, but it is an intellectual intention at repose in the soul.
(4) When the likeness of the effect is in the cause not in the same manner nor as a real being nor statically, but as a dynamic influence, as the likenesses of effects are in instruments, through the mediation of which forms flow from the principal causes into their effects. It is in this way that grace is in the sacraments, and even less, seeing that the sacraments do not arrive directly and immediately at the grace of which we are now speaking in itself, but at their proper effects, called sacramental graces, upon which the infusion or increase of ingratiatory grace follows.
Answers to Difficulties
1. Even guilt is in something purely corporeal as its cause; that is, original sin is in the seed.
2-3. These difficulties conclude that grace is not in the sacraments as its subject.
4. Something spiritual cannot be the instrument of a corporeal thing, as a corporeal thing may be of a spiritual. Thus the transposed proportion does not hold in the case at hand.
Answers to Contrary Difficulties
We concede these arguments, yet with the understanding that grace is in the sacraments as its instrumental and disposing causes, and this by reason of the power through which they work toward the production of grace.