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484

Part Three

son” he can henceforth call God “Father,” in union with the only

Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him

and who forms the Church.

1998

This vocation to eternal life is

supernatural.

It depends

entirely on God’s gratuitous initiative, for he alone can reveal and

give himself. It surpasses the power of human intellect and will, as

that of every other creature.

47

1999

The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to

us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal

it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the

sanctifying

or

deifying grace

received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of

sanctification:

48

Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old

has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from

God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.

49

2000

Sanctifying grace is an habitual gift, a stable and super­

natural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live

with God, to act by his love.

Habitual grace,

the permanent disposi­

tion to live and act in keeping with God’s call, is distinguished from

actual graces

which refer to God’s interventions, whether at the be­

ginning of conversion or in the course of the work of

sanctification.

2001

The

preparation of man

for the reception of grace is already a

work of grace. This latter is needed to arouse and sustain our

collaboration in justification through faith, and in sanctification

through charity. God brings to completion in us what he has begun,

“since he who completes his work by cooperating with our will

began by working so that we might will it:”

50

Indeedwe alsowork, but we are only collaboratingwithGod

who works, for his mercy has gone before us. It has gone

before us so that we may be healed, and follows us so that

once healed, we may be given life; it goes before us so that

we may be called, and follows us so that we may be glorified;

it goes before us so that we may live devoutly, and follows

us so that we may always live with God: for without himwe

can do nothing.

51

47 Cf.

1 Cor

2:7-9.

48 Cf.

Jn

4:14; 7:38-39.

49

2 Cor

5:17-18.

50 St. Augustine,

De gratia et libero arbitrio,

17: PL 44, 901.

51 St. Augustine,

De natura et gratia,

31: PL 44, 264.

1719

1966

490