Justifying or Sanctifying Grace
Sanctifying grace is defined by Deharbe as "an unmerited, supernatural gift, imparted to the soul by the Holy Ghost, by which we are made just, children of God, and heirs of Heaven." As it makes sinners just, sanctifying grace is also called justifying, though this appellation can not be applied to the sanctification of our first parents in Paradise or to that of the angels and the sinless soul of Christ. Justification, as we have shown, consists in the infusion of sanctifying grace, and hence it is important that we obtain a correct idea of the latter. We will therefore consider (1) The Nature of Sanctifying Grace, (2) Its Effects in the Soul, and (3) Its Supernatural Concomitants.

Article 1. The Nature Of Sanctifying Grace

1. SANCTIFYING GRACE A "PERMANENT QUALITY" OF THE SOUL. -- Having no intuitive knowledge of sanctifying grace, we are obliged, in order to obtain an idea of its true nature, to study its effects, as made known to us by Revelation. Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church do, however, enable us to form certain well-defined conclusions, of which the most important is that sanctifying grace must be conceived as a permanent quality (qualitas permanens) of the soul. If it is a permanent quality, sanctifying grace cannot be identical with actual grace or with "uncreated grace," i.e. the Person of the Holy Ghost.

a) In conformity with such Biblical expressions as "the new life," "renovation of the spirit," "regeneration," "divine sonship," etc., the Council of Trent defines justifying grace as a supernatural something "infused" into and "inherent" in the soul. Both ideas denote a permanent state, not a mere transient act or the result of such acts. "The charity of God is poured forth by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those that are justified, and is inherent therein."(974) "That justice which is called ours, because we are justified from its being inherent in us, that same is (the justice of God) because it is infused into us by God, through the merit of Christ."(975) "If any one saith that men are justified ... to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost and is inherent in them,... let him be anathema."(976) Hence Justification is defined by the Fathers of Trent as "a translation ... to the state of grace and adoption of the sons of God."(977)

Before the Tridentine Council a number of theologians held that sanctifying grace consists in some particular actual grace or in a consecutive series of actual graces. This view is incompatible with the definition just quoted; in fact Suarez, Bellarmine, Ripalda, and others regard it as positively heretical or at least intolerably rash. During the preliminary debates at Trent some of the Fathers asked for an express declaration of the Council to the effect that justification is wrought by the instrumentality of an infused habit; but their request was set aside on the ground that the nature of justifying grace as a stable habit is sufficiently indicated by the word "inhaeret."(978)

That sanctifying grace is a permanent state of the soul may also be inferred from the Catholic teaching that the grace which Baptism imparts to children does not differ essentially from that which it imparts to adults. True, this teaching was not always regarded as certain;(979) but at the Ecumenical Council of Vienne, A. D.1311, Pope Clement V declared it to be "the more probable opinion,"(980) and it was rendered absolutely certain by the Tridentine decision that infant Baptism results not only in the remission of sins, but likewise in an infusion of sanctifying grace. This being so, there can be no essential difference between the justification of children and that of adults. Now it cannot be actual grace which renders children righteous in the sight of God, for they are unable to avail themselves of actual grace on account of the undeveloped state of their intellect. The grace that Baptism imparts to them is consequently a gratia inhaerens et informans, that is, a permanent state of grace; and it must be the same in adults.(981)

Peter Lombard(982) identified sanctifying grace with the gratia increata, i.e. the Person of the Holy Ghost. This notion was combatted by St. Thomas(983) and implicitly rejected by the Tridentine Council when it declared that sanctifying grace inheres in the soul and may be increased by good works.(984) To say that the Holy Ghost is poured forth in the hearts of men, or that He may be increased by good works, would evidently savor of Pantheism. The Holy Ghost pours forth sanctifying grace and is consequently not the formal but the efficient cause of justification.(985)

b) The gratia inhaerens permanens is not a mere relation or denominatio extrinseca, but a positive entity productive of real effects,(986) and must consequently be conceived either as a substance or as an accident. We have shown that it is not identical with the uncreated substance of the Holy Ghost. Neither can it be a created substance. The idea of an intrinsically supernatural created substance involves a contradiction.(987) Moreover, sanctifying grace in its nature and purpose is not an entity independently co-existing with the soul but something physically inherent in it. Now, a thing which has its existence by inhering in some other thing is in philosophic parlance an "accident." St. Thomas expressly teaches that, "since it transcends human nature, grace cannot be a substance nor a substantial form, but is an accidental form of the soul itself."(988) Agreeable to this conception is the further Thomistic teaching that sanctifying grace is not directly created by God, but drawn (educta) from the potentia obedientialis of the soul.(989) Not even the Scotists, though they held grace to be created out of nothing(990) claimed that it was a new substance.

An accident that inheres in a substance permanently and physically is called a quality (qualitas, {GREEK SMALL LETTER PI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER TAU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}). Consequently, sanctifying grace must be defined as a supernatural quality of the soul. This is the express teaching of the Roman Catechism: "Grace ... is a divine quality inherent in the soul, and, as it were, a certain splendor and light that effaces all the stains of our souls and renders the souls themselves brighter and more beautiful."(991)

2. SANCTIFYING GRACE AN INFUSED HABIT. -- Sanctifying grace may more specifically, though with a lesser degree of certainty, be described as a habit (habitus). Being entitatively supernatural, this habit must be infused or "drawn out" by the Holy Ghost.

a) Aristotle(992) distinguishes four different sets of qualities: (1) habit and disposition; (2) power and incapacity; (3) passio (the power of causing sensations) and patibilis qualitas (result of the modification of sense); (4) figure and circumscribing form (of extended bodies). As sanctifying grace manifestly cannot come under one of the three last-mentioned heads, it must be either a habit or a disposition. Habit denotes a permanent and comparatively stable quality, by which a substance, considered as to its nature or operation, is well or ill adapted to its natural end.(993) As a permanently inhering quality, sanctifying grace must be a habit. Hence its other name, "habitual grace." The Scholastics draw a distinction between entitative and operative habits. An operative habit (habitus operativus) gives not only the power (potentia) to act, but also a certain facility, and may be either good, bad, or indifferent. An entitative habit (habitus entitativus) is an inherent quality by which a substance is rendered permanently good or bad, e.g. beauty, ugliness, health, disease.

Philosophy knows only operative habits. But sanctifying grace affects the very substance of the soul. Hence the supplementary theological category of entitative habits. "Grace," says St. Thomas, "belongs to the first species of quality, though it cannot properly be called a habit, because it is not immediately ordained to action, but to a kind of spiritual being, which it produces in the soul."(994) There is another reason why grace cannot be called a habit in the philosophical sense of the term: -- it supplies no acquired facility to act. This consideration led Suarez to abstain altogether from the use of the term "habit" in connection with grace,(995) and induced Cardinal Bellarmine to describe sanctifying grace as a qualitas per modum habitus,(996) by which phrase he wished to indicate that it imparts a supernatural perfection of being rather than a facility to act. To obviate these and similar subtleties the Council of Trent defined sanctifying grace simply as a permanent quality.

Nevertheless scientific theology employs the term habitus because it has no other philosophical category ready to hand. This defect in the Aristotelian system is somewhat surprising in view of the fact that besides the supernatural, there are distinctly natural qualities which "belong to the first species," though they impart no facility to act but merely a disposition to certain modes of being, e.g. beauty, health, etc.

There is also a positive reason which justifies the definition of sanctifying grace as a habit. It is that grace imparts to the soul, if not the facility, at least the power to perform supernaturally meritorious acts, so that it is really more than a habitus entitativus, namely, a habitus (at least remotely) operativus.(997)

b) The Scholastic distinction between native and acquired habits does not apply in the supernatural domain, because the supernatural by its very definition can never be either a part or an acquisition of mere nature.(998) It follows from this that supernatural habits, both entitative and operative, can be imparted to the human soul in no other way than by infusion (or excitation) from above. Hence the name habitus infusus. When the Holy Ghost infuses sanctifying grace, the habitus entitativus imparts to the soul a supernatural principle of being, while the habitus operativus confers upon it a supernatural power, which by faithful cooeperation with (actual) grace may be developed into a facility to perform salutary acts. Hence, if we adopt the division of habits into entitative and operative, sanctifying grace must be defined first as an entitative habit (habitus entitativus), because it forms the groundwork of permanent righteousness, sanctity, divine sonship, etc.; and, secondly, as an infused habit, because it is not born in the soul and cannot be acquired by practice. This view is in accord with Sacred Scripture, which describes the grace of justification as a divine seed abiding in man,(999) a treasure carried in earthen vessels,(1000) a regeneration by which the soul becomes the abode of God(1001) and a temple of the Holy Ghost.(1002)

3. THE CONTROVERSY REGARDING THE ALLEGED IDENTITY OF SANCTIFYING GRACE AND CHARITY. -- As justifying grace and theological love (charity) are both infused habits, the question arises as to their objective identity. The answer will depend on the solution of the problem, just treated, whether sanctifying grace is primarily an entitative or an operative habit. Of theological love we know that it is essentially an operative habit, being one, and indeed the chief of the "three theological virtues." What we have said in the preceding paragraph will enable the reader to perceive, at the outset, that there is a real distinction between grace and charity, and that consequently the two can not be identical.

a) Nevertheless there is an imposing school of theologians who maintain the identity of grace with charity. They are Scotus(1003) and his followers,(1004) Cardinal Bellarmine,(1005) Molina, Lessius, Salmeron, Vasquez, Sardagna, Tournely, and others. Their principal argument is that Holy Scripture ascribes active justification indiscriminately to theological love and sanctifying grace, and that some of the Fathers follow this example. Here are a few of the Scriptural texts quoted in favor of this opinion. Luke VII, 47: "Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much."(1006) 1 Pet. IV, 8: "Charity covereth a multitude of sins."(1007) 1 John IV, 7: "Every one that loveth is born of God."(1008) St. Augustine seems to identify the two habits in such passages as the following: "Inchoate love, therefore, is inchoate righteousness; ... great love is great righteousness; perfect love is perfect righteousness."(1009) According to the Tridentine Council, "the justification of the impious" takes place when "the charity of God is poured forth ... in the hearts of those that are justified, and is inherent therein."(1010) It is argued that, if charity and grace produce the same effects, they must be identical as causes, and there can be at most a virtual distinction between them. This argument is strengthened by the observation that sanctifying grace and theological love constitute the supernatural life of the soul and the loss of either entails spiritual death.

These arguments prove that grace and charity are inseparable, but nothing more. All the Scriptural and Patristic passages cited can be explained without recourse to the hypothesis that they are identical. Charity is not superfluous alongside of sanctifying grace, because the primary object of grace is to impart supernatural being, whereas charity confers a special faculty which enables the intellect and the will to elicit supernatural salutary acts.

b) The majority of Catholic theologians(1011) hold with St. Thomas(1012) and his school that grace and charity, while inseparable, are really distinct, sanctifying grace as a habitus entitativus imparting to the soul a supernatural being, whereas charity, being purely a habitus operativus, confers a supernatural power.

Let us put the matter somewhat differently. Grace inheres in the substance of the soul, while charity has its seat in one of its several faculties. Inhering in the very substance of the soul, grace, by a physical or moral power, produces the three theological virtues -- faith, hope, and love. "As the soul's powers, which are the wellsprings of its acts, flow from its essence," says the Angelic Doctor, "so the theological virtues flow from grace into the faculties of the soul and move them to act."(1013) And St. Augustine: "Grace precedes charity."(1014)

This is a more plausible view than the one we have examined a little farther up, and it can claim the authority of Scripture, which, though it occasionally identifies the effects of grace and charity, always clearly distinguishes the underlying habits. Cfr.2 Cor. XIII, 13: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the charity of God."(1015) 1 Tim. I 14: "The grace of our Lord hath abounded exceedingly with faith and love."(1016) Furthermore, "regeneration" and "new-creation" in Biblical usage affect not only the faculties of the soul, but its substance. Finally, many councils consistently distinguish between gratia and caritas (dona, virtutes) -- a distinction which has almost the force of a proof that grace and charity are not the same thing.(1017) These councils cannot have had in mind a purely virtual distinction, because theological love presupposes sanctifying grace in exactly the same manner as a faculty presupposes a substance or nature in which it exists. The Roman Catechism expressly designates the theological virtues as "concomitants of grace."(1018)

The question nevertheless remains an open one, as neither party can fully establish its claim, and the Church has never rendered an official decision either one way or the other.(1019)

4. SANCTIFYING GRACE A PARTICIPATION OF THE SOUL IN THE DIVINE NATURE. -- The highest and at the same time the most profound conception of sanctifying grace is that it is a real, though of course only accidental and analogical, participation of the soul in the nature of God. That sanctifying grace makes us "partakers of the divine nature" is of faith, but the manner in which it effects this participation admits of different explanations.

a) The fact itself can be proved from Sacred Scripture. Cfr.2 Pet. I, 4: "By whom [Christ] He [the Father] hath given us great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature."(1020) To this text may be added all those which affirm the regeneration of the soul in God, because regeneration, being a new birth, must needs impart to the regenerate the nature of his spiritual progenitor. Cfr. John I, 13: "Who are born, not of blood, ... but of God."(1021) John III, 5: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven."(1022) St. James I, 18: "For of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth."(1023) 1 John III, 9: "Whosoever is born of God, committeth no sin."(1024)

The Fathers of the Church again and again extol the deification (deificatio, {GREEK SMALL LETTER THETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMEGA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}) of man effected by sanctifying grace and compare the union of the soul with God to the commingling of water with wine, the penetration of iron by fire, etc. St. Athanasius(1025) begins his Christological teaching with the declaration: "He was not, therefore, first man and then God, but first God and then man, in order that He might rather deify us."(1026) St. Augustine describes the process of deification as follows: "He justifies who is just of Himself, not from another; and He deifies who is God of Himself, not by participation in another. But He who justifies also deifies, because He makes [men] sons of God through justification.... We have been made sons of God and gods; but this is a grace of the adopting [God], not the nature of the progenitor. The Son of God alone is God; ... the others who are made gods are made gods by His grace; they are not born of His substance, so as to become that which He is, but in order that they may come to Him by favor and become co-heirs with Christ."(1027) The idea underlying this passage has found its way into the liturgy of the Mass,(1028) and Ripalda is justified in declaring that it cannot be denied without rashness.(1029)

b) In trying to explain in what manner grace enables us to partake of the divine nature, it is well to keep in view the absolutely supernatural character of sanctifying grace and the impossibility of any deification of the creature in the strict sense of the term. The truth lies between these two extremes.

A few medieval mystics(1030) and modern Quietists(1031) were guilty of exaggeration when they taught that grace transforms the human soul into the substance of the Godhead, thus completely merging the creature in its Creator. This contention(1032) leads to Pantheism. How can the soul be merged in the Creator, since it continues to be subject to concupiscence? "We have therefore," says St. Augustine, "even now begun to be like Him, as we have the first-fruits of the Spirit; but yet even now we are unlike Him, by reason of the old nature which leaves its remains in us. In as far, then, as we are like Him, in so far are we, by the regenerating Spirit, sons of God; but in as far as we are unlike Him, in so far are we the children of the flesh and of this world."(1033)

On the other hand it would be underestimating the power of grace to say that it effects a merely external and moral participation of the soul in the divine nature, similar to that by which those who embraced the faith of Abraham were called "children of Abraham," and those who commit heinous crimes are called "sons of the devil." According to the Fathers(1034) and theologians, to "partake of the divine nature" means to become internally and physically like God and to receive from Him truly divine gifts, i.e. such as are proper to God alone and absolutely transcend the order of nature.(1035) Being self-existing, absolutely independent, and infinite, God cannot, of course, be regarded as the formal cause of created sanctity; yet the strictly supernatural gifts which He confers on His creatures, especially the beatific vision and sanctifying grace, can be conceived only per modum causae formalis (not informantis), because through them God gives Himself to the creature in such an intimate way that the creature is raised up to and transfigured by Him.(1036) Consequently, the so-called deificatio of the soul by grace is not a real deification, but an assimilation of the creature to God.(1037)

c) Which one of God's numerous attributes forms the basis of the supernatural communication made to the soul in the bestowal of grace, is a question on which theologians differ widely. The so-called incommunicable attributes, (self-existence, immensity, eternity, etc.), of course, cannot be imparted to the creature except by way of a hypostatic union.(1038)

Gonet(1039) misses the point at issue, therefore, when He declares the essential characteristic of deification to be the communication to the creature of the divine attributes of self-existence and infinity. Self-existence is absolutely incommunicable.(1040) Somewhat more plausible, though hardly acceptable, is Ripalda's opinion that deification formally consists in the participation of the creature in the holiness of the Creator, particularly in the supernatural vital communion of the soul with God in faith, hope, and charity, thus making sanctifying grace the radix totius honestatis moralis.(1041) While it is perfectly true that the supernatural life of the soul is a life in and through God, and that the very concept of sanctifying grace involves a peculiar and special relation of the soul to God, the Biblical term {GREEK SMALL LETTER KAPPA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMEGA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA} {GREEK SMALL LETTER THETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA} {GREEK SMALL LETTER PHI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMEGA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA} points to a still deeper principle of the sanctifying vita deiformis. This principle, as some of the Fathers intimate, and St. Thomas expressly teaches,(1042) is the absolute intellectuality of God. Hence the object of sanctifying grace is to impart to the soul in a supernatural manner such a degree of intellectuality as is necessary to perceive the absolute Spirit -- here on earth in the obscurity of faith, and in the life beyond by the lumen gloriae.(1043) This view is to a certain extent confirmed by Sacred Scripture, which describes the regeneration of the sinner as a birth of spirit from spirit.(1044) It is also held by some of the Fathers, who attribute to sanctifying grace both a deifying and a spiritualizing power. Thus St. Basil(1045) says: "The spirit-bearing souls, illuminated by the Holy Ghost, themselves become spiritual(1046) and radiate grace to others. Hence ... to become like unto God,(1047) is the highest of all goals: to become God."(1048) Finally, since the Holy Ghost, as the highest exponent of the spirituality of the divine nature, by His personal indwelling crowns and consummates both the regeneration of the soul and its assimilation to God, there is a strong theological probability in favor of Suarez's view. Of course the process does not attain its climax until the creature is finally admitted to the beatific vision in Heaven. Cfr.1 John III, 2: "We are now the sons of God, and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like to Him, because we shall see Him as He is."(1049)

Article 2. The Effects Of Sanctifying Grace

We shall better understand the nature of sanctifying grace by studying what are known as its "formal effects." As the causa efficiens of a thing is commonly farther removed from our mental grasp than its effects, we are ordinarily more familiar with the latter than with the former. For this reason the glories of divine grace can be best explained to children and to the faithful in general by describing the effects it produces in the soul.(1050)

1. SANCTITY. -- The first among the formal effects of sanctifying grace (an effect connoted by its very name) is sanctity. Eph. IV, 24: "Put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth."(1051) The Tridentine Council explicitly mentions sanctity as an effect of sanctifying grace: "Justification ... is not remission of sins merely, but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man through the voluntary reception of the grace and of the gifts whereby man from unjust becomes just."(1052) It follows that the two elements of active justification, viz.: remission of sin and sanctification, are also constitutive elements of habitual or sanctifying grace. For it is precisely by the infusion of sanctifying grace that sin is wiped out and sanctity established in its place.(1053)

a) By sanctifying grace the justified man becomes a living member (membrum vivum) of the mystical body of Christ. His sins, it is true, did not forfeit membership in the Church, so long as he preserved the faith, but by sinning he became a dead member who can regain life only by returning to the state of grace. Grace is the life of the soul, sin its death. Hence the evil of mortal sin can be most effectively illustrated by contrast with the glory of divine grace, and vice versa. Cfr. Gal. II, 20: "And I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me."(1054)

b) He who hates mortal sin and faithfully obeys the will of God, enjoys peace of heart,(1055) whereas the sinner is incessantly harassed by qualms of conscience. The faithful Christian rejoices in serving His Master and combats the flesh, the world, and the devil with a fortitude that not infrequently rises to heroic proportions, as the example of many holy men and women proves.

c) Sanctifying grace entails a particular providence, inasmuch as, by means of it, God grants man His special assistance towards preserving the state of grace, without, of course, interfering with free-will. Cfr. Is. XLIX, 16: "Behold, I have graven thee in my hands."(1056) Rom. VIII, 28: "... to them that love God, all things work together unto good."(1057) Mediately, God also proves his special love for the just man by shielding him from bodily and spiritual danger.

2. SUPERNATURAL BEAUTY. -- Though we can quote no formal ecclesiastical definition to prove that sanctifying grace beautifies the soul, the fact is sufficiently certain from Revelation. If, as is quite generally held by Catholic exegetes, the Spouse of the Canticle typifies the human soul endowed with sanctifying grace, all the passages describing the beauty of that Spouse must be applicable to the souls of those whom Christ embraces with His tender love. The Fathers of the Church frequently extol the supernatural beauty of the soul in the state of grace. Ambrose calls it "a splendid painting made by God Himself;" Chrysostom compares it to "a statue of gold;" Cyril, to "a divine seal;" Basil, to "a shining light," and so forth. St. Thomas says: "Divine grace beautifies [the soul] like light,"(1058) and the Roman Catechism declares: "Grace ... is a certain splendor and light that effaces all the stains of our souls and renders the souls themselves brighter and more beautiful."(1059)

In defining beauty as "the representation of an idea in a sensual form," modern aesthetics has eliminated the spiritual element and in consequence is unable to appreciate the spiritual beauty of God and of the soul. Being composed of body and soul, man is naturally most impressed by beauty when it appears in a material guise. But this does not prove that there is no spiritual beauty, or that true beauty abides solely in matter. Some present-day writers strongly emphasize the need of realism as against an idealism which, they claim, is not truly human because it exalts the spiritual at the expense of the material. In its last conclusions this perverted realism harks back to the sophistry of Protagoras who held that "man is the measure of all things."(1060) Idealism, on the other hand, is based on the true Platonic doctrine that God is the measure of all things.(1061) St. Augustine defines beauty as "unity in variety," which is a correct definition, because it is adaptable to both the spiritual and the material order.(1062) Applying this definition we find that the soul is not only naturally beautiful by the substantial unity and simplicity which shines forth in the variety of its faculties and powers, but also supernaturally by virtue of sanctifying grace, which transfuses nature into a new unity with the supernatural, -- at the same time producing a variety of theological and moral virtues and the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, and thus creating a true work of art. Moreover, by enabling man to participate in the Divine Nature,(1063) grace produces in the soul a physical reflection of the uncreated beauty of God, a likeness of the creature with its Creator, which far transcends the natural likeness imprinted by creation. True, only God and the Elect in Heaven perceive and enjoy this celestial beauty; but we terrestrial pilgrims can, as it were, sense it from afar and indulge the hope that we may one day be privileged to contemplate and enjoy the divine beauty that envelops the souls endowed with grace.

The beauty produced by sanctifying grace must be conceived not merely as a reflection of the absolute nature of God, who is the pattern-exemplar of all beauty, but more specifically as an image of the Trinity impressed upon the soul. St. Paul teaches that the soul is transformed into an image of the Divine Logos, to whom, as the holy Fathers tell us, beauty is appropriated in an especial manner.(1064) Cfr. Rom. VIII, 29: "Whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son."(1065) Gal. IV, 19: "My little children, of whom I am in labor again, until Christ be formed in you."(1066) In virtue of the adoptive sonship effected by grace,(1067) the soul becomes a true "temple of the Holy Ghost."(1068)

3. THE FRIENDSHIP OF GOD. -- Closely connected with the beauty which sanctifying grace confers, is the supernatural friendship it establishes between God and the soul. True beauty elicits love and benevolence. By nature man is merely a servant of God; in fact, since the fall, he is His enemy. Sanctifying grace transforms this hostile relation into genuine friendship. By grace, says the Council of Trent, "man of unjust becomes just, and of an enemy a friend."(1069) And again: "Having been thus justified and made the friends and domestics of God."(1070) God loves the just man as His intimate friend and enables and impels him, by means of habitual grace and habitual charity, to reciprocate that love with all his heart. Here we have the two constituent elements of friendship. The Bible frequently speaks of friendship existing between God and the just. Cfr. Wisd. VII, 14: "They [the just] become the friends of God."(1071) John XV, 14 sq.: "I will not now call you servants, ... but I have called you friends."(1072) This friendship is sometimes compared to a mystic marriage. Cfr. Matth. IX, 15: "And Jesus said to them: Can the children of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them?"(1073) Apoc. XIX, 7: "The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath prepared herself."(1074)

a) Friendship ({GREEK SMALL LETTER PHI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER LAMDA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}), according to Aristotle,(1075) is "the conscious love of benevolence of two persons for each other." Hence, to constitute friendship, there must be (1) two or more distinct persons; (2) pure love of benevolence (amor benevolentiae, not concupiscentiae), because only unselfish love can truly unite hearts; (3) mutual consciousness of affection, because without a consciousness of the existing relation on both sides there would be merely one-sided benevolence, not friendship. It follows that true friendship is based on virtue and that a relation not based on virtue can be called friendship in a qualified or metaphorical sense only (amicitia utilis, delectabilis).

From what we have said it is easy to deduce the essential characteristics of true friendship. They are: (1) benevolence; (2) love consciously entertained by both parties; (3) a mutual exchange of goods or community of life; (4) equality of rank or station. The first condition is based on the fact that a true friend will not seek his own interest, but that of his friend. It is to be noted, however, that one's joy at the presence or prosperity of a friend must not be inspired by selfishness or sensual desire, for in that case there would be no true friendship.(1076) The second condition is based on the necessity of friendship being mutual love, for friendship is not a one-sided affection, nor does it spend itself in mutual admiration. The third condition is necessary for the reason that love, if it is to be more than "Platonic," must result in acts of benevolence and good will.(1077) Of the fourth condition St. Jerome says: "Friendship finds men equal or makes them equal."(1078)

b) All these conditions are found in the friendship with which Almighty God deigns to honor those who are in the state of sanctifying grace.

(1) That God loves the just man with a love of pure benevolence and eagerly seeks his companionship, is proved by the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Holy Eucharist. Cfr. Prov. VIII, 31: "And my delight [is] to be with the children of men."(1079)

(2) The just man is enabled to return God's love by the habit of theological charity, which is inseparably bound up with and spontaneously flows from sanctifying grace.(1080) God's consciousness of this mutual love is, of course, based on certain knowledge, whereas man can have merely a probable conjecture. This, however, suffices to establish a true friendship, as the example of human friends shows.(1081)

(3) There is also community of life and property between God and man when the latter is in the state of sanctifying grace; for not only is he indebted to God for his very nature and all natural favors which he enjoys, but likewise and especially for the supernatural blessings bestowed upon him.(1082) On his own part, it is true, he cannot give his Benefactor anything in return which that Benefactor does not already possess; but the just man is ever eager to further God's external glorification, agreeable to the first petition of the Our Father: "Hallowed by Thy name."(1083) God has furthermore given him a kind of substitute for operative charity in the love of his neighbor, which has precisely the same formal object as the love of God. Cfr.1 John III, 17: "He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of God abide in him?"(1084)

(4) There can be no real equality between God and the human soul, but God in His infinite goodness, elevating the soul to a higher plane and allowing it to participate in His own nature,(1085) makes possible an amicitia excellentiae s. eminentiae, which is sufficient to constitute a true relation of friendship. Without this elevation of the soul by grace there could be no friendship between God and man.(1086)

4. ADOPTIVE SONSHIP. -- The formal effects of sanctifying grace culminate in the elevation of man to the rank of an adopted child of God (filius Dei adoptivus), with a claim to the paternal inheritance, i.e. the beatific vision in Heaven. This truth is so clearly stated in Scripture and Tradition that its denial would be heretical. The Tridentine Council summarily describes justification as "the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God,"(1087) The teaching of Holy Scripture can be gathered from such texts as the following. Rom. VIII, 15 sqq.: "... You have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ."(1088) 1 John III, 1 sq.: "Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God.... Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God."(1089) Gal. IV, 5: "... that we might receive the adoption of sons."(1090) That the just become the adopted sons of God follows likewise as a corollary from the doctrine of regeneration so frequently taught by Scripture. This regeneration is not a procession of the soul from the divine essence, but a kind of accidental and analogical procreation substantially identical with adoption (filiatio adoptiva, {GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH DASIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER THETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}). Cfr. John I, 12 sq.: "... He gave them power to be made the sons of God, ... who are born ... of God."(1091)

a) St. Thomas defines adoption as "the gratuitous acceptance of a child of other parents to be the same as one's own child and heir."(1092) Adoption implies (1) that the adopted child be a stranger to the adopting father; (2) that it have no legal claim to adoption; (3) that it give its consent to being adopted; (4) that it be received by the adopting father with parental love and affection. All these elements are present, in a far higher and more perfect form, in the adoption of a soul by God.

(1) The rational creature, as such, is not a "son" but merely a "servant of God,"(1093) and, if he be in the state of mortal sin, His enemy.

(2) That adoption is a gratuitous favor on the part of the Almighty, follows from the fact that the adopted creature is His enemy and that grace is a free supernatural gift, to which no creature has a natural claim. Adoption furthermore implies the right of inheritance.(1094) The heritage of the children of God is a purely spiritual possession which can be enjoyed simultaneously by many, and consequently excels every natural heritage. Men, as a rule, do not distribute their property during life, while, after their death, it is usually divided up among several heirs.(1095)

(3) Whereas adoption among men owes its existence to the desire of offspring on the part of childless parents, the adoption of the soul by God springs from pure benevolence and unselfish love, and for this reason presupposes (in the case of adults) the free consent of the adopted. No one can become an adopted son of God against his will.(1096)

(4) Whereas human adoption supposes substantial equality between father and child, and therefore at best amounts to no more than a legal acceptance, adoption by God elevates the soul to a higher level by allowing it to participate in the Divine Nature, and consequently is a true (even though merely an accidental and analogical) regeneration in God.

b) From what we have said it follows -- and this is a truth of considerable speculative importance -- that there are essential points of difference as well as of resemblance between Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, and the justified sinner adopted by the Heavenly Father.

{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}) The difference between the "natural Son of God" and an "adopted son" is exactly like that between God and creature. The Logos-Son, engendered by eternal generation from the divine substance, is the true natural Son of the Father, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity, and Himself God.(1097) The just man, on the other hand, is a child of God merely by the possession of sanctifying grace,(1098) which can be lost by mortal sin and consequently is founded upon a free relation that may be terminated by man as freely as it was entered into between himself and God.

Intimately related to this distinction is another: -- Christ is the Son of the Father alone, the just man is an adopted child of the whole Trinity.(1099) This fact does not, however, prevent us from "appropriating" adoptive sonship to each of the three Divine Persons according to His peculiar hypostatic character: -- the Father as its author, the Son as its pattern, and the Holy Ghost as its conveyor.(1100) Now, if Christ, as the true Son of God, is the efficient cause (causa efficiens) of that adoptive sonship of which, as God, He is also the pattern-exemplar (causa exemplaris), it follows that He cannot be an adopted son of God. "Christus est incapax adoptionis," as Suarez puts it.(1101) To say that He is both the natural and an adopted Son of God would be heretical.(1102) Consequently, sanctifying grace, in Him, did not exercise one of the functions it invariably exercises in the souls of men, i.e. it did not make Him an adopted son of God.

{GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA}) It is to be noted, however, that the unique position enjoyed by our Lord gives rise, not only to essential distinctions but also to an equal number of analogies between the Only-begotten Son of God and His adopted sons. The first and most fundamental of these analogies is the attribution of the common appellation "son of God" both to Christ and to the just. Though Christ is the only true Son of God, the Heavenly Father has nevertheless charitably "bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be, the sons of God."(1103) According to John I, 13, Christ "gave power to be made the sons of God" to them "who are born ... of God." Hence divine sonship formally consists in an impression of the hypostatic likeness of the Only-begotten Son of God, by which the soul in a mysterious manner becomes an image of the Trinity, and especially of the Only-begotten Son of God, who is the archetype and pattern-exemplar of adoptive sonship. This hypostatic propriety and exemplariness was the reason why the Second Person of the Trinity became man.(1104) That the soul of the justified is transformed into "an image of the Son of God" is expressly taught by the Greek Fathers. Thus St. Cyril of Alexandria says: "Christ is truly formed in us, inasmuch as the Holy Ghost impresses on us a certain divine likeness by means of sanctity and justice.... But if any one is formed in Christ, he is formed into a child of God."(1105)

These considerations also explain the points of resemblance between the adoptive sonship of God and the Holy Eucharist. Being our Father by adoption, God is bound to provide us with food worthy of a divine progenitor. The food He gives us (the Holy Eucharist) corresponds to our dignity as His children, sustains us in this sublime relation, and at the same time constitutes the pledge of a glorious resurrection and an eternal beatitude.

c) Is the adoptive sonship of the children of God constituted entirely by sanctifying grace, or does it require for its full development the personal indwelling in the soul of the Holy Ghost?(1106) This subtle question formed the subject of an interesting controversy between Joseph Scheeben and Theodore Granderath, S. J. Father Granderath claimed on the authority of the Tridentine Council that divine sonship is an inseparable function of sanctifying grace, and through that grace alone, without the inhabitatio Spiritus Sancti, constitutes the unica causa formalis of justification. Against this theory Dr. Scheeben maintained with great acumen and, we think, successfully, that sanctifying grace of itself alone, without the aid of any other factor, not only completely justifies the sinner but raises him to the rank of an adopted son of God, though there is nothing to prevent us from holding that the indwelling of the Holy Ghost forms the climax of the process, and develops and perfects the already existing filiatio adoptiva.(1107)

Petavius had contended(1108) that the just men of the Old Testament, though in the state of sanctifying grace, were not adopted children of God, because the filiatio adoptiva is an exclusive privilege of those living under the Christian Dispensation. This theory became untenable when the Tridentine Council defined sanctity and adoptive sonship as inseparable formal effects of sanctifying grace. There can no longer be any doubt, therefore, that the patriarchs, together with sanctifying grace also enjoyed the privilege of adoptive sonship, though, as Suarez observes,(1109) adoptive sonship under the Old Covenant depended both as to origin and value upon the adoptive sonship of the New Testament, and therefore was inferior to it in both respects.(1110)

READINGS: -- Scheeben, Lehrbuch der Dogmatik, Vol. II, § 168 sqq., Freiburg 1878. -- J. Kirschkamp, Gnade und Glorie in ihrem inneren Zusammenhang, Wuerzburg 1878. -- P. Hagg, Die Reichtuemer der goettlichen Gnade und die Schwere ihres Verlustes, Ratisbon 1889. -- Card. Katschthaler, De Gratia Sanctificante, 3rd ed., Salzburg 1886. -- P. Einig, De Gratia Divina, Part II, Treves 1896. -- Heinrich-Gutberlet, Dogmatische Theologie, Vol. VIII, pp.575 sqq., Mainz 1897. -- Scheeben, Die Herrlichkeiten der goettlichen Gnade, 8th ed., by A. M. Weiss, O. P., Freiburg 1908 (English translation, The Glories of Divine Grace, 3rd ed., New York s. a.). -- Th. Bourges, O. P., L'Ordre Surnaturel et le Devoir Chretien, Paris 1901. -- *B. Terrien, La Grace et la Gloire ou la Filiation Adoptive des Enfants de Dieu Etudiee dans sa Realite, ses Principes, son Perfectionnement et son Couronnement Final, 2 vols., Paris 1897. -- *P. Villada, De Effectibus Formalibus Gratiae Habitualis, Valladolid 1899. -- L. Hubert, De Gratia Sanctificante, Paris 1902.

Article 3. The Supernatural Concomitants Of Sanctifying Grace

Besides producing the effects described in the preceding Article, sanctifying grace also confers certain supernatural privileges, which, though not of the essence of grace, are, in the present economy at least, inseparably connected with it and may therefore be regarded as its regular concomitants.

The existence of these privileges is established by the fact that certain councils (e.g. those of Vienne and Trent), couple "grace and gifts" in their official definitions.(1111) The doctrine is clearly stated by the Roman Catechism as follows: "To this [sanctifying grace] is added a most noble accompaniment of all virtues, which are divinely infused into the soul together with grace."(1112)

We will treat of the supernatural concomitants of sanctifying grace in four theses.

*Thesis I: The three divine virtues of faith, hope, and charity are infused into the soul simultaneously with sanctifying grace.*

Some theologians (notably Suarez, Ripalda, and De Lugo) declare this thesis to be de fide, while others (Dom. Soto, Melchior Cano, and Vasquez) hold it merely as certain. Under the circumstances it will be safest to take middle ground by characterizing it as fidei proxima.

Proof. The Council of Trent teaches: "Man through Jesus Christ, in whom he is ingrafted, receives, in the said justification, together with the remission of sins, all these [gifts] infused at once -- faith, hope, and charity."(1113)

a) That theological charity, as a habit, is infused together with sanctifying grace can be convincingly demonstrated from Holy Scripture. Cfr. Rom. V, 5: "... the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us."(1114) In connection with charity, Holy Scripture frequently mentions faith. Cfr.1 Cor. XIII, 2: "And if I should have ... all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."(1115) All three of the theological virtues are expressly enumerated in 1 Cor. XIII, 13: "And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity."(1116) Unlike certain other texts, the one last quoted leaves no doubt that faith, hope, and charity are to be conceived as dona inhaerentia, i.e. habits or qualities inherent in the soul. This interpretation is approved by the Fathers and Scholastics.

b) St. Thomas proves the necessity of the three theological virtues for salvation as follows: "In order that we be properly moved towards our end [God], that end must be both known and desired. Desire of an end includes two things: first, hope of attaining it, because no prudent man will aspire to that which he cannot attain; and secondly, love, because nothing is desired that is not loved. And hence there are three theological virtues, -- faith, by which we know God; hope, by which we trust to obtain Him; and charity, by which we love Him."(1117)

When are the three theological virtues infused into the soul? This is an open question so far as faith and hope are concerned. Of charity we know that it is always infused with habitual grace. Suarez contends that, when the soul is properly disposed, faith and hope are infused before justification proper, that is to say, in the process leading up to it. St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure, on the other hand, hold that faith and hope, like charity, are infused at the moment when justification actually takes place in the soul. This last-mentioned opinion is favored by the Tridentine Council.(1118)

Mortal sin first destroys sanctifying grace together with the habit of charity that is inseparable from it. Faith and hope may continue to exist in the soul, and if hope, too, departs, faith may remain alone. But the loss of faith invariably entails the destruction of hope and charity.

*Thesis II: Together with sanctifying grace there are also infused the supernatural moral virtues.*

This proposition may be characterized as sententia communior et probabilior. Though denied by some theologians, it can claim a high degree of probability.(1119)

Proof. The infused moral virtues (virtutes morales infusae) differ from the theological virtues in that they have for their immediate formal object, not God Himself, but the creature in its relation to the moral law.

The moral virtues may be reduced to four, viz.: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. These are called the "cardinal" virtues; first, because they perfect the principal faculties of the soul; secondly, because all the other virtues may be scientifically deduced from them.(1120) In the supernatural order the infusion of the cardinal virtues and of the other virtues subordinate to them has for its object the government of intellect and will in their relation towards created things and the guidance of these faculties to their supernatural end.

a) The existence of supernaturally infused moral virtues is intimated in Wis. VIII, 7: "And if a man love justice: her labors have great virtues; for she teacheth temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life."(1121) The teacher of the three cardinal virtues here mentioned is "Divine Wisdom," i.e. God Himself, and we may assume that He inculcates them by the same method which He employs in infusing the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

Another relevant text is Ezechiel XI, 19 sq.: "... and I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my commandments, and keep my judgments."(1122) Here Yahweh promises to give the just men of the New Covenant a "heart of flesh" as opposed to the "stony heart" of the Jews. The meaning evidently is that a disposition to do good will be a characteristic of the New Testament Christians in contradistinction to the hardhearted Old Testament Jews. He who has a "heart of flesh" will walk in God's commandments and keep His judgments. Hence "heart" signifies the sum-total of all those habits which impel and enable a man to lead a good life. Since it is God Himself who gives the "heart of flesh," i.e. the moral virtues, it follows that they are supernaturally infused.(1123)

b) Some of the Fathers ascribe the moral virtues directly to divine infusion.

Thus St. Augustine observes that the cardinal virtues "are given to us through the grace of God."(1124) And St. Gregory the Great says that the Holy Ghost does "not desert the hearts of those who are perfect in faith, hope, and charity, and in those other goods without which no man can attain to the heavenly fatherland."(1125) St. Thomas shows the theological reason for this by pointing to the parallel that exists between nature and the supernatural. "Effects," he says, "must always be proportionate to their causes and principles. Now all virtues, intellectual and moral, which we acquire by our acts, proceed from certain natural principles preexisting in us.... In lieu of these natural principles God confers on us the theological virtues, by which we are directed to a supernatural end.... Hence there must correspond to these theological virtues, proportionally, other habits caused in us by God, and which bear the same relation to the theological virtues that the moral and intellectual virtues bear to the natural principles of virtue."(1126)

*Thesis III: The seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are also infused with sanctifying grace.*

This proposition may be qualified as "probabilis."

Proof. The Church's teaching with regard to the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost is based on Isaias XI, 2 sq.: "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord." Four of these supernatural gifts (wisdom, understanding, counsel, and knowledge) perfect the intellect in matters pertaining to salvation, while the remaining three (fortitude, godliness, and the fear of the Lord) direct the will to its supernatural end. Are these seven gifts, (or some of them), really distinct from the infused moral virtues? Are they habits or habitual dispositions, or merely transient impulses or inspirations? What are their mutual relations and how can they be divided off from one another? These and similar questions are in dispute among theologians. The prevailing opinion is that the gifts of the Holy Ghost are infused habitual dispositions, realiter distinct from the theological and moral virtues, by which the soul is endowed with a supernatural capacity for receiving the inspirations of the Holy Ghost and a supernatural readiness to obey His impulses in all important matters pertaining to salvation.(1127)

That the gifts of the Holy Ghost are infused into the soul simultaneously with sanctifying grace, can be demonstrated as follows: Christ, as the mystical head, is the pattern of justification for the members of His spiritual body, who are united to Him by sanctifying grace.(1128) Now the Holy Ghost dwelled in Christ with all His gifts as permanent habits.(1129) Consequently, these gifts are imparted by infusion to those who receive the grace of justification. This is manifestly the belief of the Church, for she prays in the "Veni Sancte Spiritus":

"Shed upon thy faithful fold,
By unbounded hope controlled,
Thy seven gifts."(1130)

*Thesis IV: The process of justification reaches its climax in the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the soul of the just.*

This thesis embodies what is technically called a propositio certa.


a) Holy Scripture draws a clear-cut distinction between the accidental and the substantial indwelling of the Holy Ghost.

{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}) Our Lord Himself, in addition to the charismata, promised His Apostles the Holy Ghost in Person. John XIV, 16 sq.: "... the Father ... shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever, ... but you shall know him, because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you."(1132) This promise was made to all the faithful. Cfr. Rom. V, 5: "... the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us."(1133) Hence the Holy Ghost abides in the just and sets up His throne in their souls. Cfr. Rom. VIII, 11: "And if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies, because of his Spirit that dwelleth in you."(1134) By His indwelling our souls become temples of God.1 Cor. III, 16 sq.: "Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?... For the temple of God is holy, which you are."(1135) 1 Cor. VI, 19: "Or know you not that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own?"(1136)

{GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA}) Agreeable to this teaching of Scripture the Fathers, especially those of the East, assert the substantial indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the souls of the just.

The fact that no one but God can dwell substantially and personally in a creature was cited by the Greek Fathers in their controversies with the Pneumatomachians to prove the divinity of the Holy Ghost. St. Athanasius writes to Serapion:(1137) "If we by receiving the Holy Ghost are allowed to participate in the Divine Nature, no one but a fool will assert that the Holy Ghost is not of divine but of human nature. For all those in whom He abides become deified(1138) for no other reason. But if He constitutes them gods, there can be no doubt that His nature is divine." St. Basil comments as follows on Ps. LXXXI, 6 (Ego dixi, dii estis): "But the Spirit that causes the gods to be gods, must be divine, and from God, ... and God."(1139) St. Cyril of Alexandria(1140) glowingly describes the soul inhabited by the Holy Ghost as inlaid with gold, transfused by fire, filled with the sweet odor of balsam, and so forth.

The Latin Fathers, with one exception, are less definite on this point. St. Augustine says that the Holy Ghost "is given as a gift of God in such a way that He Himself also gives Himself as being God,"(1141) and that "the grace of God is a gift of God, but the greatest gift is the Holy Spirit Himself, who therefore is called a grace."(1142) Again: "... the Holy Spirit is the gift of God, the gift being Himself indeed equal to the giver, and therefore the Holy Ghost also is God, not inferior to the Father and the Son."(1143)

b) While theologians are unanimous in accepting the doctrine of the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the just as clearly contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, they differ in explaining the manner in which He dwells in the soul.

{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}) The great majority hold that the Holy Ghost can not dwell in the soul, as the human soul dwells in the body, per modum informationis, nor yet by a hypostatic union, as godhead and manhood dwell together in the Person of Christ; and that consequently His indwelling is objectively an indwelling of the whole Trinity, which is appropriated to the Third Person merely because the Holy Ghost is "hypostatic holiness" or "personal love." This view is based on what is called "the fundamental law of the Trinity," viz.: "In God all things are one except where there is opposition of relation."(1144) Sacred Scripture speaks of the personal indwelling of the Father and the Son as well as of the Holy Ghost. Cfr. John XIV, 23: "If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and will make our abode with him."(1145) St. Athanasius concludes from these words that "the energia of the Trinity is one.... Indeed when the Lord says: I and the Father will come, the Spirit also comes, to dwell in us in precisely the same manner in which the Son dwells in us."(1146) And St. Augustine teaches: "Love, therefore, which is of God and is God, is properly the Holy Spirit, by whom the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, -- that love by which the whole Trinity dwells in us."(1147) Accordingly, the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost consists in the state of grace as bearing a special relation to the Third Person of the Trinity; the "higher nature" which sanctifying grace imparts to the soul is not an absolute but a relative form ({GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER CHI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}), by which the soul is mysteriously united with the Three Divine Persons and, by appropriation, with the Holy Ghost, thereby becoming a throne and temple of God. It is in this sense that the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the soul is called the climax of justification.(1148)

{GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA}) Other eminent theologians (Petavius, Passaglia, Schrader, Scheeben, Hurter, et al.) regard the explanation just given as unsatisfactory. They contend that the Fathers, especially those of the East, conceived the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the souls of the just, not as an indwelling ({GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON WITH PSILI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER KAPPA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}) of the Trinity, appropriated to the Holy Ghost, but as a union ({GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON WITH DASIA AND OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMEGA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}) of the Holy Ghost Himself with the soul.(1149) This union, they say, is neither physical nor hypostatic, but an altogether unique and inexplicable relation by which the soul is morally, accidentally, and actively united to the person of the Holy Ghost.(1150)

{GREEK SMALL LETTER GAMMA}) Unfortunately this exalted and mystic theory cannot be squared with the theological principles underlying the Catholic teaching on the Trinity, especially that portion of it which concerns the appropriations and missions of the three Divine Persons.(1151) It is true that sanctifying grace culminates in a communication of the Divine Nature, and that this {GREEK SMALL LETTER THETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMEGA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA} is effected by imprinting upon the soul an image of the divine processes of generation and spiration, -- the first by adoptive filiation, the second by an indwelling of the Holy Ghost.(1152) In fact all the Trinitarian relations are reflected in the justification of the sinner. Thus regeneration corresponds to the generation of the Logos by the Father; adoptive sonship and the accompanying participation of the soul in the Divine Nature corresponds to our Lord's natural sonship and his consubstantiality with the Father; the indwelling of the Holy Ghost and His union with the soul, on the other hand, corresponds to the divine process of Spiration, inasmuch as it is preeminently a supernatural union of love and effects a sort of mutual inexistence or perichoresis of the soul in the Holy Ghost or the three Divine Persons respectively.(1153) Since, however, this union of the soul with the substance of the three Divine Persons in general, and the Holy Ghost in particular, is not a substantial and physical but only an accidental and moral union, the regeneration of the sinner must be conceived as generation in a metaphorical sense only, divine sonship as adoptive sonship, the deification of man as a weak imitation of the divine homoousia, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the soul as a shadowy analogue of the Divine Perichoresis.(1154)

READINGS: -- Deharbe, Die vollkommene Liebe Gottes nach dem hl. Thomas von Aquin, Ratisbon 1856. -- Marchant, Die theologischen Tugenden, Ratisbon 1864. -- Mazzella, De Virtutibus Infusis, 4th ed., Rome 1894. -- G. Lahousse, S. J., De Virtutibus Theologicis, Louvain 1890. -- S. Schiffini, S. J., Tractatus de Virtutibus Infusis, Freiburg 1904. -- J. Kirschkamp, Der Geist des Katholizismus in der Lehre vom Glauben und von der Liebe, Paderborn 1894. -- C. Weiss, S. Thomae Aquinatis de Septem Donis Spiritus Sancti Doctrina Proposita et Explicata, Vienna 1895.

On the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the souls of the just see A. Scholz, De Inhabitatione Spiritus Sancti, Wuerzburg 1856. -- *Franzelin, De Deo Trino, pp.625 sqq., Rome 1881. -- Oberdoerffer, De Inhabitatione Spiritus Sancti in Animabus Iustorum, Tournai 1890. -- * B. Froget, O. P., De l'Inhabitation du S. Esprit dans les Ames Justes d'apres la Doctrine de S. Thomas d'Aquin, Paris 1901. -- De Bellevue, L'Oeuvre du S. Esprit ou la Sanctification des Ames, Paris 1901.

On the historic development of the dogma see Schwane, Dogmengeschichte, 2nd ed., Vol. II, § 56-75, Freiburg 1895.

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