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The best we can do is cooperate with God’s Grace August 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, General Catholic, Interior Life, Virtue.

Because of our disfigured, fallen natures, willing to do good, supernatural good, is beyond us.  For that, we depend utterly on God’s Grace.  The best we can do is cooperate with that Grace as fully as possible.  From Divine Intimacy Chapter 266 “Baptismal Grace”

Certainly, Jesus has done all things well.  He has arranged everything in the best way possible for our sanctification. He has prepared for us all the graces we need, and not only in sufficient measure, but even superabundantly. Unfortunately, however, we do not always cooperate with His Grace;  many times pride, egoism, and all our other uncontrolled passions turn to evil what God has planned for our good. [I know this all too well, but apparently not well enough] If we had accepted lovingly and with resignation that difficulty, that trial, or disappointement which God had permitted for the sole purpose of providing us with an opportunity to practice virtue, we should have made great progress; but by giving way to impatience, by protesting and complaining, we rather added to our failures and infidelities. We should cooperate with Grace more readily and strive to maintain our soul in an attitude of open docility to all the invitations to virtue which God is contiually sending us by means of the different circumstances of life. [I frequently complain about some unpleasant or unwanted task, rather than accepting it freely as a Gift from God and asking how I might grow by whatever it is I must do. Unfortunately, I’d rather complain most of the time, at least to myself]

[In St. Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor 15:1-20)], St. Paul realizes that if he became an apostle, instead of the persecutor which he had been, it was not because of his own merits, but solely by the Grace of God; he attributes nothing to himself, but all to God. At the same time, he is conscious of his personal correspondence, the correspondence which is always the fruit of Grace, but which also includes, as an indispensable element, our free adherence to it. Consequently, we must have an attitude of profound humility as the basis of our correspondence to Grace, that is, we must clearly realize that whatever good is in us is due only to God. This attitude of humility must be accompanied by a voluntary, continual assent of our will to God’s invitations. We cannot give this assent without the help of Grace, and yet it depends on us [to say ‘yes’ to that Grace]; it is entirely in our hands. Therefore, like St. Paul, we can attribute nothing to our own merits, but should say with him, “By the Grace of God, I am what I am.” Our willing adhesion to Grace, however, will give us the right to add, “and His Grace in me hath not been void.”  But only steady, faithful, generous adhesion [to Grace] will give us that right.

St. Augustine adds: “I cannot even will what is good without You, nor can I do what I will todo if Your power does not help me; and what I can do, I often do not wish to do, unless You make Your Will triumph on earth as in Heaven. I implore but one thing of Your Sovereign Mercy: that You convert me entirely to You and keep me from resisting the Grace which leads me to You.”


1. Apologist Matthew Kelly coming to North Texas Oct. 1 « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - September 7, 2011

[…] our own efforts to become holy that could lead people down some very unfortunate paths (remember, the best we can do is to cooperate with Grace).   But, the book could have a good deal of merit for trying to reengage people who have been […]

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