Grace: Commentary on the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas, Preface
Rev. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

 

GRACE

Commentary on the Summa theologica of
St. Thomas,
Ia IIae, q. 109-14


By
REV. REGINALD GARRIGOU-LAGRANGE, O.P.

 

 

Translated by

THE DOMINICAN NUNS

Corpus Christi Monastery

Menlo Park, California

 

 

 

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1952

 

 

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NIHIL OBSTAT

    lnnocentius Swoboda, O.F.M.
Censor Librorum

IMPRIMATUR

             X Joseph E. Ritter
Archiepiscopus

 

 

St. Ludovici, die 25a mensis, julii, 1952

 

 

 

  

Copyright 1952

B. HERDER BOOK CO.

Vail-Ballou Press, Inc., Binghamton and New York

 

 

 

 

To the holy Mother of God,
Mother of divine Grace,

WHO SWEETLY AND SUBLIMELY TEACHES TO LITTLE
ONES THE MYSTERIES OF SALVATION,
THE AUTHOR DEDICATES THIS WORK
IN TOKEN OF GRATITUDE AND FILIAL OBEDIENCE

 

 

 

PREFACE

 

We have already explained at length in the treatise on the one God the doctrine of St. Thomas about the knowledge and will of God, providence and predestination, and likewise in the treatise on God the Creator his doctrine on evil. Now it remains to apply the principles already expounded to the questions of grace, so that these may be considered in relation to man, and also in relation to God, the author of grace, who is the subject of sacred theology. Indeed this science considers all things in relation to God, as optics does in relation to color and light, mathematics in relation to quantity, metaphysics in relation to being as such.

Hence the present treatise On grace depends on the treatise about the divine will in which we have already set forth the will for universal salvation and the distinction between antecedent will and consequent will, which is the ultimate basis, as we shall see, of the distinction between sufficient grace and efficacious grace.

We presuppose, likewise, St. Thomas’ doctrine on the intrinsic and infallible efficacy of the divine decrees, presented in Ia, q. 19, a. 8, which we have explained at length in the treatise on the one God, refuting the objections based on the violation of freedom, on insufficiency of help, and on affinity with Calvinism.

Our treatise on grace is especially connected with question 20, Part I, on the love of God: 1. whether love exists in God; 2. whether God loves all things; 3. whether God loves all things equally; 4. whether God always loves better things more. In explanation of this last article, we show the value of the principle of predilection: “Nothing would be better than anything else (as an act, easy or difficult, natural or supernatural, initial or final) unless it were more loved and sustained by God.” “What hast thou that thou hast not received?” (I Cor. 4:7.) As we shall see, this principle throws a light from on high upon all questions of predestination and grace. It is likewise the basis of Christian humility and of our gratitude to God, “who hath first loved us.”

At the same time, no less emphasis must be placed on another principle of St. Augustine, formulated and cited at the Council of Trent (Denz., no. 804): “God does not command the impossible, but by commanding He incites thee to do what thou canst and to ask what thou canst not, and He assists thee so that thou mayst be able.” These two principles taken together prevent opposing deviations; preserve balance of thought and the harmony of the divine word in regard to these most difficult questions.

 

AUTHORS TO BE CONSULTED

 1. The teaching of the Fathers on grace

Schwane, Histoire des Dogmes, tr. Degert, 1904.

J. Tixeront, Histoire des Dogmes. Vol. I : Théologie anérnicéenne, 1905; Vol. 11: S. Athanase à S. Augustin, 1909; Vol. III: La fin de l’âge patristique, 1912, p. 274 ff.

Héfele, Histoire des conciles, tr. Leclerq (Paris, 1908), II, 168.

St. Augustine, De natura et gratia; De gratia Christi; Enchiridion; Sex libr. aduersus Julianum; De gratia et libero arbitrio; De correptione et gratia; De praedestinatione sanctorum; De dono perseuerantiae.

St. Prosper, PL, LI, 155-276.

St. Fulgentius, De gratia et libero arbitrio.

St. Bernard, De gratia et libero arbitrio.

Peter Lombard, Sent., Bk. II, d. 26-28: De gratia.

St. Bonaventure and St. Albert the Great, In II Sent.

2. Works of St. Thomas and of Thomists on grace

St. Thomas, In II Sent., d. 26-28; la llae, q. 109-14; Contra Gentes, Quaest. disput.

Principal commentators: Capreolus, In II Sent., d. 26; Cajetan, In Iam IIae, q. 109 ff.; Medina, John of St. Thomas.

Sylvius, Gonet, the Salmanticenses, Gotti, Billuart.

Soto, De natura et gratia, 1551.

Thomas Lemos, Panoplia gratiae, 4 vols., 1676.

Alvarez, De auxiliis diuinae gratiae, 1610.

Gonzalez de Albeda, In Iam, q. 19, 1637.

Goudin, De gratia, 1874.

Reginaldus, O.P., De mente Conc. Trident. circa gratiam seipsa efficacem, 1706.

Among recent works by Thomists: Dummermuth: S. Thomas et doctrina praemotionis physicae, Paris, 1886; Defensio doctrinae S. Thomas, 1895. N. Del Prado, O.P.,: De gratia et libero arbitrio, 3 vols., Fribourg (Switzerland), 1907. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. La prédestination des saints et la grâce, 1936; Dict. théol. cath., arts., “Prédestination,” “Prémotion.” Schaezler: Natur und Gnade, Mainz, 1867.

3. Outside the Thomistic School

Molina, Concordia, Paris, 1876.

Suarez, De gratia.

St. Robert Bellarmine, De controversiis (Prague, 1721), Vol. IV.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori, De modo quo gratia operatur; De magno orationis medio.
 
Scheeben, Natur und Gnade, Mainz, 1861. Strongly inclines toward Thomism.

Billot, S.J., De gratia Christi, 2nd ed., 1921.

Van der Meersch, De divina gratia (Bruges, 1910) and Dict. théol. cath., art., “Grâce.”

J. Ude, Doctrina Capreoli de influxu Dei in actus uoluntatis humanae, Graz, 1905. This author favors Thomism.

 

TREATISE ON GRACE

Ia IIae, q. 109-114

In the first place something must be said about the position of this treatise in the Summa theologica. St. Thomas treats of grace in the moral part of his Summa, for, after the questions of human acts themselves, must be considered the principles of human acts; first, the intrinsic principles, namely, good and bad habits, or virtues and vices; secondly, the external principles of human acts, namely, God’s teaching us by means of His law, and His assistance to us by His grace.1

Hence the treatise on grace belongs to the moral part of theology no less than the treatise on law. Moral theology is not a science distinct from dogmatic theology, since the formal object (objectum formale quod et quo) is ever the same: God under the aspect of His Deity so far as it falls under virtual revelation. It would be surprising if the moral part of sacred theology did not treat of the necessity of grace for doing good conducive to salvation and of the effects of grace, i.e., justification and merit. Indeed, if moral theology is deprived of these treatises, it will be reduced almost to casuistry, which is only its lowest application, as asceticism and mysticism are its highest applications.

Among Thomistic commentators the following, along with Cajetan, are especially to be read: Soto (De natura et gratia), John of St. Thomas, the Salmanticenses, Gonet, Gotti, Billuart. Cf. also among modern theologians, Scheeben (Natur und Gnade).

This division of the whole treatise is methodical, corresponding to the division into four causes. 1. Grace is considered beginning with the definition of the word and with reference to its necessity for the end of eternal life and to its existence. 2. Thus, in regard to its end, grace, as it is the seed of glory, is defined as a participation in the divine nature and is determined by the subject in which it resides, that is, the essence of the soul. 3. After the definition of grace, its subdivisions are given. Then its efficient cause and its effects are discussed. Thus all those things which belong to it per se are taken into consideration.

A brief comparison may be made between this division of St. Thomas and the division made by various modern writers. Many modern scholars, such as Tanquerey, divide this treatise into three parts, but this division is rather material than formal.
 

This division is less correct; in treating of the necessity of grace the necessity of habitual grace is also treated. And in the order of knowledge it is better to deal with justification, which is an effect of grace, after considering the essence of grace. Hence Father Billot, S.J., after his preliminary remarks, rightly divides his treatise on grace according to St. Thomas. Father Hugon, O.P., does the same, as do many others. Nor may it be said that St. Thomas did not distinguish clearly between habitual and actual grace; this distinction is made time and time again in the articles, and thereby is made evident how St. Thomas perfected the Augustinian doctrine, regarding grace not only from the psychological and moral aspects, but ontologically: 1. as an abiding form, and 2. as a transitory movement.

This entire treatise is a commentary on the words of our Lord in John 4:10: “If thou didst know the gift of God,” and our Lord’s discourse by which they are elucidated, according to St. John. At the same time it may be said that St. Paul was the apostle of grace who opened to us the deep things of God, predestination and grace. And the two great doctors of grace are Augustine, who defended divine grace against Pelagius, and St. Thomas, of whom the liturgy sings:

 “Praise to the King of glory, Christ,
Who by Thomas, light of the Church,
Filled the earth with the doctrine of grace.”

 This work is a translation of De gratia by Father Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

 

CONTENTS

 

CHAPTER                                                                                                                   PAGE

I. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

II. The Necessity of Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 41

III. The Grace of God with Respect to Its Essence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

IV. The Divisions of Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . 150

 

V. The Doctrine of the Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182

 

VI. Sufficient Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . .202

 

VII. Efficacious Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . .239

VIII. Excursus on Efficacious Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .265

IX. The Cause of Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .305

X. The Effects of Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .325

XI. Merit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363

XII. Recapitulation and Supplement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 399

Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 504

 
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507

 

 

 

Pages numbers are those of the book. These files are not divided into pages.

 


 

1 Cf. Ia IIae, q. 90, introd. With regard to this heading, it should be noted that God assisting by His grace is an extrinsic principle. Grace, however, is not a principle extrinsic to man, but inhering in him, as will be explained later.

 

 

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