Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
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Catholic ENcyclopedia:

The fundamental principles of the Molinistic system of grace are the following: [b]efficacious grace and sufficient grace, considered in actu prima, are not in naturae and intrinsically different one from the other (as the Thomists hold), but only accidentally so and according to their external success, inasmuch as sufficient grace becomes efficacious just as soon as the free will corresponds with it. If the will withholds its consent then sufficient grace remains inefficacious and is termed "merely sufficient grace" (gratia mere suffiiciens). Now since one and the same grace may in one instance be efficacious, and in another inefficacious, it follows that the so-called gratia efficax must be conceived according to its essence as efficax ab extrinsico.[/b] In this conception there is no lessening of the dignity and priority of grace. For since the anticipatory grace invests the created will, quite irrespective of its consent in actu primo, supernaturally with moral and physical powers, and since moreover, as a supernatural concursus, it influences the actus secundus or good act and thus becomes efficacious grace, it follows that the good act itself is the joint product of grace and free will, or rather more the work of grace than of free will. For it is not the will which by its free consent determines the power of grace, but conversely it is grace which makes the free good act possible, prepares for it and cooperates in its execution. The infallibility of the success, which is contained in the very idea of efficacious grace, is not to be explained by the intrinsic nature of this grace, nor by a supernatural proemotio physica, but rather by the Theologoumenon of the scientia media, by virtue of which God foreknows from all eternity whether this particular will would freely cooperate with a certain grace or not. But since God by virtue of His scientia media has at His own disposal all the sufficient and efficacious grace, the infallibility of the successful outcome remains in perfect accord with the freedom of the will, and furthermore the dogma concerning final perseverance and predestination is entirely preserved.

It is apparent that above all, Molinism is determined to throw a wall of security around the free will. The Thomists maintain that this is done at the expense of grace. Instead of making the free will dependent on the power of grace, it is will which freely determines the success or failure of grace. Thus in the last analysis it is human will which decides whether a particular grace shall prove efficacious or not, although revelation teaches that it is God, who with His grace gives both the willing and the doing of a good act. Even friends of Molina, notably Cardinal Bellarmine (De grat. et lib. arbitr., I, 12), saw the force of this difficulty and declined to follow the extreme Molinism, which, by the way, was not taught by Molina. This explains the Instruction issued by Claudius Acquaviva, the General of the Jesuits in the year 1613, directing all the teaching body of the Society to lay increased stress on the fact that efficacious grace differs from sufficient grace not only ab extrinseco, but also in its moral (not its physical) nature even in actu primo, inasmuch as efficacious grace being a special gift of God has a higher moral value than merely sufficient grace, which according to the infallible foreknowledge of God recoils ineffectively in consequence of the resistance of the will. Thus it remains true that God Himself effects our good deeds, not that He merely supplies us with the potentiality.
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Re: Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism? - by Gregory I - 07-19-2011, 09:52 PM



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