Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others?

"...that it cannot refuse its consent..." Of course it can refuse its consent; it always retains the ability to do so. But God moves it in such a way that it infallibly cooperates. It is a mystery, but that is why we are discussing it.

"...but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema."
"Yes, again, neither Augustine nor Thomas say that it is inanimate or that it is merely passive. "

Basically, I think S. Thomas isn't necessarily agreeing with the Tridentine Canon; he is building on it.
Because, ALL the canon says it what it says. The statement about grace being irresistible is something y'all are saying, going on S. Thomas. I don't feel grace being irresistible is implied anywhere in the canon. According the view y'all are taking, I feel like you're saying man has will, but it's either God's, or God's, because He either controls it or doesn't and by not controlling it, because He COULD have controlled it, he has sovereignty over it.
I think if someone says your will in  salvation is active, but God is making it active, then that is a logical fallacy.

I maintain that the canon admits God moves our will; I believe the canon also says we can deny the movement of our will by God; I believe some here are implying we can't deny the movement of our will by God, thus disagreeing with the canon.
As for St. Thomas as the sole teacher of Catholicism, I don't see that said anywhere in any catechism; as for S. Augustine, I feel like the Church liked what he wrote about grace, but only grace, not this thing I'm calling Jansenism; and that there's no infallible teaching saying that S. Augustine is the sole doctor of grace. He is A doctor of the Church, but obviously his writings are causing conflicts to this day, so they must be confusing, hence my refusal to read the work of him or Thomas. Also, my opinion is held by the Eastern Catholics, so I can't be to far off something.
It also must be said that the things I've heard here about grace I've ONLY heard here, and nowhere else on any Catholic website. So again, I'm leaving this thread.

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(12-15-2011, 01:55 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: Remember, the same Sun that softens wax hardens clay.

This is the key.  What makes the difference between being clay or wax is the free will, but the Sun remains the same.
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(12-15-2011, 05:13 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: "...that it cannot refuse its consent..." Of course it can refuse its consent; it always retains the ability to do so. But God moves it in such a way that it infallibly cooperates. It is a mystery, but that is why we are discussing it.

"...but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema."
"Yes, again, neither Augustine nor Thomas say that it is inanimate or that it is merely passive. "

Basically, I think S. Thomas isn't necessarily agreeing with the Tridentine Canon; he is building on it.
Because, ALL the canon says it what it says. The statement about grace being irresistible is something y'all are saying, going on S. Thomas. I don't feel grace being irresistible is implied anywhere in the canon. According the view y'all are taking, I feel like you're saying man has will, but it's either God's, or God's, because He either controls it or doesn't and by not controlling it, because He COULD have controlled it, he has sovereignty over it.
I think if someone says your will in  salvation is active, but God is making it active, then that is a logical fallacy.

I maintain that the canon admits God moves our will; I believe the canon also says we can deny the movement of our will by God; I believe some here are implying we can't deny the movement of our will by God, thus disagreeing with the canon.
As for St. Thomas as the sole teacher of Catholicism, I don't see that said anywhere in any catechism; as for S. Augustine, I feel like the Church liked what he wrote about grace, but only grace, not this thing I'm calling Jansenism; and that there's no infallible teaching saying that S. Augustine is the sole doctor of grace. He is A doctor of the Church, but obviously his writings are causing conflicts to this day, so they must be confusing, hence my refusal to read the work of him or Thomas. Also, my opinion is held by the Eastern Catholics, so I can't be to far off something.
It also must be said that the things I've heard here about grace I've ONLY heard here, and nowhere else on any Catholic website. So again, I'm leaving this thread.

*sigh*

You do realize that the Council of Trent, in session, had a copy of the Summa Theoligica next to the Bible on the altar, right?  St. Thomas is the framework of all the canons of Trent, to the core.  Whether you think or feel they are agreeing is irrelevant to the fact that they say the same thing.

St. Thomas says close to the exact opposite of what you claim he is.  He does not say grace is irresistible, but that our freedom involves resisting or submitting to it.  That is what Trent says, that is what St. Thomas says.  They are saying the exact same thing, with pretty close to the exact same words.

And if you refuse to read the Doctors, on what grounds dare you criticize their thought, of which you remain willfully ignorant?  Nobody is required to become intimate with every thinker, and there are plenty of good non-Augustinian, non-Thomistic Christians and thinkers; but to remain ignorant on purpose and claim some sort of high ground is foolish pride.
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(12-15-2011, 01:33 PM)Melkite Wrote: Something dawned on me today in my ceramics class.  God intentionally used the potter and the clay as a way to tell us about predestination.  It is in the human understanding of a potter and his clay that we can learn what God wanted us to about predestination, or else he wouldn't have used it.  A potter makes some vessels for lofty things, and others for ordinary things.  However, the potter takes great care in the creation of each vessel, and puts a portion of his soul into each one.  I think this is what God has intended to teach us in that, that he has predestined some to extraordinary purposes, and others to mundane purposes, yet he loves each one intimately.  It was not intended to teach that God specifically creates some for reprobation.

I think this is a very good set of observations.  To further the example, let's say that as the potter is making the vessel, there is some flaw in the clay that means it can't be made a certain way, and the potter has to make it some other way.  Not really knowing about pottery, I can't say.  But the material of the clay is not always amenable to what the potter might wish for it.  So God "wills the salvation of all," but not all are willing to be saved.  Hence the mystery of destiny and freedom.
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(12-15-2011, 02:28 AM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(12-15-2011, 02:10 AM)Doce Me Wrote:
(12-14-2011, 01:15 AM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Free will or free grace? Scripture says that men are born again, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13); that it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy (Rom 9;16); the work of faith is the operation of God according to the exceeding greatness of his power, who works in man both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. (Phil 2:13)

[...] God is causing all the willing as it occurs, but He gives man the incredible gift of being a secondary cause, a cause being caused by Him, the primary cause.

Faith is not itself merited, but when the grace of faith is given it moves the will freely, so the will is the secondary cause of the acceptance.  Men accept faith freely.

Beautifully said, Doce Me. I am always looking for a concise way to present these teachings in a way that sums up the essence of the teaching without making it too complicated. This particular teaching is mysterious, indeed, but you have put it as well as anyone, in my opinion.

Thank you, INPEFESS.  I think you understand these things better than I do (and definitely have more scholarly knowledge).  But I try to simplify what I do know if only for myself.  I don't always succeed (and sometimes just  get it wrong), but I'm glad that this time it was helpful.

(12-15-2011, 02:28 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: I'm still looking for a succinct way to present the relationship between sufficient and efficacious grace, but, alas, I am still trying. My best attempt is still rather lengthy. Any ideas are welcome!

I should more closely read what you've said, for starters  :) , and your quotes, e.g. from Garrigou-Lagrange  I don't know much. 
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(12-15-2011, 11:15 PM)Doce Me Wrote:
(12-15-2011, 02:28 AM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(12-15-2011, 02:10 AM)Doce Me Wrote:
(12-14-2011, 01:15 AM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Free will or free grace? Scripture says that men are born again, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13); that it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy (Rom 9;16); the work of faith is the operation of God according to the exceeding greatness of his power, who works in man both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. (Phil 2:13)

[...] God is causing all the willing as it occurs, but He gives man the incredible gift of being a secondary cause, a cause being caused by Him, the primary cause.

Faith is not itself merited, but when the grace of faith is given it moves the will freely, so the will is the secondary cause of the acceptance.  Men accept faith freely.

Beautifully said, Doce Me. I am always looking for a concise way to present these teachings in a way that sums up the essence of the teaching without making it too complicated. This particular teaching is mysterious, indeed, but you have put it as well as anyone, in my opinion.

Thank you, INPEFESS.  I think you understand these things better than I do (and definitely have more scholarly knowledge). 

Well, I don't know about that, but it's the faith of the simple-minded that God loves most! Don't go seeking after too much understanding like I do. It is vain, proud, and often dangerous.

Quote: But I try to simplify what I do know if only for myself.  I don't always succeed (and sometimes just  get it wrong), but I'm glad that this time it was helpful.

Yes, I, too, want to simplify it, but mostly to be able to explain to others. I love meditating on this teaching because of the humility it inspires. Just thinking about it inclines one to prostrate one's self before Almighty God in humility, silence, supplication, adoration, and resignation.

Quote:
(12-15-2011, 02:28 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: I'm still looking for a succinct way to present the relationship between sufficient and efficacious grace, but, alas, I am still trying. My best attempt is still rather lengthy. Any ideas are welcome!

I should more closely read what you've said, for starters  :) , and your quotes, e.g. from Garrigou-Lagrange  I don't know much. 

Well, none of us do next to God.  :) But Garrigou-Lagrange is probably the best place to start for a concise explanation of this teaching. I did my best to sum up the relationship between these two types of graces in my earlier post (a synthesis of Augustine, Thomas, and Fr. Reginald's explications of both of them):
INP Wrote:First, it must be understood that the human [faculty of the] will is unable to (1) will and (2) [bring about any good] act without God's supplementary grace. Like an engine lacking fuel, the human capacity to do either (will or act) lacks actualization until supplemented by God's all-powerful grace.

From the human perspective, the process of performing a good action (and co-operating with grace) begins with God infusing the faculty of the will with sufficient grace. This sufficient grace has a two-fold function:

1. It empowers the will with the ability to freely act.

2. It enables the free will to actually will to do good.

Sufficient grace, of itself, is not enough for the free will to go through with (to bring about) the good act. It is only enough to make the good action primitively attractive to the will. But this primitive attraction (which is at this point only "primitive" because of the effects of fallen human nature) has only the effect of causing the free will to desire to perform the good act, for it recognizes the beauty of good; it, of itself, does not have the power to move the will to perform the good action. In this way, sufficient grace is sufficient for the actual willing of a good act, but it is not sufficient for the [performance] of the good act.

If the free will does not co-operate with the primitive attractiveness of the good act by (1) sinfully resisting its intrinsic beauty and thus (2) failing to will to perform the good act, then God does not send efficacious grace to the soul that the salutary end of the grace might be infallibly brought about (unless He so chooses to do so). Instead, the grace remains merely sufficient grace and the good act is not performed. (Anyone who has ever refused grace has done this.)

However, if the free will co-operates with and acts upon this attraction by (1) failing to reject it, (2) dwelling upon it, and thus (3) willing to perform the good act, then God, according to His discretion, [dispatches] efficacious grace.

Efficacious grace is infallibly efficacious in that it never fails to bring about the good end of the grace. It also complements sufficient grace by augmenting the primitive desirability (attractiveness) of the good end of the grace to such a degree that this end is now supernaturally (compellingly) delightful.

Efficacious grace moves the free will to co-operate with it by means of the "victorious delight" by which the soul, while ever-retaining the capacity and ability to resist it, is moved to co-operate because of the salutary end's correspondence to the infallibly compelling beauty of God's goodness. Though the free will always retains the capacity and ability to resist, it feels compelled to co-operate with the grace of God because of the grace's intrinsic delightfulness [and the soul's natural correspondance to the goodness of God, Who made the soul in His image and likeness]. In this way, efficacious grace infallibly achieves its end: the performance of the good act.

So, the desirability of an action as it appears before free will is not enough to effect the good action; it is sufficient only to will to perform the good action if its primitive attractiveness is not resisted by the free will. The victorious delight, however, is sufficient for the actual commission of the act, and since it is infallibly efficacious, it is intrinsically distinct from sufficient grace.

Hence, when the soul culpably resists sufficient grace, it is left without excuse before God, but when the soul infallibly co-operates with the power of efficacious grace, the accomplishment of the salutary end of the grace is principally attributed to the effect of the goodness of God's grace rather than the determinations of the free will.
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(12-17-2011, 02:47 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: I love meditating on this teaching because of the humility it inspires. Just thinking about it inclines one to prostrate one's self before Almighty God in humility, silence, supplication, adoration, and resignation.

Really?  Thinking about it for me inclines me to arrogance and pride.  Also while in my ceramics class the other day, I was considering some of the people in the class, whether they were more likely to be predestined or reprobate.  I could begin to see things that people who believe in predestination would point to as evidence.  So, take me for example.  Obviously, God has given me graces he hasn't given others to even be pondering this doctrine, aside from the entire Gospel.  God has given me the grace to receive his love and to return it to him.  I mean, how amazing a grace is that?  To be aware of the God that created you, to perceive that he loves you and to truly be able to love him back?  Looking at other people in the class, who are talking all kinds of new agey crap, they don't even perceive what they're missing.  They know about Christianity, have probably heard the Gospel at some point, and yet, it never appealed to them the way it did to us.  Nothing compelled them to pick it up over any other religion.  And, in fact, they are more compelled to pick up its antithesis.  It definitely can appear that there is a lack of capability to understand there.  So, that makes it appear that I am predestined and that these other people are reprobate, or if they are predestined, have not yet received God's grace to believe in him yet.  So God picked me over them.  Interesting.  Not having anything to do with how I would live my life or how they would live theirs, for no advance knowledge of what we would be or who we would become, seemingly to me he arbitrarily picked me over them.  I must be special.  Not in my own right, of course, but God decides what is special and what is not.  If he picked me over them, there must be something special about me that they don't have.  I'm "better" than they.  I am more valuable to God than they.  God loves me more than them.

And this is why I don't believe in predestination to either heaven or hell.
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(12-17-2011, 09:10 AM)Melkite Wrote: And this is why I don't believe in predestination to either heaven or hell.

So you deny Scripture and Catholic dogma.
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(12-17-2011, 02:01 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(12-17-2011, 09:10 AM)Melkite Wrote: And this is why I don't believe in predestination to either heaven or hell.

So you deny Scripture and Catholic dogma.

Just your heretical interpretation thereof.
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Melkite Wrote:Thinking about it for me inclines me to arrogance and pride. 

Why, because God has personally revealed to you that you are amongst the elect? It is absolutely contrary to reason to declare that someone giving you a free gift, rather than you procuring it for yourself, makes you proud. It defies reason.

(12-17-2011, 02:19 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(12-17-2011, 02:01 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(12-17-2011, 09:10 AM)Melkite Wrote: And this is why I don't believe in predestination to either heaven or hell.

So you deny Scripture and Catholic dogma.

Just your heretical interpretation thereof.

*sigh*

Be careful doing that. The implication of your reply to me was that your approach fosters greater humility, yet you go on to very arrogantly imply the excommunication of saints, doctors, and theologians of the Church with whom you disagree. If you don't understand the teaching, than simply say so, but don't accuse people of heresy just because you don't understand it.

The bottom line is that you refuse to believe it because you don't understand it; nor does it seem you want to. You have been shown explanation after explanation, teaching after teaching, and yet you are still trying to find a way to make it unjust because, it seems, based on your reply to me, you don't want to accept it.
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