Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others?
Actually, I think I found a very satisfying and succint response in Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange's Thomistic synthesis, Reality:
Reality, Chapter 49: A Treatise on Grace; Article Four: Grace, Sufficient And Efficacious Wrote:3. Resistance to sufficient grace is an evil, arising from us, from our defectibility and our actual deficience, whereas our non-resistance is, on the contrary, a good, arising from ourselves as second causes, but from God as first cause.

Billuart sums up the matter: "Efficacious grace is required for consent to sufficient grace. But for resistance to sufficient grace the man's own defective will is sufficient cause. And since that resistance precedes the privation of efficacious grace, it is true to say that man is deprived of efficacious grace because he resists sufficient grace, whereas it is not true to say that he sins because he is deprived of efficacious grace." [1151].

What a beautiful mystery this is! Non-resistance to sufficient grace requires the effects of efficacious grace infused simultaneously with sufficient grace in such a way that even the act of resisting sin requires the effects of efficacious grace. But the resistance of sufficient grace, permitted by God's consequent will, is not caused by a deprivation of efficacious grace; rather, it is caused by our free misuse of the our free will whereby we freely turn away from the good offered in and made possible by sufficient grace.
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(01-09-2012, 04:53 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: Actually, I think I found a very satisfying and succint response in Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange's Thomistic synthesis, Reality:
Reality, Chapter 49: A Treatise on Grace; Article Four: Grace, Sufficient And Efficacious Wrote:3. Resistance to sufficient grace is an evil, arising from us, from our defectibility and our actual deficience, whereas our non-resistance is, on the contrary, a good, arising from ourselves as second causes, but from God as first cause.

Billuart sums up the matter: "Efficacious grace is required for consent to sufficient grace. But for resistance to sufficient grace the man's own defective will is sufficient cause. And since that resistance precedes the privation of efficacious grace, it is true to say that man is deprived of efficacious grace because he resists sufficient grace, whereas it is not true to say that he sins because he is deprived of efficacious grace." [1151].

What a beautiful mystery this is! Non-resistance to sufficient grace requires the effects of efficacious grace infused simultaneously with sufficient grace in such a way that even the act of resisting sin requires the effects of efficacious grace. But the resistance of sufficient grace, permitted by God's consequent will, is not caused by a deprivation of efficacious grace; rather, it is caused by our free misuse of the our free will whereby we freely turn away from the good offered in and made possible by sufficient grace.

Thanks.  I am glad I waited to you to respond with Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange's explanation, and your own summary. Anything I was thinking of saying was much less clear and succinct! (and at least partly incorrect).
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(01-09-2012, 04:40 PM)Doce Me Wrote:
(01-09-2012, 04:53 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: Actually, I think I found a very satisfying and succint response in Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange's Thomistic synthesis, Reality:
Reality, Chapter 49: A Treatise on Grace; Article Four: Grace, Sufficient And Efficacious Wrote:3. Resistance to sufficient grace is an evil, arising from us, from our defectibility and our actual deficience, whereas our non-resistance is, on the contrary, a good, arising from ourselves as second causes, but from God as first cause.

Billuart sums up the matter: "Efficacious grace is required for consent to sufficient grace. But for resistance to sufficient grace the man's own defective will is sufficient cause. And since that resistance precedes the privation of efficacious grace, it is true to say that man is deprived of efficacious grace because he resists sufficient grace, whereas it is not true to say that he sins because he is deprived of efficacious grace." [1151].

What a beautiful mystery this is! Non-resistance to sufficient grace requires the effects of efficacious grace infused simultaneously with sufficient grace in such a way that even the act of resisting sin requires the effects of efficacious grace. But the resistance of sufficient grace, permitted by God's consequent will, is not caused by a deprivation of efficacious grace; rather, it is caused by our free misuse of the our free will whereby we freely turn away from the good offered in and made possible by sufficient grace.

Thanks.  I am glad I waited to you to respond with Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange's explanation, and your own summary. Anything I was thinking of saying was much less clear and succinct! (and at least partly incorrect).

You're welcome! I, too, am glad to have found it. Melkite had a good point, I believe, that had me looking for a satisfying answer. (Thank you, Melkite, for pressing this approach so firmly. The effect of this is clarity and theological precision.) I realized that his objection was valid, but only insomuch as it considered solely God's role as primary cause in our activity while overlooking the role of our free will as a secondary cause. This secondary cause is the level at which all culpability or merit (rejection or cooperation, respectively) can be found.
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INP, that quote you offered is another reminder for me of something that has had a place in my thoughts a lot recently, that by ourselves we can only do evil and only through God are we capable of doing good, and even at that- non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo  da gloriam.

However, I don't see how that quote really clears anything up.  Are you saying that God withholds efficacious grace because man has refused sufficient grace?  If this was the case, I could understand.  But otherwise, if the qualifying agent to accept sufficient grace is efficacious grace, then when man rejects he does so not just on his own accord- for he couldn't accept it anyways.  And unless I'm missing something, you can't put grace on hold.  What I mean is that if God dispenses sufficient grace, we cannot simply wait until we get efficacious grace to use it.  We either reject it or we accept it.  And if we cannot accept sufficient grace without efficacious grace and if efficacious grace is not given to all, then we are back at square one where man is making decisions not between God and evil, but he's simply choosing evil because he hasn't the propensity to chose God.
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Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
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(01-10-2012, 12:06 AM)Mithrandylan Wrote: INP, that quote you offered is another reminder for me of something that has had a place in my thoughts a lot recently, that by ourselves we can only do evil and only through God are we capable of doing good, and even at that- non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo  da gloriam.

Well said!
Quote:However, I don't see how that quote really clears anything up.  Are you saying that God withholds efficacious grace because man has refused sufficient grace?  If this was the case, I could understand.

Yes, that is the case. The non-infusion of efficacious grace is due to the sinful resistance of sufficient grace.

Quote:  But otherwise, if the qualifying agent to accept sufficient grace is efficacious grace, then when man rejects he does so not just on his own accord- for he couldn't accept it anyways.  And unless I'm missing something, you can't put grace on hold.  What I mean is that if God dispenses sufficient grace, we cannot simply wait until we get efficacious grace to use it.  We either reject it or we accept it.  And if we cannot accept sufficient grace without efficacious grace and if efficacious grace is not given to all, then we are back at square one where man is making decisions not between God and evil, but he's simply choosing evil because he hasn't the propensity to chose God.

God often wills to provide efficacious grace to urge the soul onward while the soul ever-retains it's power to freely resist. But when God permits a soul to sin for the sake of bringing about a greater good as a consequence, He can empower the soul with merely sufficient grace, which gives the soul a real power and ability to act and a attraction to that good action, but without actually bringing the good act into fruition. In this stage, efficacious grace is offered as "fruit of the flower" so that the good act is really possible provided that the soul doesn't freely resist. If God wills the good act to come to fruition, He provides efficacious grace to complement the sufficient grace, which carries the soul on to the actual performance of the good act so that God's grace is the first cause of the good act. But God can also test the soul by permitting it to freely resist if doing so will bring about some greater good foreseen only by Him. In this stage, a soul commits no sin until it freely turns from Him. At this point, the real possibility of the good act is destroyed by the soul's own free will.

I hope that makes sense. This is a very difficult teaching, so there is no reason to feel intellectually stunted for not understanding it right away. I have wrestled with it for some time, but I have finally come to realization that there really is no contradiction involved therein. The more I have meditated upon it, the deeper my spiritual life has grown.

If you would like a more thorough explanation, I can direct you to a good explanation of it that should clear up whatever problems this may present for you. Just let me know . . .
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Another thread clarified something for me that I hadn't thought about in such a way before.  We are free to choose, but our freedom of choice doesn't mean we have the means to actuate anything we would choose.  So, for example, I may have the will to drive to Alaska, and I am free to either choose to drive there or not.  But if I have neither a car nor the money to buy gas, I'm not driving to Alaska whether I will to do so or not.  My choice then becomes what I will do with my spare time between things I have the means to do, since I don't have the means to drive to Alaska.  Is that how predestination works?  Salvation is from God, not from us.  So if he offers the means to be saved to us, we are free to either reject it or accept it.  But we can't force his hand to offer us the means, so if he doesn't, we are only free to choose between what we do have, neither of which leads to salvation.  Am I onto something?
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This is a thread that the average lurker here on FE has probably never seen and that's a crying shame.  Some great stuff here, check it out.
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(05-30-2015, 07:27 PM)dcmaccabees Wrote: This is a thread that the average lurker here on FE has probably never seen and that's a crying shame.  Some great stuff here, check it out.
Yes.

The little of the thread that I read does seem to be of timelessly topical interest.

Martinus seems to have his finger on the pulse. I've had protracted arguments with INPEFESS and his friends on this topic on other forums.

The Thomistic notions of "efficacious" and "sufficient" grace seem to me to be a lot of ducking and weaving trying to avoid conflict with the Augustinian, almost Jansenistic, version that was popular at the time.

I think it worthwhile to suggest that theologians and their theological opinions do not necessarily represent the "sensus fidelium" or an infallible definition of some point of doctrine.
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