Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Fullness of Grace

1. St. Gabriel the Archangel hailed St. Mary, the Mother of God and a lifelong virgin, as full of grace [Lk 1:28]. Now Christ’s fullness of grace is special and more excellent than that of the Queen of Heaven. St. Mary is full of grace in reference to herself, i.e. inasmuch as she had sufficient grace to fulfill her divinely ordained role of being the immaculate Mother of the Father’s Only-Begotten Son. Jesus has fullness of grace on the part of grace itself, i.e. grace in its greatest possible excellence and all the fruits of grace. The assumption of Christ’s human nature to the unity of His Person preceded His habitual grace, which, though not infinite, could not have been increased. Why cannot Christ’s grace be properly called infinite? Because grace is a creature in the soul and the being of grace cannot exceed its subject.

2. Christ is full of all virtue and He has the gifts of the Holy Ghost and gratuitous graces, including the gifts of fear and prophecy. Christ has neither faith nor hope, since Christ saw God’s essence fully from the moment of His conception, and the object of faith is a divine thing not seen. Now when I say He sees God’s essence fully I do not mean to say that His soul comprehends the Word or the Divine Essence, for Christ’s soul is created and thus finite and the finite cannot comprehend the infinite.

3. But Christ’s soul knows all things in the Word, viz. all that in away way at all is, will be, or was done, said, or thought, by whomsoever and at any time. Moreover, his soul knows the infinite in the Word and it sees the Word more clearly than did any other creature. As regards the former point, a common verse cited as counterevidence is Mk 13:32. It must be said that Christ was unwilling to reveal the day and hour even though He has this knowledge from the Father. It cannot be said that Christ is ignorant of the precise time of Judgment because as Man He knows how to judge.

Source: Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas

No comments: