Grace, Created and Uncreated

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Created grace is any grace that results from God communicating Himself beyond nature's demands, such as the beatific vision and all supernatural creatures positively leading to it. It may be actual or habitual, external or internal, medicinal or elevating, or anything else, so long as it is a creature positively undue to the person it enhances. Since the reality signified by the term grace is found properly both in God and in created things given to creatures beyond their due, the term grace applies truly to some created gifts of the supernatural order. It is therefore some gratuitous gift of God, distinct from God Himself, positively leading to the beatific vision of God.

God Himself, given to a creature beyond any of its demands, is uncreated grace. Examples are primarily: the Blessed Trinity indwelling in the just as distinct from created gifts, the Son of God given in the Incarnation, the Holy Spirit sent men by the Father and the Son, the love of God for men that is God Himself beyond the demands of nature, and predestination, or God's decree to glorify those who shall be saved. This concept of grace is commonly admitted by theologians; for every supernatural gift is rightly called grace, and preeminent among these is God Himself.

Bibliography: c. baumgartner, La Grâce du Christ (Tournai 1963). i. willig, Geschaffende und Ungeschaffende Gnade (Münster 1964). h. rondet, Gratia Christi (Paris 1948). p. fransen, Divine Grace and Man, tr. g. dupont (rev. ed. New York 1965).

[f. l. sheerin]