« Prev Art. 2: Whether Grace is appropriately divided… Next »

Article Two

Whether Grace is appropriately divided into Operative and Co-operative Grace

We proceed to the second article thus:

1. It seems that grace is not appropriately divided into operative and co-operative grace. It was said in the preceding article that grace is an accident, and no accident can act on its subject. Hence no grace should be called operative.

2. Again, if grace works anything in us, it assuredly works justification. But grace does not work this by itself. For on John 14:12, “the works that I do shall he do also,” Augustine says: “He who created thee without thyself will not justify thee without thyself” (implicitly in Tract. 72 in Joan., explicitly in De Verb. Apost., Sermo 15, cap. 2). Hence no grace should be called operative simply.

3. Again, co-operation would seem to be appropriate to a subsidiary agent, but not to a principal agent. Now grace works in us more fundamentally than does free will, according 167to Rom. 9:16: “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Grace should not then be called co-operative.

4. Again, a division should be between opposites. But operative and co-operative grace are not opposites, since the same agent can both operate and co-operate. Hence grace is not appropriately divided into operative and co-operative grace.

On the other hand: Augustine says (De Grat. et Lib. Arb. 17): “God perfects within us by co-operation what he initiates by operation. For he operates first to make us will, and co-operates with those who will to make them perfect.” Now the operations by which God moves us to good are operations of grace. Grace is therefore appropriately divided into operative and cooperative grace.

I answer: as we said in Q. 110, Art. 2, grace may be understood in two ways, as the divine help by which God moves us to do and to will what is good, and as a habitual gift divinely bestowed on us. In either sense grace is appropriately divided into operative and co-operative grace. An operation which is part of an effect is attributed to the mover, not to the thing moved. The operation is therefore attributed to God when God is the sole mover, and when the mind is moved but not a mover. We then speak of “operative grace.” But when the soul is not only moved but also a mover, the operation is attributed to the soul as well as to God. We then speak of “co-operative grace.” In this case there is a twofold action within us. There is an inward action of the will, in which the will is moved and God is the mover, especially when a will which previously willed evil begins to will good. We therefore speak of “operative grace,” since God moves the human mind to this action. But there is also an outward action, in which operation is attributed to the will, since an outward action is commanded by the will, as we explained in Q. 17, Art. 9. We speak of “co-operative grace” in reference to actions of this kind, because God helps us even in outward actions, outwardly providing the capacity to act as well as inwardly strengthening the will to issue in act. Augustine accordingly adds, to the words quoted, “he operates to make us will, and when we will, he co-operates with us that we may be made perfect.” Hence if grace is understood to mean the gracious moving by which God moves us to meritorious good, it is appropriately divided into operative and co-operative grace.

168

If, on the other hand, grace is understood to mean a habitual gift, there is then a twofold effect of grace, as there is of any other form. There is an effect of “being” and an effect of “operation.” The operation of heat is to make a thing hot, and also to cause it to emit heat. So likewise, grace is called “operative” in so far as it heals the soul, and in so far as it justifies the soul or makes it pleasing to God; and “co-operative” in so far as it is also the principle of meritorious action by the free will.

On the first point: as an accidental quality of the soul, grace acts on the soul not efficiently, but formally, in the way in which whiteness makes things white.

On the second point: God does not justify us without ourselves, since when we are justified we consent to his justice by a movement of our free will. This movement, however, is not the cause of grace, but the result of it. The whole operation is therefore due to grace.

On the third point: one is said to co-operate with another not only as an agent subsidiary to a principal agent, but also as contributing to an end which is preconceived. Now man is helped by God’s operative grace to will what is good, and this end is already conceived. Hence grace co-operates with us.

On the fourth point: operative and co-operative grace are the same grace. They are nevertheless distinguished by their different effects, as is clear from what we have said.

« Prev Art. 2: Whether Grace is appropriately divided… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |