Saturday, 26 May 2012

The virtue of charity as involving a response to God's love

The infused virtue of charity is a secondary immanent formal effect of sanctifying grace.
Distinct from it are the acts that habitual grace gives rise to: here are the acts of consent, movements of free will.
The former is operative grace.
As principle of the latter, grace becomes cooperative.
So it would seem that it is not possible to call the infused virtue of charity a "response to God's love", or to identify it with the "state of being in love with God."

On the other hand, it is precisely the same habitual grace that is operative as well as cooperative. It is one and the same grace, but different in its effects. In its formal effects, it is operative. As leading to effects in the field of effective causality, it is cooperative.
So perhaps we can say that the virtue of charity, precisely as principle of acts of choice, is cooperative.

So in this way we might be able to make sense of the fact that the virtue of charity is described in terms of friendship with God, mutual love, in which not only God loves us, but we also love God. 

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