If we wish to understand the essence of the life of grace in us, we must consider it as an embryonic form of everlasting life, as the very seed of glory….
Generosity is essentially communicative, goodness is naturally self-diffusive. Thus does the sun shed forth light and warmth, thus do animals and plants give life to others each after their kind. So too does a great artist conceive and produce his masterpieces, so do the scientist and the scholar communicate their intuitions and discoveries and share their spirit with their disciples. In the same manner the virtuous man inspires others to virtue, and the apostle, passionately in love with goodness, gives the best of himself to the souls of his fellow men to lead them to God….
He who is the sovereign Good, the fullness of being, communicates himself as fully and intimately as possible by the eternal generation of the Word and by the spiration of the Spirit of love, as revelation teaches us. The Father, in begetting the Son, not only communicates to him a participation in his nature, his intelligence, and his love, but he communicates to the Son the totality of his indivisible nature…. The Father gives to the Son to be "God from God, light from light, true God from true God," and the Father and the Son together communicate to the Spirit of love who proceeds from them this same indivisible divine nature and these infinite perfections. Goodness is naturally self-diffusive, and the more perfect it is the more fully and intimately it gives itself.
[Thus] it was fitting that God should not be content merely to create us, and to give us existence, life, intelligence, sanctifying grace, and a participation in his nature. Indeed, it was fitting that God should give himself to us in person through the Incarnation of the Word. Even after the fall of the first man, God could have willed to redeem us in some other manner, for example, by sending us a prophet who would have made known to us the conditions of forgiveness. But he has done infinitely more: He has willed to give us his own Son in person as our Redeemer. Jesus, priest for all eternity and the Savior of humanity, also willed to give himself to us perfectly throughout his life on earth, particularly at the Last Supper and on Calvary. He continues to give himself to us each day through the Mass and Holy Communion. There can be no greater example of the perfect gift of self than these riches of the priestly and Eucharistic heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, o.p. "The Trinity, the Eucharist, and the Heart of Jesus." Our Savior and His Love For Us (Gastonia NC: Tan Books and Publishers, 1999).
Reprinted under a fair use provision.
Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. († 1964) was a French Catholic theologian. He has been noted as a leading neo-Thomist of the 20th century, along with Jacobus Ramírez, Édouard Hugon, and Martin Grabmann. He taught at the Dominican Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in Rome from 1909 to 1960. Here he wrote his magnum opus, The Three Ages of the Interior Life in 1938. Other books include Knowing the Love of God: Lessons from a Spiritual Master. In 1918 Garrigou initiated courses in sacred art, mysticism, and aesthetics at the Angelicum.Copyright © 1999 Tan Books and Publishers
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