Thought for the Day – 21 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Nature and Grace
“Observe diligently, the motions of nature and grace,” says The Imitation of Christ, “for they move with great contrariety and subtlety and, can hardly be distinguished but by a spiritual man and, one that is inwardly enlightened” (Bk III c54).
The struggle between fallen nature and grace is due to original sin, which extinguished in us the supernatural life and gave rise to the disharmony which exists between our lower faculties and reason and between reason and God.
Even the Saints experienced this fearful internal battle between good and evil.
“I see another law in my members,” says St Paul, “warring against the law of my mind” (Rom 7:23).
Elsewhere he complains that “the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh” (Gal 5:17) and that the temptations of the flesh assailed him so strongly, that he pleaded with God to save him.
But God’s reply to his entreaties was: “My grace is sufficient for thee, for strength is made perfect in weakness” (Cf 2 Cor 12:7-9).
This does not mean that human nature is substantially corrupt and incapable of doing good as a result of sin.
The inclination towards goodness and towards God, remains and is very strong in our better moments.
Nevertheless, we need the helping hand of God, so that this inclination may express itself in good actions worthy of an everlasting reward.
For this reason, we should pray humbly and constantly, for the precious gift of divine grace.”