I just feel the need to qualify what was posted here. Granted, Victor and I were having a conversation on grace, but I think I need to clarify what I meant. I had problems with the idea of MORE GRACE, because I felt that suggesting that God would give to some, what He would not give to others, makes Him a respector of persons. Victor told me that those who receive more grace from God receive it so that God could accomplish His purpose, and it doesn't in any way effect their salvation. I found this problematic, because if we look at the Incarnation of God the Son alone, we know that God's intent with all of us in the world is that we all be saved. If we want to talk about God's purpose in the world, we cannot divorce His purpose from salvation. If we say that God would give some "more grace" for His purpose, then wouldn't that "more grace" be technically given to all, that all souls might have that "extra boost" to accept and believe? So that not one is left behind? Is salvation separate from God's purpose? And if it is not separate from His purpose, how can we say that God gives that "extra" or "more grace" to just a few? It seems to me that a God who is no respector of persons, would give to all, love and grace. In the end, it is SYNERGY, the freewill of that soul, to work WITH and not against God's will, that makes it more receptive to the grace that God freely bestows on all.
Furthermore, I think I had issues with time, that Vic was trying to get me to look past. I had a problem with the idea that some had been given "more grace" from the get go, while others didn't have that "extra", because the particular souls who received would go on to be the Apostles, or the Blessed Virgin, etc. I felt conflicted, because if the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin are worthy of our emulation, it is because they submitted their will to God's will, and were obedient and worked with God (synergy). To say that they "had extra" is essentially saying that if they didn't have that extra, they wouldn't have been able to do it. We know that the Apostles served God's purpose, the foundation of His Church, but we also know that it wasn't an issue of more grace. If more grace in the Apostles meant that God's will would definitely be done, why would one of the Apostles deflect? Is it because only the eleven, and not Judas, got the "more grace"? But they did have grace, and they did respond to that grace, and it was Judas who WILLFULLY rejected that grace, which he held with the others for the 3 years of our Lord's public ministry. Furthermore, if we say that they were spiritually great because they had more grace, it follows that a soul that yearns for God and is fighting the good fight as best as they can, will at one point say, "why Lord did you not give me this extra boost also, so that I might run the race better? Had I received the 'more grace' as some had received, perhaps I would not perish, perhaps I would have been greater in the struggle! Perhaps I would have been more resolute, or more helpful to your purpose in the world." I'm sorry, I know I would think that if I knew that, through no fault of my own, a soul, WITHOUT his/her choice, was imbued automatically with something I did not have, because He was to serve a role that I wasn't? Where is the freewill of man in this? Where is the justice, and the "No Respector of persons" in all this? Perhaps then, the Lord could get me to serve a similar role today, so that I may have that "extra, more grace"?
Suffice it to say, that I do believe the more responsive a soul gets to God's call, the more one will experience His Uncreated Grace. However, I believe that what they will experience is the grace that God freely bestows on all, and has ready and available to all. The more does not come from God, God is love, and allows the rain to fall on the sinner and the righteous. The MORE comes from that thirsty soul, who wills to experience grace more, and moves to the Mysteries of the Church. Like the Psalmist says, when one tastes and sees that the Lord is sweet, one wants to drink from that Sweetness that is never denied anyone, nor ever exhausted. But I disagree that God would willfully give more to someone, and not to another.
As for the question of whether or not God is dependant on us, and that His will might not ever be fulfilled if He is reliant on our freewill, I believed that this was an excellent question (Vic, you should have quoted me telling you that it was a great question :lol: ) I will tell you guys what I told Vic. I'm NOT AN EXPERT, but I personally find it difficult to think that God would allow us our freewill, only to qualify it. If anything, we hear that God sets before us life and death, and says CHOOSE life. We may never choose life. There are plenty around us who do not choose the path to life. Do we dare say that it is not God's purpose that these souls too be saved? Heaven forbid! But God respects the gifts He's given us! And if He can cast aside freewill occasionally, for His purpose, one must wonder why the thousands and millions of souls who go to their deaths rejecting God, weren't worth his casting aside freewill, and giving them "extra grace". One must wonder why the Prophets, whom God Himself, the Holy Spirit, spoke through, were not better received. If it was God's purpose that Israel hear them, why did He not send down "more grace" to those hard hearts, that His purpose for sending the prophets--the believing of all men--would be fulfilled. Because doing this "more grace" would qualify His respect for the freewill He has given all of us.
I think the only way I can personally understand this is that yes, the Lord has foreknowledge. He knows a soul will be faithful or not, EVEN before it is or is not. He knows it, but He doesn't make it happen. He has given us freewill, He tells us, "Choose to work with Me or against Me". Like I said, I am not an expert, and I await your replies. I hope I haven't offended anyone with what I wrote.
In Christ Jesus, the least,