Final Essays Joe Padykula Sister Sunderman TH
TH 100 B
December 14, 2000
In order to completely understand the theology of grace
you have to take a look at Augustine, Aquinas, Luther,
Rahner, Segundo, and Boff, and how they understood what
grace was. Their theories on grace have some valid points
and yet they also have some invalid points.
Augustine took a personal approach to grace and he
believed in the massa damnata, which basically means that on
the whole people are damned. He said before the original
sin, you had a choice to be good or evil. Also, Augustine
said that there is a double predestination, which means only
some people are chosen before they are born if they are
going to go to heaven. I don’t agree with this because it
is basically saying that there is no salvation for all
Aquinas thought that grace was added to nature and it
elevates nature. He wrote the Summa, which demonstrates the
beatific vision. The beatific vision is when the mind is
unified to God. Aquinas’ theology is dualistic which
displays natural and supernatural as separate entities. I
don’t believe in his beatific vision because I believe that
God allows us to make our own choices out of free will so
our mind cannot be unified with Him. Unless I am wrong,
this is saying God knows what is going to happen before it
happens. If this is the case why do we have suffering;
because God gave us free will.
Luther viewed grace through his own view of himself as
a sinner. He was so obsessed that he confessed his sins
seven times a day. He said that grace is a favor of God and
it heals a person’s sinfulness. He said that Jesus’ word
was a vehicle of grace and that grace cannot be merited. I
think his views on grace are not very good only because he
views God as an active member and humans as a passive one.
In order to be truly graced I believe that both parties need
to be active and involved.
Rahner believes that grace is intrinsic to nature and
he also believes in Anonymous Christianity. This theory is
that every person on this Earth is a Christian even if you
do not know it. I don’t agree with this theory because,
once again God gives everyone free will and this allows
people to believe the way they want to.
Boff says grace is a relationship with the trinity. I
agree with this because it consists of showing love and
devotion to all three persons of our one God. He also said
that liberation is the key to grace. I some what agree with
this because it is showing God that you are showing your
total love for Him, but you must also show love towards
others because loving your neighbors is also important.
Segundo was a Jesuit priest from Uruguay. He was a
liberationist who said that the meaning of grace was to love
and you would be free and to be free was to love. I like
the idea behind this concept because it suggests that if you
devote yourself to God he will take care of you and allow
you to have your freedoms. This does not always happen yet
it is a good theory.
I think in order to be truly graced you have to love
everyone and expect nothing in return. The reason I say
this is because you should know that God will take care of
you no matter what. If your neighbors are good people they
will show you love and respect so you need not worry about
it. I also feel that you need to show love towards the
trinity and be faithful to your faith no matter what it is.
If you do these things I believe that you will be graced.