Catholic Dogma on The SUPERNATURAL LIFE:
- A stone is not “alive”: a flower is at least alive: a dog has a higher kind of life than a flower, and a man than a dog. Therefore there are different kinds of life, one higher than another. Reason cannot show there is no higher kind of life than man’s. The Church says there is.
- She teaches that IT WAS AND IS GOD’S INTENTION freely to RAISE HUMAN LIFE TO A SUPER-HUMAN LEVEL; i.e., to give to man a higher kind of life than his own; one he could not claim; nor, by his own efforts, merit; nor could be merely improved into, as, e.g., a flower can be improved into being of a better quality as flower, but not into being e.g., an animal; this life is also given the name of ” Grace,” in so far as it is God’s “free gift,” which gratia means. It is nothing less, indeed, than a participation in the Divine Life, so far as man can appropriate it.
- To each higher kind of life belongs an appropriately higher kind of knowledge. A flower- cannot “understand” anything, nor a dog what a man can. So if there be a higher kind of life than man’s, it will contain truths, and a way of knowing them, essentially above the co-natural grasp, or faculty of man. He may know about them if he be told by competent Authority; but he cannot exhaust these superhuman truths by his human knowledge. Such truths are called Mysteries; the Trinity is one of these. “Grace” also assists the intellect to believe even naturally ascertainable truths, like God’s existence, in a new and supernatural way. Finally, each kind of life implies a greater likeness to, and therefore union with, God. A dog lives by instinct in accord with natural law. Man can choose to live in accordance with it, and put his human will in union with God’s will. To supernatural life belongs a supernatural union.
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