Pope Francis has stated that his own vocation as a Christian came to him as an awareness that “God is ahead of us,” that God thinks about us and looks after us before we even realize it. This is the essence of grace, a love story that begins with God. The present book is an introduction and exploration of that story—of the Christian life as not about humans looking for God, but God seeking us out. The story that unfolds demonstrates that grace is not something secondary or superficial but primary and constitutive, from crucial beginnings in election and creation to the divine actions of justification and renewal, fostering a life of virtue and obedience. Within this context, the book explores the issues of the relationship of grace and freedom, the dynamics of justification, the true meaning of merit, life as a son or daughter of God, the action of the Holy Spirit, the sacraments and the Church, the role of the ascetical life, and the eschatological horizon of the life of grace. In an accessible account, the author narrates the doctrine of grace as directed towards and explained by the fact that God has destined humans to spend eternity in communion with the Triune creator.
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