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"Whether a Man, by Himself and Without the External Aid of Grace, Can Prepare Himself for Grace?"

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Collect: O God, who moves us inwardly to recieve grace, work in us both to will and to do according to thy will, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


In the Sed Contra, he chooses for his major premise the famous text of John 6, No man can come to Me except the Father, Who hath sent Me draw him. In context, Our Lord is speaking in the great bread of life discourse. The Jews have just rejected Christ due to the "harsh words" he had spoken. Now, in this section, according to St. Thomas' John commentary, our Lord is showing the "reason for their grumbling." The reason for their grumbling is that they have not been prepared for grace which is only wrought by "the Father, Who hath sent Me." St. Thomas, in the Sed Contra, takes this text in its universal sense. Christ was not speaking particularly to the Jews, but applying a universal principle to a particular situation, which is clear from the text, "No man." In this, St. Thomas continues his fight for the absolute supernaturality of the life of grace and the inability of man to even prepare himself to enter it.

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