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"Whether Grace is the Same as Virtue?"

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Collect: O God who does not only elevate our soul by grace, but also infuses into it the requisite virtues, pour into our hearts thy charity that we may love thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


In the Sed Contra, St. Thomas uses a disjunctive syllogism, i.e., he gives the possible options (faith, hope, charity, or not a virtue) and then eliminates the three false options. First, he eliminates faith and hope because it can exist apart from grace. St. Thomas’ justification for this is found below: “Now the lifelessness of faith is not essential to the species of faith, since faith is said to be lifeless through lack of an extrinsic form, as stated above (Q. 4, A. 4). Consequently the cause of lifeless faith is that which is the cause of faith strictly so called: and this is God, as stated above (A. 1). It follows, therefore, that lifeless faith is a gift of God.”

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