The Light of God can instruct our Understanding differently and better than Nature or Schools can

January 2, 2022 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 150
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Grace, as you have already learned, causes God to dwell in our souls; and as God, in the words of St. John, is “the true Light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world,” [St. John i. 9.] the purer a soul is the brighter will this Light shine in her, just as glass, according as it is clearer, reflects more strongly the rays of the sun.

Hence, St. Augustine calls God the “wisdom of a purified soul,” [“De Lib. Arbit.,” L. 2.] because He fills her with His light, which enables her to apprehend all that is necessary for salvation.

Nor should this surprise us when we consider with what care God provides even the brute creation with all that is necessary for the maintenance of life. For whence is that natural instinct which teaches the sheep to distinguish among plants those which are poisonous and those which are wholesome? Who has taught them to run from the wolf and to follow the dog? Was it not God, the Author of nature?

Since, then, God endows the brute creation with the discernment necessary for the preservation of their animal life, have we not much more reason to feel that He will communicate to the just the knowledge necessary for the maintenance of their spiritual life?

This example teaches us not only that such a knowledge really exists, but also marks the character of this knowledge. It is not a mere theory or speculation; it is eminently practical.

Hence the difference between knowledge divinely communicated and that which is acquired in the schools. The latter only illumines the intellect, but the former, the inspirations of the Holy Ghost, communicates itself to the will, strengthens it for good, governs and stimulates it.

By its efficacious virtue this divine knowledge penetrates into the depths of the soul, transforms our passions, and remodels us upon the likeness of Christ.

Hence, the Apostle tells us: “The word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two-edged sword, and reaching unto the division of the soul and spirit” [Heb. iv. 12.]—that is, Separating the spiritual man from the animal man.

This, then, is one of the principal effects of grace, and one of the most beautiful rewards of virtue in this life.

But to prove this truth more clearly to carnal men, who reluctantly accept it, we will confirm it by undeniable passages from both the Old and the New Testament.

In the New Testament our Saviour tells us: “The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.” [St. John xiv. 26.]

And again: “It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to Me.” [St. John vi. 45.]

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