Fr. Richard Conrad, O.P., unfolds the meaning of “grace” as the loving God’s transforming presence in Sacred Scripture and Catholic theology.
To speak about God’s grace is to speak about God’s kindness and God’s gifts. In Catholic theology, and thus in formal religious education, it has become the custom to reserve the term “grace” for the more special form of God’s kindness and the more special gifts He gives. God has a kindness towards all His creatures; but He has a special kindness - a love which can be called friendship - towards those angels and human beings He invites and draws to share His own happiness eternally. The purpose of this article is not to develop a systematic explication of the Catholic theology of grace, nor is it intended to unfold the history of this doctrine. Rather, this article will instead focus on the theological foundations of the Catholic doctrine of grace, and its basis in Sacred Scripture, for it is only by understanding the fundamental principles of the Catholic faith that we can reflect the gratuitous nature of God’s grace in our catechesis.