What is Grace?
Grace is the Relation: Relation with god, fellow human beings and with the Universe. It is also called Pneumatology, because it is related to the Holy Spirit. Pneumatology seems much more person-oriented term. Moreover, we believe in one God three person: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are distinct persons but they are not separated, for they are always related. The very reality of God’s relation is subsistent relations.
However, we are all made in the image of God (Gen 1: 27). So we are also persons and related to Him. The Catholic theology of Grace is made up of two main pillars and two supporting side pillars:
i. Primacy of God at all times
ii. Freedom of the humans
Primacy to God is well understood because God is the beginning, continuation, and conclusion of everything in our life but what is easily forgotten is the second, namely, the freedom of the humans. It may come as a pleasant paradox that god respects our freedom. We are so accustomed to say that we should respect God and this is true but what we forget is that God too “respect” us. Why it is that God respects us and our freedom? It is because he made us in his own image and one of the ways in which we can understand this is that God is one God in three persons and so he made us also as persons and persons he will not force us or tamper with our freedom but will always invite, persuade, attract, and will do everything short of pulling or pushing us to anything.
The supporting pillars are: persons and relations. The whole theology of Grace deals with persons: on the one hand it is Divine Persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; on the other hand, it deals with human persons in whatever situations they may be placed. The existential situation only adds to the poignancy of the story but does not alter the basic facts of the parties being PERSONS. If it is all about persons then it is about relationships because persons cannot be themselves unless they are related to one another. When we speak of the human persons then we realize that this relation is manifold: related to God, world around us and to other humans like ourselves. Relations also involve continuous growth and decline. They cannot be static and even the inner Trinitarian Subsistent Relationships are dynamic. As you proceed with the treatise continuously you should check and recheck your conclusions with these two main pillars and support pillars. If any of these are threatened then the conclusion is bound to be faulty to that extent.
The whole super structure depends on these four pillars and any disturbance will collapse the roof and the whole thing will cave in.
Notwithstanding, Pelagiansim totally and semi-Pelagianism partially – negate the first main pillar that ‘Primacy to God at all times.’ How?
Before explaining Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism we must know the understanding of Grace in the Eastern and Western theologies.
Briefly: – East: starts with God. The starting point is God and his generosity in divinizing us. Therefore, we cannot find any difficulties regarding four pillars. Whereas, West: it starts with human being and existential situation, to reflect the relationship with God.