An often overlooked Church teaching
54. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also reminds us that the gift of grace “surpasses the power of human intellect and will” and that “with regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man. Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality”. His friendship infinitely transcends us; we cannot buy it with our works, it can only be a gift born of his loving initiative. This invites us to live in joyful gratitude for this completely unmerited gift, since “after one has grace, the grace already possessed cannot come under merit”. The saints avoided putting trust in their own works: “In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you empty-handed, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works. All our justices have stains in your sight”.
 No. 1998.
 Ibid., 2007.
 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 114, a. 5.
 ThÉrÈse of the Child Jesus, “Act of Offering to Merciful Love” (Prayers, 6).
© LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA.