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INCREASE OF MERIT

Factors that increase a person's supernatural reward for good works performed in the state of grace. There are four such factors: 1. the degree of sanctifying grace in which a person does some morally good action; 2. the intensity of will with which an act is done; 3. the sublimity of the action performed; and 4. the purity of love or selflessness that animates the performance. Difficulties of themselves do not increase supernatural merit, but, provided that a difficulty is not culpable, it normally demands additional effort of will and thus indirectly adds to the merit derived from a morally good act done in the state of grace.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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