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Catholic Dictionary




The theory on grace and free will developed by the Spanish Jesuit theologian Louis Molina (1535-1600). It teaches that there is no built-in difference, but only an external accidental difference between sufficient and efficacious grace. God gives every person sufficient grace for all supernatural actions he or she is to perform. If one freely accepts the grace offered and cooperates with it, a salutary action is produced; this co-operation automatically makes a sufficient grace an efficacious one. If the free will refuses its co-operation, the grace remains sufficient only. God from all eternity foresees the free consent of the human will by his infallible foreknowledge of what a person would do with whatever grace he or she received. Why god chooses to give the person the precise grace he does, foreseeing whether that person will accept or reject it, is left as a mystery in God.