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Caitlin Kennell Kim
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Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
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Our readers asked:

What does prevenient grace mean?

Ginny Kubitz Moyer Answers:

Prevenient grace is a grace that comes without any effort or “earning” it on the part of humans. It reflects the fact that God takes the initiative to save us through Jesus Christ, and that we don’t earn God’s grace; we can only cooperate with it. To make a connection with Mary, the dogma of her Immaculate Conception (being conceived without original sin and remaining sinless her entire life) is an example of prevenient grace. Ineffabilis Deus, the papal bull written by Pope Pius IX in 1854, explains that “the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”

 
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The Author : Ginny Kubitz Moyer
Ginny Kubitz Moyer is the author of the award-winning book Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area and blogs at randomactsofmomness.com.
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