Doctor of grace “San Agustín, Enarratio in Psalmum, 102, 7).
2006 The term “merit” generally designates the compensation owed by a community or a society to the action of one of its members, considered as a good deed or a bad deed, worthy of reward or sanction. Merit corresponds to the virtue of justice in accordance with the principle of equality that governs it.
2007 Before God there is no, in the sense of a strict right, merit on the part of man. Between Him and us, inequality has no measure, because we have received everything from Him, our Creator.
2008 The merit of man before God in the Christian life comes from the fact that God has freely arranged to associate man with the work of his grace. The paternal action of God is the first, insofar as He impels, and the free action of man is second, insofar as he collaborates, so that the merits of good works must be attributed to the grace of God in the first place , and the faithful, next. On the other hand, the merit of man also falls to God, since his good actions proceed, in Christ, from the prevenient graces and the help of the Holy Spirit.
2010 “Since the initiative in the order of grace belongs to God, no one can deserve first grace, at the beginning of conversion, forgiveness and justification. Under the motion of the Holy Spirit and of charity, we can later merit in favor of ourselves and others useful graces for our sanctification, for the growth of grace and charity, and for obtaining eternal life. The same temporal goods, such as health, friendship, can be deserved according to the wisdom of God. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer, which provides our need for grace for meritorious actions.
2011 The charity of Christ is in us the source of all our merits before God. Grace, uniting us to Christ with an active love, assures the supernatural character of our acts and, consequently, their merit both before God and before men. The saints have always had a vivid awareness that their merits were pure grace.
2013 “All the faithful, of whatever state or regime of life, are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity” (LG 40).