The way of grace is a “more beautiful” way toward awareness than the merely human way of consciousness. It is not attained by the effort of human beings but given to them for the recognition of both their creative freedom and the boundaries of human creativity. But these boundaries have been felt from the start as constraining in the desire to break out of them and to be “like gods.” The work of grace, through which human beings maintain an awareness of their existing in a world already bounded, was rejected in the Western modern age through the pathological project of creating a purely human world. This modern pathology of power was prefigured from the beginning, as the Biblical story of the Fall of Man demonstrates, which was masterfully analyzed by Augustine in his distinction between a city or society of men, founded in self-love and contempt of God and the city of God, founded in love of God and contempt of self.
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