November 1, 1995
The first sentence of the third paragraph on page 164 of God's Blue Book, Volume 1, reads as follows: "Every baby, when it is born, is in grace and loves God." This sentence is theologically correct but misunderstanding has occurred and clarification is appropriate.
The Karl Rahner/Herbert Vorgrimler Theological Dictionary, edited by Cornelius Ernst, O.P., and translated by Richard Strachen, was published by Herder and Herder, New York, 1965. The Nihil Obstat is by Joannes M. T. Barton, S.T.D., L.S.S., Censor Deputatus, and the Imprimatur is by Patritius Casey, Vicar General, Westmonasterii, September 3, 1965.
The sentence is in perfect accord with the acceptable theological position called the supernatural existential. Supernatural existential is an aspect of grace and is described on page 161 of the referenced theological dictionary:
"Existential, supernatural. Underlying the concept of the supernatural existential is the following fact: antecedently to justification by grace, received sacramentally or extra-sacramentally, man is already subject to the universal salvific will of God, he is already redeemed and absolutely obliged to tend to his supernatural end. This "situation" is not merely an external one; it is an objective, ontological modification of man, added indeed to his nature by God's grace and therefore supernatural, but in fact never lacking in the real order. It follows that even in the rejection of grace and in perdition a man can never be ontologically and subjectively unaffected by the inner figure of his supernatural destiny."
The above passage points out that there is an aspect of God's grace prior to the life of sanctifying grace which comes through Baptism. Consequently it is not incorrect to say every baby is born in God's grace.