Now this is a very interesting doctrine and one which we must discuss because it was a point in which Protestantism deviated completely from Thomas Aquinas. Protestantism said that the perfect nature doesn’t need any grace any more, but that if we are perfect in our created status, then the grace which comes from above is not necessary; and therefore Protestantism removed the idea of the donum superadditum. Now this is a mythological story; whether Adam got that or didn’t get it, that is not what is- interesting – but in these mythological stories a very profound vision of the structure of reality is expressed. In Thomism the structure of reality has two degrees. For Protestantism ,the situation is the following: creation is complete in itself, and therefore the created forms of reality are forms which are sufficient: God didn’t need to add something to it. This is the same basic feeling towards life which we find in the Renaissance, where we also have creation which in itself is good, where man is in the center, in his created potentialities, without a supernatural gift which is added to him.

Thomas Aquinas has the two degrees: nature and supra-natureo Protestantism says: only if nature is distorted by man’s fall, by man’s estrangement from God, is another power necessary: the power of grace, whose center is forgiveness. But what forgiveness does is the restitutio integrum, the restitution of nature to its full potentialities. This idea is ultimately monistic. The created world is perfect in itself: God doesn’t need to give additional graces to His fulfilled creation. But He must come down into existence in order to overcome the conf licts of existence – and that’s what grace is. So in Protestantism, grace is acceptance of that which is unacceptable. In Catholicism grace is a substance, which is in analogy to the non- grace, to the natural substances.