Humanity was reconciled to God by the Redemption. This does not, however, mean that every individual human being was forthwith justified, for individual justification is wrought by the application to the soul of grace derived from the inexhaustible merits of Jesus Christ.
There are two kinds of grace: (1) actual and (2) habitual. Actual grace is a supernatural gift by which rational creatures are enabled to perform salutary acts. Habitual, or, as it is commonly called, sanctifying, grace is a habit, or more or less enduring state, which renders men pleasing to God.
This distinction is of comparatively recent date, but it furnishes an excellent principle of division for a dogmatic treatise on grace.(1)