Supernatural Order/Gifts/Aids
to our Supernatural End

Saint Giustina and the Guardian Angel Commending the Soul of an Infant to the Madonna and Child -
by GANDOLFI, Gaetano - from a Private Collection


Definition of Soul

Human Soul

Superior Will/Reason/
Infused Knowledge/

Ultimate Interior Principle of the Life (ability to move self) of Living Bodies. There are Three (3) kinds of Souls, Vegetative or Plant, Animal, and Rational (Human). The Soul is the "Substantial Form" of the Living Body, determining its Species, e.g., Geranium, Dog, Man. It is itself a Substance and not an Accident of the Body; an Incomplete Substance, since it is by its Nature destined for Union with a Body. According to Thomist Doctrine, some disagreeing, there is in each Living Body only One (1) Substantial Form, the Soul, the Principle of all Informing, Vivifying, and Operating. The Human or Rational Soul is the ultimate Interior Principle Vivifying the Human Body and rendering Man capable of performing all his Vital Acts. Pope Pius IX declared it to be Catholic Doctrine that the Rational Soul is the True, per se, and Immediate Form of the Body. The Soul is the Proper Object of the Science of Psychology (Greek: psyche, soul). Unfortunately much of the Science that goes under the name, is more Physiology than Psychology. The Human Soul is integrally Simple, has no part outside of part; otherwise Ideation, Judging, and Reasoning cannot be explained; is Spiritual since its Operations are Spiritual, as knowing the Spiritual, the Abstract, and the Universal, reflecting on self, enjoying Spiritual things, exercising Freedom; internally Immortal since Spiritual, and externally Immortal since God will not Annihilate it. Scripture clearly teaches its Immortality. The Human Soul is in the Whole Body and in each part of the Body. It is created by God and, according to the more common modern opinion, Infused into the Body at the First Instant of the latter's existence; created "to God's image and likeness" since, similar to God, the Soul is a Spirit endowed with Intellect and Free Will. The Union between Soul and Body is Substantial, resulting in One (1) complete Substance, which is a Human Person if we except the Body and Soul of Christ. Scripture informs us that the Human Soul will be Judged after Death, will be consigned to Heaven or to Hell, and on the Day of General Judgment reunited with its Body, the composite thenceforth to enjoy the Beatific Vision or to Suffer the Torments of the Damned, for Eternity.

New Catholic Dictionary


Supernatural Order/Gifts/Aids
to our Supernatural End

from the Catholic Encyclopedia

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Supernatural Order
(Resides in the Essence of the Soul)

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)



Natural Body/
Lower Powers

Natural Soul/
Natural Virtues
(Dominant Partner)

 Sanctifying Grace/Infused Virtues and Gifts of the Holy Spirit


The Supernatural Order is the 'Ensemble of Effects' exceeding the Powers of the Created Universe, and Gratuitously Produced by God for the purpose of raising the Rational Creature above its Native Sphere to a God-like Life and Destiny. The meaning of the phrase fluctuates with that of its Antithesis, the Natural Order.

A Supernatural Gift may be defined as something conferred on Nature that is above all the Powers (Vires) of Created Nature. When God created Man, He was not content with bestowing upon him the Essential Endowments required by Man's Nature. He raised him to a Higher State, adding certain Gifts to which his Nature had no claim. They comprise Qualities and Perfections, Forces and Energies, Dignities and Rights, Destination to Final Objects, of which the Essential Constitution of Man is not the Principle; which are not required for the Attainment of the Final Perfection of the Natural Order of Man; and which can only be Communicated by the Free Operation of God's Goodness and Power. Some of these are absolutely Supernatural, i.e. beyond the reach of all Created Nature (even of the Angels), and Elevate the Creature to a Dignity and Perfection Natural to God alone; others are only relatively Supernatural (Preternatural), i.e. above Human Nature only, and Elevate Human Nature to that State of Higher Perfection which is Natural to the Angels. The Original State of Man comprised both of these, and when he Fell he Lost both. Christ has Restored to us the absolutely Supernatural Gifts, but the Preternatural Gifts He has not Restored.

The absolutely Supernatural Gifts, which alone are the Supernatural properly so called, are summed up in the Divine Adoption-of-Man to be the son and heir of God. This Expression, and the Explanations given of it by the Sacred Writers, make it evident that the Sonship is something far more than a relation founded upon the Absence of Sin; it is of a thoroughly Intimate Character, raising the Creature from its Naturally Humble Estate, and making it the Object of a peculiar Benevolence and Complaisance on God's Part, admitting it to Filial Love, and enabling it to become God's heir, i.e. a partaker of God's Own Beatitude.

Grace is a
Supernatural Aid from God
Sanctifying Graces
(Transient, comes and goes)
Habitual Grace
(Permanent, lives in Soul, lost by Mortal Sin)

Supernatural Graces and Gifts of the Holy Spirit reside within the Essence of Man's Natural Soul.

In order to live Worthy of our Divine Dignity and to attain our Divine End, we stand in need of Supernatural Aid. This Supernatural Aid to a Supernatural End is called Grace. For our present purpose it will be sufficient to note that Grace is either Habitual (i.e. Sanctitying, making us pleasing to God) or Actual (i.e. enabling us to produce works deserving of Salvation). There are other Aids sometimes bestowed less for our own benefit than for the benefit of others. These are called Gratiae Gratis Datae (Charismata). They do not directly and immediately help to the attainment of our End, but assist as it were from without. The Theological Virtues and the Moral Virtues are Graces properly so called. So too, are the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.