We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A few Sundays ago our preacher spoke provocatively about the cost of Grace. We want to think of Grace as being, by definition, a freebie. My pastor says not. Roger Kimball recently discusses the cost of freedom. Perfect.
Freedom and liberty are costly in money, lives, bruises, setbacks, and effort. And freedom is messy, too. All valuable things are costly, like relationships with man or God. Over time, the Left has actually managed to find a way to permit people's consciences to allow them to accept things and money from their neighbors which are not willingly given. Old-fashioned American dignity would not permit that.
In the end, the issue is whether we, as citizens, want to pay the price, or whether we want somebody else to pay for it like the old bowl of lentils. There is no free lentil lunch.
The infant in all of us wants everything good to be free to us, like mother's milk. If adults want to live in freedom, they need to get beyond that, because liberty is not for babies. Good things are costly.
Grace costs nothing but is the action of the Divine passing over human nature assisting one's free will to right action.
It is a constant which may not be bought by bribe or penance.
It's always free.
When God says, "Turn ye unto me, and I will turn unto you," Zechariah 1:3 one of these clauses—that which invites our return to God—evidently belongs to our will; while the other, which promises His return to us, belongs to His grace. Here, possibly, the Pelagians think they have a justification for their opinion which they so prominently advance, that God's grace is given according to our merits.
From: On Grace and Free Will
Written by St. Augustine of Hippo in A.D. 426 or 427
Chapter 10 [V.]