Michael Barber has written a short post that mostly just consists of a citation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here’s an excerpt:
The charity of Christ is the source in us of all our merits before God. Grace, by uniting us to Christ in active love, ensures the supernatural quality of our acts and consequently their merit before God and before men. The saints have always had a lively awareness that their merits were pure grace.
Michael’s experience has been similar to my own. I actually preached at a Presbyterian Church this morning. And, I have good relationships with many of my Protestant friends. Yet I find that when people ask me questions about Catholic doctrine they have often been supplied with a significant amount of misinformation. But, it is a two way street, many of the Catholics I know also have a significant amount of misinformation about what Protestants actually believe.
I’m glad Michael drew attention to this section of the Catechism. My experience is that many people only know the parts of the Catechism they disagree with. Here we can see the absolute necessity of grace in Catholic theology. In addition, Michael links to a paper written by Richard White that goes into this topic in much more detail.