Definition for Gratuitous Grace
Gratuitous Grace (Gratiae Gratis Datae)
While all grace is ultimately gratuitous (freely given, not earned), graces falling within the classification known as Gratuitous Grace are given to benefit others. The Grace granted to the human instrument is done so independently of the person's moral character. Included in this category are such graces as charismata (gifts of prophecy, miracles, speaking in tongues, etc.) and the priestly power of consecration and absolution. As an example of the fact that some gifts of the Holy Spirit are independent of moral character, we have to look no further than the high priest Caiaphas who was given the gift of prophecy strictly because he sat on the chair of Moses (Jn. 11:49-52). When God wishes to express/communicate his graces to souls, he usually uses human instruments that possess the same kind of sanctity that he wishes to give. Ignatius writes: “In like manner, to transmit the form of humility, patience, charity, and so forth, to others, God wills that the immediate cause which He uses as instrument [SML], such as the preacher or confessor, be humble, charitable, patient.” While sanctity is not necessary to that which is being used as a human instrument, it is usually God’s desire that it be present to some degree. Aquinas writes,
As the Apostle says (Rom. 13:1), “those things that are of God are well ordered.” Now the order of things consists in this, that things are led to God by other things, as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. iv). And hence since grace is ordained to lead men to God, this takes place in a certain order, so that some are led to God by others. And thus there is a twofold grace: one whereby man himself is united to God, and this is called ‘sanctifying grace’; the other is that whereby one man cooperates with another in leading him to God, and this gift is called ‘gratuitous grace,’ since it is bestowed on a man beyond the capability of nature, and beyond the merit of the person. But whereas it is bestowed on a man, not to justify him, but rather that he may cooperate in the justification of another, it is not called sanctifying grace.
More charisms of the Holy Spirt are listed in 1 Cor. 12:4-11 and Rom. 12:6-8.
 Fr. John Hardon, “Gratuitous Grace,” Modern Catholic Dictionary, http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=33805, (accessed 10/27/14).
 Hardon, “History and Theology of Grace: Actual Graces,” The Real Presence Association, http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Grace/Grace_013.htm: therealpresence.org.
 Ignatius, Letters of St. Ignatius of Loyola, trans. William J. Young (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1959), 129.
 Aquinas, Summa Theologia, I-II, q. 111, a. 1.