(St. Thomas Aquinas)
Charity, the bond of perfection, quickens us to the One we already possess. Such is the beginning of eternal life.
Theological note: Properly speaking, sanctifying grace as the formal and actual participation in the divine nature is the possession of eternal life. It is for this reason that it is known as the semen gloriae. We must be careful not to confound charity with sanctifying grace as the former resides in the faculty of the will while the former is a habitual quality that permeates the essence of the soul. This actualises the obediential capacity of the soul for the supernatural. Nevertheless, no man can attain to God who has fallen away from charity which unites man to his proper end, namely God. Sinning against charity ipso facto, destroys habitual grace. Conversely the man who loves God above all, possesses this incalculable treasure within him.