My concern over understanding the dispersal of Your gifts and graces keeps playing on my mind. Many ideas have entered and exited my thoughts over this matter. It strikes me that the key notions of disposition and receptivity are not the same but are both primary factors.
I think receptivity is mostly latent and outside the realm of consciousness while disposition is both conscious and willed. I make this distinction because it seems Your graces and gifts often bypass our disposition and go straight to our receptivity. You suddenly gift whom You will based on this inherent receptivity of an individual. For our part it removes, even further, the self. It’s all quite paradoxical as is so much else of the spiritual when compared to the physical.
I believe disposition has a direct bearing on receptivity. Yet it does not necessarily exist as a precondition to Your bestowal of gifts and graces. The greatest sinner and most spiritually indisposed individual may, in fact, be highly receptive to Your gifts and graces. (Without going any further into it, this would seem an argument against capital punishment.)
Receptivity, whether an individual is pre-disposed or not to Your gifts and graces, is what moves many sinners to become saints. It is an openness to Your action in their spirits – an openness that may be so hidden from our chosen disposition that we are not consciously aware of it. I think it is something attached to the spiritual nature of everyone. Maybe only a small tinge of this receptivity can disappear when we deny Your existence completely. Yet, Your power to “knock people off their horses” a la St. Paul may sometimes totally bypass receptivity.
Maybe ultimately all that can be said is that Your action in our lives is a mystery – a mystery to which for our own peace of mind and lack of understanding we can will to dispose ourselves hoping to increase the receptivity we already have.