I have been reading R. Preus' Justification and Rome. I came to his chapter on Grace and this awakened some of my brain cells. Preus observes that the RC theologians tackle grace after Christology with the result that grace has been severed from God's act of redemption or reconciliation and has become more associated with the HS work in sanctification.
This separation of grace from the Cross is something I have observed as a tendency not only in RC teaching, but in some Calvinistic (perhaps in Puritan/Revivalist streams) and Arminian sections of Evangelicalism.
Firstly, I say such separating of grace from the Cross is present in Calvinism because of its view of God's Sovereignty. God is seen as a "despota" that distributes his grace to whom he wills. They talk of grace in the area of "gifting". This is also the way the Arminians speak of grace. Granted that in some astute Calvinistic positions, they do not believe in "infused" grace, but in the way that they speak of grace, they do not distinguish grace from the "gifting of graces" provided by God. The Arminian, in compartive terms, looks at God's grace as enabling you to do certain virtuous things.
Let me give an example, if I was born from a wealthy home, both RC/Evangelicals (Calvinistic/Arminian) will consider it God's grace that I was well provided for by my parents.
This is where the Lutheran view of grace comes in and is unique or rather if not unique, maverick (I am trying to be impassionate -but I really think it is Christological). The Lutheran view of God's grace is connected to the Cross in so much so that you can almost consider this grace as trumping any other perceived graciousness of God. Hence, this is the ultimate grace and hence, stands above other graces/gifts of God. It is the fountain and the only thing that really matters at the end of the day. To them, God's grace is specific, it is seen in God's action of sending His Son as the atonement for our sins. In this position, all giftings of God - i.e. charis of whatever sort do not get first class attention. Such graces sink in the truth of that Grace at the Cross.
Frankly this is quite Biblical ...
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?