My 11-year old son and I went to Mass this morning (Monday) because we were unable to receive Holy Communion yesterday, having missed the hour-long fast. I did tell him that it was not obligatory that he receive at every Sunday Mass, although it would be good whenever possible. He said he understood, but insisted that he wanted to receive today. This was no small thing because we would otherwise get up late during these school holidays.
Watching him serve at the altar, I was reflecting on his response to the Holy Spirit, on my fatherhood and that of God. A staunch Calvinist once asserted that there is no such thing as free will. What does this doctrine say about the goodness of God? The idea that He would limit his children to act only upon divine "programming" -- without free will -- is unthinkable (David Armstrong on soteriology and creation here).
Today my son responded to grace, I believe, and while the grace is God's, the will to respond was his. He is growing in faith, into an obedience of faith, and it is as joyous to behold as it is inspiring to me.