As I pray the Rosary, I add certain relative clauses in order to help me meditate on the particular mystery of the decade I am reciting. So an Ave would run as follows for the fourth sorrowful mystery: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, who bore the heavy cross for us. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen." (The words in italic, of course, being the added relative clause.)
Adding these clauses aren't my idea or invention, but have been around for centuries. (Read von Balthasar's Threefold Garland for more - it's a phenomenal little book.) I have been thinking about this particular clause, "Who bore the heavy cross for us," as I meditate on the sorrowful mysteries of the most holy Rosary. Whenever I say it, or hear or read the story of Jesus' bearing the cross, I am always, and always have been, struck immediately with a qualification - something ridiculous along the lines of "with Simon of Cyrene." But this involuntary (literalist crazy) qualification strikes me as constitutive to our Christian life. Simon bears the cross with Jesus for a purpose. Ultimately God goes before us, bears us, encircles us with his grace so that it is He who acts. But I also act.
"Good works" is not a dirty word, not heresy unless I believe that it is my good works - outside and apart from Christ's work - that reconcile me to God. (There are variations of the heresy.) I cannot act righteously without God's grace. But God's grace is always present for good works. Always. Sometimes I don't allow it to work in me. (The permission itself is an act of grace. All is grace.) But God has given us human persons the dignity of freedom to respond in step with the Spirit or to quench the Spirit.
God invites us to work with him, by his grace, that we might, working with him, redeem all of creation. That we might, by his grace, do greater things than he himself did. (I don't understand this word of Christ, but believe that each of us - and not simply the Church entire - is called to these "greater works" since the Greek uses the singular "you" rather than the plural. Though it is still only by his grace.) This is not because Christ doesn't cut it or that the Father needs help, but because we are invited to participate in his Divine Life. This is conversion. This is salvation. We become - we must become - by grace, all that Christ is by nature.
Glory to God for all things.