- What is GRACE?
- What is Sanctifying GRACE?
- What are THE CHIEF EFFECTS of Sanctifying
- WHY is Sanctifying Grace NECESSARY FOR
- Go to Actual Grace
- Return to The End Days Menu
I. What is GRACE?
Grace is not God but something that touches God. St. Thomas Aquinas
says that "grace is nothing other than a certain participated likeness
of the divine nature." Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed
on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation.
"And he said: This is why I said to you, No one can come
to me unless he is enabled to do so by my Father" (John 6:66).
- Grace is a favor, a free gift, granted
us though we have no claim to it. God grants us graces because He is
not because we deserve them. God grants us graces for the sake of His
Who died on the cross to earn for us these graces; We men can never
these graces. All have sinned and have need of the glory of God.
are justified freely by his grace through the redemption which is in
- The Holy Spirit dispenses the graces of God merited by
Jesus Christ; He bestows and perfects what is already earned.
a similar manner the sun does not make the plants, but develops what is
already planted; without the sun plants would die and be useless to man.
- The supernatural is that which is beyond natural powers. It is of
The assistance, of the Holy Spirit is necessary.
the help of the graces that He dispenses, with merely natural powers,
cannot do the least work to merit salvation. Without God, we can do
(John 15:5), including saving oneself. In order to reach Heaven, we
God's grace; so we say with the Apostle: Not that we are sufficient
of ourselves to think anything, as from ourselves, but our sufficiency
is from God (Cor. 3:5)
There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying grace and actual
- (a) When the fact is beyond natural powers in the
occurrence: as when a blind man instantly can see; and
- (b) When the fact fundamentally and entirely surpasses all
of the natural order: as when God imparts a part of His life to man
through the gift of sanctifying grace.
II. What is
Sanctifying grace is a perfect imitation of God that is effected in
us by divine infusion. It produces in the soul a likeness to God that
transcends that which is had in the purely natural order. It is that
which confers on our souls a new life, that is, a sharing in the life
God Himself, a participation in the very nature of God.
- By sanctifying grace, our souls are made holy and pleasing to
It is an abiding (habitual) or permanent grace, which
gain by baptism, and lose only by mortal sin. By Adam 's sin all
lost the friendship of God; that is, we are born in original sin,
sanctifying grace. Our Lord's death won back sanctifying grace for us;
it is granted freely at Baptism.
- A soul to whom God grants sanctifying grace receives not
a gift from God, but God Himself. He receives a new life,
a new nature, a sharing of God's life, a participation
in the nature of God. It is in this sense that Our Lord said: It
is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing (John
Again, And the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of
world (John 6:52). As the living Father has sent me, and as I
because of the Father, so he who eats me, he shall live because of me
- St. Paul refers to this acquisition of sanctifying grace as the
off of the old man and the putting on of the new. It is as if an old
worn man were suddenly to become a handsome young man full of the vigor
of life. The beauty of a soul in the state of sanctifying grace is too
great for human eyes to bear. It would be more brilliant than the sun.
As a child said, when asked how his soul would look immediately after
confirmation, if it could be photographed, ''Why, it would look
III. What are THE
CHIEF EFFECTS of Sanctifying Grace?
- First, it makes us holy and pleasing to God.
Second, through sanctifying grace, we become children of God
adoption. With sanctifying grace, the Holy Spirit enters our soul;
we are led by His Spirit, and are therefore His children: For
whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God
- When we are in possession of sanctifying grace, we are free
sin; the two cannot dwell together. However, although free from mortal
sin, we do not, with sanctifying grace, become free from the
or effects of sin. So even the Saints feel the human inclination to
against which the struggle is life-long, and from which we should gain
merit. This human frailty is imbedded in our flesh, and is present in
souls as a result of original sin.
- Sanctifying grace, however, although it does not cure us of the
of the flesh, strengthens our will, so that for us the war against sin
Third, it makes us temples of the Holy Spirit.
brings the Holy Spirit to dwell in us as in a temple. St. Paul says, For
you are the temple of the Living God (2 Cor. 6:16).
Fourth, it gives us the right to Heaven. When we are in
grace, we are inspired to do good works. The Holy Spirit does not sleep
within us, but expands our heart with His grace, and urges our will to
do good. And as we are adopted children of God, such actions become
- you have not received a spirit of bondage so as to be again
but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by virtue of which
we cry, Abba! Father! The Spirit himself gives testimony to our
spirit that we are sons of God (Rom. 8:15-16).
- If we are children of God, we are at the same time heirs, and
have a right to His Kingdom. We are the sons of God. But if we are
we are heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ
IV. WHY is
Grace NECESSARY FOR SALVATION?
- Sanctifying grace is necessary for salvation because it
the supernatural life, which alone enables us to attain the
happiness of Heaven.
- The presence of God in the soul gives it life. When the
Spirit is dwelling in the soul (called the in-dwelling of the Holy
it is enabled to know and love God, to do supernatural works. Speaking
of the gift of God, Our Lord said it shall become in him a
of water, springing up unto life everlasting (John 4: 14). Without
sanctifying grace, the soul is without God; and without God, the
becomes the devil's.
- One cannot gain any merit for Heaven as long as he is not in
grace, what is termed in the state of grace. For without
grace one is an enemy of God, and cannot enter His kingdom.
- Mortal sin makes the soul displeasing to God, and thus deprives
of sanctifying grace.
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"Who is like unto God?"
Created July 16, 1996.