What is God's mercy
without great mercy, obtaining a saving faith isn't possible
God’s mercy is waiting for us, wanting to help us….some of us are so desperate for God’s help; we will do anything to receive it. I understand many of us want God’s mercy, but we are struggling to obtain it. Well, please don’t fret.
If we want to know how to receive God’s mercy, this article will explain how there are clear ways to obtain great mercy, which I list below, and what we are doing that rejects much of God’s love (mercy) too.
What is Mercy?
God’s grace, which is synonymous with His mercy, is a wonderful gift from the Holy Spirit sent to help us in our lives for the salvation of our souls.
There are many different kinds of grace and so many ways God dispels His mercy upon us. But to start understanding them, we should know this mercy God gives us is really a two part gift:
- Helping mercy –help for us in our lives
- Forgiving mercy–forgiveness of one sin, all the way to forgiveness of all of our sins
These aren’t the only forms of grace God bestows upon us…actually there are many different kinds of grace–five of which I speak about in detail in this article: sanctifying grace, actual grace, gratuitous grace, habitual grace and consummate grace. But all of these graces do fall into one of these two categories–helping or forgiving mercy–as I explain later in this article too.
No matter what kind of mercy we seek from God–help or forgiveness–both are given to us, according to God’s will, so we can live a wonderful life of peace & joy on earth and for all eternity.
Everything God does is for this purpose.
The purpose of God's mercy: is to help transform us so we can better know, serve and love God for the salvation of our souls--to remove our liking for sin and our desire of worldly pleasures instead of Him. Then we can cling to God and His will and not our sins or the world, so to be saved by Him.
Therefore, no matter why God sends us His help or forgiveness, if He heals, blessed or forgives us, the bottom line intention for all of the love He gives, and really for everything He allows, is to save our souls. And if we become one of the few, who come to learn how to accept His gifts (grace) and not reject them, we will have the ultimate gift of Eternal Life, for “we know that all things [the good and bad] work for good for those who [truly] love God” (Romans 8:28).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him [enough to follow Him and trust in all He allows] might not perish but might have eternal life.”
Why Most Don’t Receive Much Mercy (God’s Help)
Scores of beautiful people flock to God seeking His help…Oh, our most merciful Lord is here waiting for us, wanting to help us, but most sadly, when we us seek His help, for the most part, it is for the wrong reasons…which limits our ability to receive His grace.
10 Reasons most seek God’s mercy (help):
- Help when bad happens
- Help when sick
- To bring us financial security
- To protect and guide us
- To bring us peace
- To give us what we want
- Help with our marriages
- Help with our children
- Help for the dead
- Help to improve our defects
Now, there is nothing wrong with seeking God’s mercy, for any of those things, IF we are seeking His help in accordance with His will, which is what most of us don’t do.
We tend to want God to answer our prayers according to our will and not His. Reality is, we seek God’s help most of the time just to get what we want–as if we know what is best.
Then, when God doesn’t give us what we desire, we are distressed from our lack of trust in what God allows, resulting in us never growing closer to Him. To learn more please read, “How to Trust in God and Remain in Peace When Things Go Very Wrong .”
If we really want God’s help, we need to learn how to to ask God for help in a way which is pleasing to Him–shows our trust in Him–so we don’t reject the grace He desires to give us.
Why most seek God’s help:
- Help when bad happens – to remove our cross (to be happy)
- Help when sick – to remove our cross (to be happy)
- To bring us financial security – to remove our cross (to be happy)
- To protect and guide us – to keep us from suffering (to be happy)
- To bring us peace – so we can be happy
- To give us what we want – so we can be happy
- Help with our marriages – so we can be happy
- Help with our children – so our children can be happy
- Help for the dead – so our loved ones can be happy in Heaven
- Help to improve our defects – so we can be who we want to be (be happy)
As we can see, most of our typical reasons why we want God’s help are to remove our crosses and make us happy, since we don’t want to suffer. Who wants to suffer? But sometimes, as God knows, we need to suffer.
For those who understand the faith, we know the cross is the greatest way to Christ. Therefore, we don’t want to suffer, since it hurts, but since it is so good, we do want to suffer. So, if our goal is to remove our suffering, because we only want our will (don’t want to suffer), then we have approached God for help with selfish self-serving reasons and actually hate the cross. Yikes!
If we hate the cross, we hate what will save us (take away our desire for sin).
“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Q. So, with that said, how are we to pray for help especially when bad happens and not be haters of the cross?
A. Actually, it is really easy to pray for what we think is the greatest good (to remove or prevent what we feel is bad), but not trust in our understanding of what is really good, but to trust in what God allows to happen as being truly good (what will lead to good, if we allow Him to bring us there) as I explain below.
Trust in God — Gain Grace
God wants us to ask for His help with everything especially with the things we really feel are needed.
“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress” (Psalm 46:2).
But at the same time we must humbly understand, even though something is absolutely horrible and tragic, and we think must change–and God might agree with us and was just waiting for us to pray to Him for help, so He can take away our suffering–but regardless of whether God intends to remove the cross, strengthen us to carry it for a certain time or strengthen us to endure it to the end–God intends to make any life event, no matter what it is, into something good–what we need for a life of peace and salvation–if we turn to Him.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely” (Proverbs 3:5).
Therefore, if we don’t trust in ourselves and what we think is good by demanding our way, doing everything possible beyond moderation to remove our cross, so we don’t have to suffer, but instead, we seek guidance from God so we can learn, do what God wills, and grow and change into greater faith, through the cross, then the wonderful things God intends to happen will.
So when we pray, we need to pray like this, “Lord, if you wish, _______________ [then state whatever your intention is]” (Luke 5:13). That is it!
We just need to seek God’s help with what we feel is needed, trusting in what He allows as being what is truly best for us right now, as we seek to learn what God intends to teach us, do what He wills of us and change our lives to grow into His image, for the cross to be a great blessing.
“[God] his great mercy gave us a new birth [the ability to grow into a new man: a saving faith/perfection]…although now for a little while you may have to suffer [to help you grow]…as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3-9)
Truly, the cross is meant teach us so much: to grow in greater trust, enlighten us to sins we need to amend, strengthen us to suffer for the salvation of souls and so much more. To learn more please read, “Why Does God Allow Temptation, Suffering and Punishment.”
Therefore, to not have God ignore us, by demanding our will, because “if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14) and/or reject God’s grace when we pray for help, we absolutely can’t trust in ourselves and what we think is the greatest good, but we must trust in all that God allows as being truly good. We mustn’t ever worry or fear the cross–simply trust God will use it for great good. Have patience and believe the cross is The Way to Christ.
“We had accepted within ourselves the sentence of death [to live, suffer and die like Christ knowing that is The Way], that we might trust not in ourselves but in God[‘s will]” (2 Corinthians 1:9).
If we struggle to obtain this true trust, look at the sins in our lives that are rejecting God’s grace, confess them and make resolutions to stop them, one at a time, so we can obtain the grace God wants to send us. Seek the Blessed Mother, who is in Heaven waiting to help us, for assistance too and pray at 3:00pm, the hour Jesus died, for great mercy to help us grow in true trust in Christ, so all the grace God intends for us through the cross can be ours. To learn more please visit, www.The3oclockChallenge.com
Then from obtaining true trust, we can be in constant peace during any suffering, and watch God work real miracles in our lives as He intends.
“In our poor present life, let us drink to the last drop from the chalice of pain. What does it matter to suffer for ten, twenty, fifty years, if afterward there is Heaven forever, forever…forever!”
–St. Josemaria Escriva
Help – Even With Our Little Faith
Now, God, understanding our weakness and lack of faith, might still help us remove our cross even if we are only seeking His help so we won’t have to carry it, since He knows we associate love with the removal of suffering. God does this a lot of time with people who haven’t grown into true trust in Him nor love for the cross.
Yet, God and the saints showed us what true love really is and that is in the fulfilling of The Father’s will and suffering for the salvation of souls. Yes, “No one has greater love than this, to [suffer to the point that we] lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Therefore, suffering out of love for God and our neighbor, according to God’s will, is the greatest love we can show…not living a pain free life with no crosses.
But since most don’t love the cross or understand its power, God still wants us to see His love for us using a means we can understand, so we will one day desire to truly love Him in return by really following Him…eventually by way of the cross. So to do this, sometimes God even answers our prayers when they are shrouded greatly in pride, lacking trust in Him and full of worries over our suffering.
But, as I said, God does this so, after we see His great love, in a way we understand, we will want to love Him in return by letting go of our strong will, working hard to stop offending Him and embracing our crosses (trusting in Him), so we can learn what God wills to teach us and allow God to lead us to a life of true joy and a SAVING FAITH.
When we obtain much of God’s mercy and can do this, then we will rejoice in our suffering, knowing our crosses are saving us.
“Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly [in Heaven]” (1 Peter 4:13).
Just remember, sometimes God’s will (our greatest good) is for us to suffer and other times it isn’t. Even though, suffering is very good and sends us fantastic grace, God only allows what we can handle. If we think we can’t handle our cross, we can ask others to help us carry it; we can ask God to strengthen us to carry it and even to remove it–all according to His perfect will.
What is best for our salvation–what is best for us to grow into a saving faith/sanctity and a life of true peace–is always what God allows. We simply must turn to Him for knowledge and strength to do what God wills after that to make the cross wonderful.
So if we pray to God for mercy for a cross to be removed–since naturally we will want to draw back from the fire especially if it seems like more than we can bear, just like Christ did–but if we sincerely at the same time desire to carry it, if it is His will, then we are without sin and a delight in God’s eyes and can accept much grace if God allows the cross to stay or leave.
The Lesson – Tests of Faith
Frankly, when we, who have began to walk with Christ towards a saving faith, don’t really want to surrender our will for God’s but we ask Him for mercy–for a cross to leave, since it is so painful–much of the time, the cross stays, because we need these lessons from God. The lesson is God’s great mercy for us.
Since we were not sincere with our desire to do God’s will, we must learn to see our insincerity and be motivated to relent our will for His in all situations. Oh, we might have told God with our words we only want the cross to leave if it is His will, but yet God, who reads the true intentions of our hearts, knows we don’t really mean it.
Then for a period of time after that (whatever God deems best), to hopefully break our will, God allows the cross to remain hoping we change and surrender to Him. And when we do finally desire to carry the cross and even restrain from asking God to remove it this time, but we show our sincere willingness to carry it, according to His will…if the cross isn’t resulting from our sin (to teach us that we must amend certain sins), much of the time, that is when God sees fit to remove our suffering.
If God doesn’t remove the cross, sometimes God will send us wonderful strength and peace so we can bear the cross, like Christ, for grace to be sent for the salvation of souls, just like Christ did for us. But much of the time, once we truly surrender our will and decide to happily suffer according to God’s will, trusting in the cross, then God removes the cross.
You see, sometimes, the cross was only given to us to test our faith–to see if we can truly have a total surrender to God’s will. God wants to know if we are willing to carry a huge cross for the love of Him, trusting that it is good, or should I say, God wants us to know if we are willing to carry our cross (God already knows everything) to see if our faith is true or not, and if we pass our test, much of the time God doesn’t even want us to carry the cross any more.
Oh, there are many lessons in the cross, seeing if our faith is true is only one of them. But if we are to come to understand the cross, we must look for God’s lessons in the cross (there are many)–God’s great mercy–so when we are given a cross–we won’t squander most or all of God’s grace.
These tests are most necessary, since we can’t serve God and follow Him to find a saving faith, if we seek to go about life wanting our will. We must be willing to suffer and trust in God’s plan. But please don’t assume God is going to remove the cross that you agree to carry or I can assure you it won’t leave…since you still want your will.
Need Mercy – Stop the Sin
Sometimes God isn’t only teaching us how to trust in Him through our crosses, frankly, most of the time, He is teaching us how we need to stop sinning…especially today because most have been deceived so greatly we no longer understand right from wrong or the real consequences to sin. Plus, we can’t REALLY trust in God if we don’t even want to stop sinning.
Gaining a real desire to live the faith–to amend our life towards becoming a real saint, as God commands–comes first when seeking the salvation of our soul. Sure we can learn how to trust and amend our sins at the same time, and some of us will miss part of God’s lesson and only learn the trust part or vice versa when God really intended the cross to be both a lesson in amending and growing in faith.
However, the goal with everything God allows is to move us towards a saving faith. And what prevents us from a saving faith more than sin? Nothing.
Many times we seek God for help, but He doesn’t send it or we reject it, because our sins have caused God to turn His face from us or our sins are rejecting it: lack of forgiveness, sexual immorality, not attending Church, unconsecrated marriage, not living for God but the world, etc.
So, when we are crying to God, “Why?” as we don’t understand why we are suffering, much of the time, it is God loving us, trying to get us to look into our lives to see what we are doing wrong (our sins or attachments) that are keeping us from the way of peace, so we won’t die (go to Hell) from our unrepentant, unchanged sins (lack of true contrition).
Please, don’t just look for our known mortal sins, do look for those, but also look for how we are not truly living our lives like a real self-sacrificing saint, as God commands. Since only someone who desires to become a true saint–who really desires to never offend God again (has true sorrow for their sins)–can accept God’s forgiveness and be saved by Christ. Desiring to remain in any of our sinful ways rejects Life for sin.
Therefore, if we want mercy (help from God), God might not give it to us help until we REPENT and REMOVE OUR SINS…not all of them, but the main ones God is trying to capture our attention with through this cross, so we don’t die blind and lose Him forever.
Then after we repent and change, if God wills, grace will be sent to help us in the other areas of our life we were seeking mercy.
As you can see, this mercy (help) God gives is really meant to help us grow into a saving faith and then towards becoming a perfect saint…not to give us what we want so we can have a pain free life, but to enlighten, inspire and give us the grace we need to repent and change….to follow Christ and come to a faith that can save.
But sadly, since most of us have been deceived into thinking we are already saved, from not knowing our great need for God’s mercy–from lacking humility and understand of The Way–we only want God’s help in our lives to obtain what we want, to make our life better or to grow in faith (which is good)…but we must lose our pride and desire to grow into a SAVING FAITH…to become a perfect self-sacrificing saint, which is the kind of heart we must have to accept God’s saving forgiving mercy.
Tragically, most don’t even know what a saving faith is, and we surely can’t strive to win the crown of Life if we don’t even know what is the goal. To learn more please read, “What are the Requirements of Salvation.”
Want God’s Help, Do What God Wants
Oh, how many of us what God’s help, but we won’t do what He wills? God has a certain plan for our lives, but how many of us have gone about doing things our way, rejecting God to live and do as we wish. But I’m not just talking about God’s main plan for our lives that we reject, I’m also speaking about what God desires us to do to amend our ways…to move us forward in our faith.
We want grace to help us grow in our faith, but we won’t do what is necessary to do it. Many don’t even look for what God desires of us and just pray hoping to grow in faith (because we don’t know it is our self-will that prohibits us from growing). Of course we can’t change if we don’t even know what to change. Growing in faith happens from prayers and actions combined. If we have one without the other, we are broken…not growing correctly.
Others will be deceived into thinking we can’t do what God wants, because we lack the grace to do it. When all we lack is a will of obedience. We have all the grace needed, and for most, God isn’t going to send us any more for this particular step in our faith journey. So if we don’t just do it (just obey), we will die from a love for our will, because if we don’t take this step, we can’t move on to the rest. We simply have to stop repeating our same failing effort and just do what God wants.
We can cry to God for grace to help us do what He wills, but most won’t receive it…since we don’t want to suffer. We will allow fear, pride, self-love to control us, and instead of doing something we find scary, impossible or whatever reason we justify not obeying, we refuse to do what God wants. Until we relent our will, we are going to continue to reject the grace God wants send us–through living His will–to move us forward in our faith. We simply must relent our will and just do what God wants us to do and be willing to suffer, if we want God’s grace to advance in faith.
Oh, we might lack faith to believe the true consequences of our actions, but I tell you, for most, God could give us fantastic fear of the Lord that should cause anyone to want to obey, but if we are unwilling to suffer (embarrassment, rejection, humiliation, insults, etc.), it won’t matter if we fear sins and its consequences, we will still refuse to obey.
If we do gain a willingness to obey and find the courage in us to suffer, whatever God wills, everything from there will change. Living God’s will won’t be so hard anymore…as we accept grace after grace; then His will will become EASY.
But if we don’t have all the grace God intends for us to have in order to desire to obey or have courage to suffer, then begging God for help with a sincere heart is all we need to do to receive grace. But never think receiving mercy or changing is going to be easy especially at first; it will just be possible. You will have to work hard and suffer.
God might wish a miracle to come upon you and bless you with fantastic grace, but for most that simply isn’t the case, mostly because we don’t have the ability to receive great grace.
Cry to God with Sincerity of Heart
One humble cry to God for mercy can send much grace. But again don’t expect God to give us an effortless step to change. The grace might make quite a notable difference in the effort we will need to make…it will take the edge off the cross, giving us just the boost we need, but most of the time, it isn’t going to take away all burden…for the most part, that only comes AFTER we change. It is from obedience that God sends enough of grace to carry the cross with joy.
We can cry to God in vocal or mental prayer for help in many ways:
- Through the Mass
- Adoration Before the Blessed Sacrament
- Through the reception of the sacraments (Eucharist and confession)
- Through The Blessed Mother
- Through the Angels and Saints
- Through devotions
Sometimes the reason we don’t receive enough grace to do what we need to do is because we are asking for something beyond ourselves. From our sinfulness, we can only accept so much grace and if we ask God to remove some imperfection within us that is too large (requires too much grace to remove) we still won’t be able to move forward in our conversion.
Let’s say, we want to remove all indulgences from our life and live by way of the cross. If we ask God for the grace to do that, we most likely won’t be able to remove everything we indulge in for pleasure for the cross at one time, since we simply can’t embrace enough grace to do that. But if we chose one item we indulge in at a time and remove it in small tolerable steps, we will be able to grow.
But once God gives us the strength to do whatever it was that we begged Him for help to do, don’t take for granted God’s mercy and through laziness and lack of love for God repeat what we were strengthened to remove thinking we can just be strong again tomorrow and use God’s grace later when we aren’t feeling so lazy.
When we fall into a repeated sin we had the strength to banish, from a great lack of horror for sinning, we will reject the grace we once had and won’t be able to just instantly have it back again. It will be ten times harder to regain the grace we rejected because of that one fall, and we will fall so much more easily back into repeating that crime against God. Once God strengthens us to reject something, we MUST stay vigilant or we will make a very hard fall backwards.
But there is hope. If we can somehow obtain a great horror for sin and truly with all of our heart promise to never commit that sins again, then approach God through those means above, God through His mercy, will send additional grace to strengthen us to move forward once more.
Confusion with Seeking Mercy (Forgiveness)
On top of seeking God’s mercy for help in our lives, we also seek His mercy to have our sins forgiven. But tragically, most are so confused as to what kind of soul can accept forgiveness, we seek His forgiveness mostly in vain.
Many are looking for God’s forgiveness, but we have been deceived into believing God forgives us if we simply want His forgiveness, which just isn’t true. To be forgiven of any sin, we must accept God’s forgiveness, which is only done if we grow in faith from some sorrow all the way into to having TRUE sorrow for that sin. If we seek forgiveness but still lack true sorrow for any sin, we reject forgiveness. But if we have some kind of sorrow for a sin and approach God, especially in confession, we can accept God’s helping grace, which will help us stop the sin and help move us into obtaining true contrition. To learn more please read, “What is True Sorrow.”
Therefore, if we want to be forgiven of all of our sins, so to be saved by Jesus, we need enough of God’s helping mercy to grow into a faith to have not true sorrow for one sin, but true contrition for each and every sin we have ever committed. We need a hatred for sin so great we would rather suffer death than sin the slightest offence against God again.
But please don’t be deceived into thinking we have this kind of sorrow, because most sadly, don’t. It takes great helping grace to get there. To learn more please read the articles, “Can I Be Forgiven of Some Sins but Not All of Them?” and “How Bad Confessions Can Damn Us.”
If we don’t know this, we will approach God feeling some kind of sorry or guilt for sinning, thinking that is enough to be forgiven, when we still haven’t allowed God’s helping grace to give us a truly contrite heart and we will never approach God with a sincere, humble heart so to receive the grace we need.
This is how Jesus saves us…from His helping mercy (grace) He transforms our hard hearts that still lack contrition for our sins, into hearts that truly love Him and have true sorrow for every sin, so we can accept His saving forgiving mercy and be saved.
Without accepting God’s grace (help) to GROW in contrition (sorrow), from some faith into a saving faith, we simply won’t be forgiven–or saved. This is the truth. This is why we need Jesus, Our Savior, to save us…RUN TO HIM
Our Savior is to transform our hardened hearts into soft hearts that can accept His forgiving saving mercy for the salvation of our souls.
But if we don’t approach God correctly, with much humility and Fear of the Lord (fear of sin and its consequences), knowing our great misery and having a horror of sin, we won’t accept enough grace and we will reject Life.
Oh, we might not like this reality, so the devil will convince us that it simply isn’t true…that salvation is much easier to obtain, that most are really in Heaven, but that just isn’t the truth. Some through wishful thinking might even mis-translate our prayers, The Word and do all sorts of things so to not believe this is so.
Yet, that thinking only leads to a lukewarm life of not being concerned with our salvation, which doesn’t move us to correctly seek God’s mercy so we can grow in faith to perfectly love Him but allows us to remain blind and untransformed or not transformed enough, and we reject Him for sin. Tragic!
We must come to correctly know of God’s mercy, so we can approach Him with the HUMILITY we need to embrace His gifts He has waiting for us, or we will become amoung the vast number of souls who die (go to Hell) from not even knowing how much we needed Jesus’ mercy to save us but sadly lied to ourselves saying we wanted His mercy, when we only rejected it…from lacking contrition for our sins.
“If sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers.”
–Jesus to St. Faustina
13 Ways to Obtain Much Helping (Actual) Grace
Therefore to receive much grace–to grow in faith correctly and receive much help in our lives–here is a more complete list of what we need to obtain the great mercy God has waiting for us. We need:
- Pray–prayer is the greatest way we can obtain continuous grace (constant help). There are many ways we can pray some I mentioned above and many in the article “How to Pray Humbly” that send great grace; we want to do all of them. We want to learn how to obtain God’s goal of praying without ceasing so we can be constantly enlightened, strengthened and walking by the Way of Peace with Christ, so one day the fullness of our Lord’s grace can constantly renew within us and keep us from sinning.
- Humility–how much help do we expect to receive from God if we approach Him for help with proud hearts. We need to gain knowledge of our great sinfulness (our desire for sin) and great need for help, so we will let go of thinking we can do anything on our own, so our hearts won’t proudly reject God’s help but humbly accept it.
- Gain Self-Knowledge–part of how we gain humility is by coming to know what we are doing wrong–how we aren’t living our lives like true saints, so we can change, so we can love God/not offend Him and stop rejecting God’s mercy from our sins.
- Remove sin–after we come to know what we are doing wrong, we need to one by one, remove our sins, according to God’s will, so God can transform and help us in our lives.
- Desire to love God–if we desire to change our entire lives to live for His will perfectly, by striving to become a perfect saint–to perfectly love God–then God will send us great assistance.
- Contrition–it is hard to obtain much help from God if we still want to offend Him; the more we grow in hatred for our sins, the more grace we will receive from God to help us in other areas in our life.
- Attend the Sacraments–Fantastic grace comes from God’s sacraments in confession and Holy Communion (if we are worthy to receive); they were give to us just to assist in our daily spiritual battle.
- Trust in God–how can we receive much help from someone if we don’t trust in them. Therefore, we must pick up our cross–don’t complain or worry about the cross, fear nothing God allows–just grow closer to God from learning from them and changing into greater holiness.
- Ask others for help–God sends grace not only through our prayers but especially through the prayers of the Blessed Mother, the Angels and Saints and even children of God.
- Fast–eat less than we desire. When we aren’t satsified and are even tired, we are weak unsatsified and ready to rely on God’s grace to fill us. Instead of being filled by the world.
- Sacrifice–giving up pleasure for the cross sends wonderful grace; denying ourselves of the world’s pleasures and truly seek to follow Christ makes great room in our hearts for God’s love (grace).
- Alms giving–donate money to where it is a sacrifice of love is an act of sacrifice that Our Lord rewards with grace according to our hearts disposition and God’s will.
- Help others in need–do acts of charity–corporal and spiritual works of mercy–for the love of God through our neighbor is another way God sends grace into our lives and the lives of those we help especially if we give up what we want to do to help another (even if someone requests our help during our beloved prayer time).
Our Seed Won’t Grow
Sadly, most don’t live these great means of receiving mercy. Even though God dispences His mercy to help us in many, most either reject it or we simply become one of those poorly growing seeds planted on rocky ground or among thorns that never grows or only grows some what…never into a mature true saving belief in Christ because we lack one or many of the requirements to obtain grace.
Since we live in the time of such great darkness, most have been greatly deceived as to The Way. Therefore, we haven’t cultivated our ground with The Truth and lack the very first quality–Humility. We don’t really understand how much we need God’s helping saving mercy in our lives. Yes, few, even among those who consider themselves very faithful, have a correct understand of what God’s mercy really is and its purpose.
Sadly, from their misguidance, most of God’s children are being led deeper and deeper into a life of lukewarmness…never gaining rich soil–from hearing The Truth–that can produce a saving faith. It is an unfathomable tragedy which crushes God’s Heart.
So we don’t die from a lack of nutrients in our soil, lets begin by learning what the vastness of God’s mercy really is and gain some nourishment, so we can desire to do all that is necessary to embrace God’s mercy when He sends it and grow wonderfully in faith, yielding fruit thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold–growing into an exact image of Christ.
But to do this, we need grace…and hopefully God is sending it to you right now, and He has planted a seed–enlightened us to the truth–and now we can seek His helping grace (our strength) and His directions (given from His mercy), so we can grow and obtain a “mature [saving faith] in Christ” (Colossians 1:28) that can accept and keep His amazing gift of saving grace in our souls.
When we receive some of God’s grace and finally hear God calling us to holiness–not just to be a “good” Christian but when we finally hear God calling us to become a real perfect self-sacrificing saint, that sincerely wants to leave all sin and worldly pleasures to follow Christ, we can use that grace to change our life and follow Jesus correctly to Heaven so we may “attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9).
If we don’t want to become perfect, then what sins and worldly treasure do we want to keep? Ahh, those are the sins and things we love in which we will reject God’s saving mercy for. Oh, we must hear God calling us to leave all of our sins and everything of this world that we long for to bring us happiness. We can do this, with the Help of Thy Grace! Believe! To learn more please read, “How to Become Attached to God and Not The World.”
“Let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy [forgiveness] and to find grace for timely help [to grow in faith]” (Hebrews 4:16
God’s Different Forms of Grace:
- Sanctifying Grace: Sanctifying grace is also know as saving grace or being in the state of grace (if that grace is in our souls). This is the grace Jesus died to give us that we received for the first time at our Baptism which opened up the gates of Heaven and gave us perfect forgiveness of our sins and even removed the punishment for our sins (at baptism).
But from the consequences of original sin, we quickly lost this grace the first time we gained full knowledge of right from wrong and desired (longed for and/or didn’t want to stop) our first sin. Now, we need Our Savior to restore this grace so to forgive us of all of our trespasses committed after baptism and help us atone for our sins committed after baptism too, which is done by changing our life so to following Him to a saving faith. To the surprise of many, we aren’t always in the “state of grace” just because we say we believe in Jesus or go to confession or even avoid the regular “mortal sins.” Sins that reject God’s saving mercy are much more than most understand. To learn more please read the article, “What are the Mortal Sins.” We must grow into a saving faith and “few” as The Word says even gain this kind of faith, since desiring sin (longing for a sins and/or not doing what is necessary to amend any sin and habitually committing it) causes us to not be able to truly repent. Then we lack true sorrow for offending God–which is an abomination of love and rejects saving grace. “He is a scoffer, not a penitent [not someone sorry for their sins], who commits what he repented of. Nor is he cleansed [forgiven] who weeps for his sins, yet does not forsake [stop] them.” (St. Isadore of Seville, Doctor of the Church). This repeating of our sins over and over again isn’t just fine, as the deceiver has tricked us into believing, that proves our desire/love for that sin; it is deadly. To regain this sanctifying grace we need to be saved, we must implore God for much help to grow into a saving faith, to leave everything we long for weather it be sins or worldly pleasures (anything that isn’t to know, serve or love God) because without this grace in our soul, at the moment of death, we can’t obtain Eternal Life.
- Actual Grace: Actual Grace, also known as helping grace, is the grace God gives us to help us “grow into salvation [a saving faith]” (1 Peter 2:2) so we can truly hate our sins and embrace God’s saving grace.Actual grace transforms us from some faith in Christ, into a saving faith that truly hates every sin and is truly sorry for all the sins we do commit because we can’t bear to offend God. It take much grace to soften a hard heart into a truly humble contrite one who can accept forgiving saving mercy since we have made so much of the world–sins and non-sinful things–what we run to for happiness (our idols). Therefore, we must spend our life, running to God daily, learning and changing so we can gain much actual grace to be saved by Jesus.
- Gratuitous Grace: Gratuitous Grace are the gifts/talents God gives us for us to use for His service in the salvation of souls.
- Habitual Grace: Habitual grace allows us to keep saving grace constantly (habitually) present within us. This grace only takes effect if we don’t reject it. Habitual grace is present when a soul has finally grown into a saving faith and has received so much grace from God, they can constantly remain in the state of grace from possessing a continuous perfect contrition: a hatred for sin so great and a continuous resolve to never sin again so true, because we can’t bear offending our Beloved Lord and would rather suffer any injury than offend God by the smallest offence.
Outside of seeking perfection (to become full of grace and not be able to choose to sin), obtaining habitual grace–the grace that saves–is the ultimate goal in life, since not only does it assure us of salvation upon death, but also as long as this grace is present, our prayers, fasting, works of mercy, etc. can finally help us atone (pay the price) for our sins and most wonderfully help us grow in perfect love of God which of course makes us saints upon our death.
God promised to St. Gertrude the Great, that anyone who has ever had habitual grace within them–who was able to maintain being in the state of grace–outside of the instant it was received, and did a single truly good act, will most certainly have Eternal Life. This is true.
“When I behold anyone in his agony [dying] who has thought of Me with pleasure, or who has performed any works deserving of reward [something truly good done while being in the state of grace], I appear to him at the moment of death with a countenance so full of love and mercy, that he repents from his inmost heart for having ever offended Me, and he is saved by this repentance” (Jesus to St. Gertrude the Great).
But like saints have said…this is rare, so please don’t be deceived and live a lukewarm life thinking we are surely saved or we will lose it all. Actually, since we can’t read our souls, we will never know what kind of state of grace our souls are in (unless God gives us a special gift of that knowledge)…so always strive to increase our fear of sin and love of God.
- Consummate Grace: Consummate grace is the final grace acquired when we finally arise to perfect love of God (full of grace not able to sin any more). This is the ultimate goal for everyone’s life in which some blessed saints have acquired.
All of the above are just a few forms of God’s grace…there are actually more. But all the grace we need to amend our ways, live a life of great peace, become saved and even grow into a perfect saint is waiting for us, but tragically most of us reject so much of God’s love that we never even grow into even a saving faith. This must change. We want to be one of the “few.”
We Can’t Make God Send Grace
With that said, as confusing as this sounds, there isn’t anything we can do to gain God’s grace…now, I know that just doesn’t make scene, especially since I just said there are so many ways God dispels His grace. Plus, throughout this entire website I speak about the different ways to accept God’s grace.
What I mean is, we can do bounds of things that can potentially obtain us grace from God, but nothing we do can “force” God to give us His grace. Fortunately, God loves sending us grace, but if He wants to abstain in sending it, we can’t make Him send it.
If we pray, attend the Mass and receive the sacraments, fast, give alms (donate money), do works of mercy, sacrifice and suffer for souls and think for a moment we “deserve” or even expect God’s mercy from our actions, we will be lucky if God sends us any grace that we can accept.
God sends His grace to us out of His love and mercy towards us…not because we deserve it. Sure He likes to reward our efforts to love Him, but if we only knew how imperfect everything we do is, we would clearly see how we deserve nothing. Furthermore, if we think we can manipulate God, oh, how foolish are we!
Without Much Humility, We Won’t Receive Much Grace
Like I said, humility is the number one means to obtain much grace. Outside of baptism, it is the only means forgiving grace is dispensed and the greatest means helping grace is dispensed too. Therefore, if don’t have humility…forgiving mercy simply can’t be obtained. To learn more please read, “How to Gain Humility.”
We must gain humility by:
- understanding of our great sinfulness,
- knowing our true need for mercy (help),
- comprehending how we don’t “deserve” anything from God since we are such great sinners.
If we have a tiny bit of humility, we can accept a tiny bit of grace. If we have great humility our hearts are open and can accept great grace. To be saved we need GREAT GRACE.
However, we need more than just humility to obtain grace…we need a hatred for our sins. Without much contrition and humility combined, we reject much grace. To learn more please read, “How Can I Gain Humility.”
Hearts that are stone–full of pride–can’t accept grace. They are’t absorbent. Therefore, the more humble we become, the more grace (God’s help) we will receive. And if we become perfectly humble, perfectly knowing our littleness/nothingness–we will obtain all of God’s grace and become perfect just like St. Therese of Lisieux was able to achieve.
Therefore, we must grow in much humility so we can seek His mercy from our nothingness, since nothing we do is deserving of His love because all we do is tainted with some amount of self-love (still rejects perfect love from the sin that still lives within). If we allow our pride to get in the way and then we “presume” upon His mercy from our actions to send us grace, thinking we will certainly obtain grace by all of the “good” we do, we won’t receive much, if any help from God at all (depending upon our humility), and never obtain the saving faith we need.
“Oh, Lord from your mercy please look with pity on your wretched servants and if You will, bless us with the help we need to love you more perfectly for we are so weak and in great need of your assistance,” needs to be our plea to God for assistance.
Why do we cry out to God for help? So God can make our lives better on earth. Sure God’s help, will benefit our lives on earth, but that shouldn’t be our driving motive of our plea. We should cry out to God to help us so we can KNOW, SERVE and LOVE HIM more perfectly for the salvation of souls. We need to want God’s help so we can LOVE HIM. That should be the motive of literally every thought, word and deed.
We Can’t Control God
If God from His mercy or justice wills to remove any of our grace, it will be gone too. We can’t control God. God gives the gift and most certainly can take it away if He wishes. Fortunately, God wants to give us grace, and the removal of our grace is from our own rejection. But God doesn’t need to constantly tolerate our blatant rejection of Him and can remove His help from us if He wills.
Sometimes we pray and God doesn’t seem to respond with grace. There are two reasons for that…sometimes it is from our rejection of it and sometimes from God having a greater plan through our patient pursuit of grace. for the greater good (His perfect plan) in the future. Sometimes we hope for grace, like from our prayers, fasts, works and sacrifices, but even if God doesn’t chose to send us grace like we hoped, it is all good. He might be saving it up so we will grow in trust in Him or He might be trying to teach us to look for our sins that is refusing the grace…oh there are many reasons why God doesn’t respond to our plea as we desire, but if we trust in Him, we will look for His guidance and grow in faith and trust. We simply don’t know God’s perfect good plan for our souls. But with that said, our grace is received based on the desires of our heart to accept it whenever God wills to send it.
Without receiving much of God’s mercy (grace) there isn’t hope for Eternal Life since it takes much grace to truly hate all of our sins. Giving us this actual (helping) grace is just one of the ways God shows His love for us by helping us in our daily lives so we can grow in faith to come to believe in Him with a SAVING FAITH–a faith so great we can’t bear offending Him (has true sorrow) and doesn’t fear what God allows to happen, but trusts in God’s will as perfect for us, believing it guides us to Heaven.
God’s love for us is so magnificent. It is an unfathomable love; a love we simply could never fully comprehend the depths of its beauty. Even in our degraded misery, He helps us poor undeserving souls in innumerable ways to assist in obtaining the goal of Eternal Life with Him. Oh, what love! His patience with us is simply immeasurable.
God’s love is incredible. Truly we only need one moment, one act of true love and God floods us with enough grace to bring true contrition upon our souls. But be watchful, since no act we do is meriting of reward if it is done outside of being in the state of grace, and since we all loose/reject God’s sanctifying grace once after our baptism, we obtain “full knowledge” of right from wrong and then desire our first sin–not truly hating nor being truly resolved to stop–which for most was at a young age. We need to spend our entire life growing in faith into the “new man” God commands of us.
Therefore we must obtain habitual grace (being constantly in the state of grace) to have this incredible merciful blessing. But as God the Father has told St. Catherine of Sienna, since the death of His Son, we are now going from bad to worse, inflicting greater injuries upon injuries to God by accepting His sanctifying grace and then abusing Him by ignoring much of His law and not even really trying to love Him, “saying” we love Him with words, thinking we are saved by His grace, when from our lack of true love, from our pride, we have rejected it.
“And I wish you to know, My daughter, that, although I have re-created and restored to the life of grace, the human race, through the Blood of My only-begotten Son, as I have said, men are not grateful, but, going from bad to worse, and from guilt to guilt, even persecuting Me with many injuries, taking so little account of the graces which I have given them, and continue to give them ” (God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna).
The devil has us proudfully professing we are in the state of grace even though we can’t read our souls. We suffer such great blindness and can’t even see our misery. Therefore, we should never assume anything and allow the evil one cause us to think this habitual grace has been welcomed into our souls giving us the presumption of salvation and making us complacent in our sinful ways and lukewarm in our faith. But rather understanding the wonderful mercy God gives those who truly love Him (even for a moment), does lead us to great hope for those who are striving to walk in the Way of the Cross towards Life. Therefore, always aspire to grow in our detestation for sin and true love for God.
However so very few obtain this kind of faith. Unless perfect contrition remains consistent in our souls, from accepting habitual grace, by being constantly mortified over offending God (have true fear of the Lord), we lose saving grace instantly after we have received it. That is because most of us still, at least, have an attachment to our own will (self-love), if not an attachment to many other sins too, and the moment our contrition subsides our self-love rejects God’s saving mercy and we loose our state of grace. However, if someone from such a great love for God, can accept habitual grace and maintain it long enough to do even the smallest single act of true love while being in this state, as an act of great mercy, God will send them so much grace upon their death. As a reward for the smallest act of true love, God will send them immense grace that they will be able to possess perfect contrition at the moment of their death for all of their sins ever committed and accept His sanctifying grace and be saved. Wow! What Mercy!
No Fear of the Lord–We Reject Mercy
I could spend all day speaking about God’s unfathomable mercy He gives to us over and over again as He strives to guide us to a life of joy and Salvation, but God’s saving mercy DOES NOTHING for the soul that doesn’t have “FEAR OF THE LORD.” Why should I speak about all of the help God gives us if we will only refuse it from a lack of fear of the Lord–a lack of faith. That would be senseless. If I could scream this to others, so they would understand this, in order to save their souls, I would. I can’t express how absolutely necessary it is to have “fear of the Lord: a great fear of sin from understanding its horrid consequences. We need a fear so great we would do all in our power to strive to never offend God again. Without it we have no true humility, no true sorrow, and no true love for God and it IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to receive God’s saving mercy!
The world is caught so strongly in the devils trap using misguided love to try to help others, as we talk about how God’s mercy saves us when we are still rejecting it; it is absolutely tragic. I cry many an hour for souls that are being lost (misled) by people only speaking about God’s mercy and never telling them how to obtain it or how it is rejected. They never mention God’s justice and the consequence of sin. God is love and love is mercy and justice combined. Without being terrified of our sins and what it does to God and ourselves, all is lost. “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10 ), without it we are destined to Hell for eternity. If we only speak of mercy and don’t combine it with fear of sin and its real consequences, and how God’s mercy is there to help us avoid the consequences of sin…it leads us way from sins, we are deceiving others and only leading them to their doom. If we don’t speak the truth, we are not loving others but hurting them. Every time mercy is mentioned it needs to be qualified with the truth (justice) especially today since so few actually know what mercy it. Yet, they think it will obtain them heaven. Some think mercy is taking God’ help and forgiveness. But mercy can’t be taken from God. Mercy is given and received only. We can’t take it.
We accept God’s saving mercy ONLY if our hearts are properly disposed from having such a great fear of the Lord (fear of sin) that this fear detests every one of its sins so perfectly, from having wonderful true self-knowledge of our misery that our hearts can finally have true sorrow for our sins out of great love for God. Without true sorrow for our life time of sins from great fear of the Lord, WE REJECT GOD’S SAVING MERCY. We can pray billions of prayers and have bounds of devotions, but if we pray them with a heart of pride, they are worthless.
If we really want to love someone, give them the gift of fear of the Lord…without it we are dead. What is more important than that?