What is God's Grace
without great grace obtaining a saving faith isn't possible
God’s grace–His mercy–is a gift from the Holy Spirit sent to help us in our lives for the salvation of our souls.
There are many ways God loves us through His grace. From God’s great love for us, Jesus didn’t only die to give us sanctifying (saving) forgiving grace at our baptism. No, He taught us, through His Word, how to follow Him so we can grow in our faith, from His grace (helping grace), so we can obtain a “mature [faith] in Christ” (Colossians 1:28) that can keep His amazing gift of saving grace in our souls, because without True belief in Jesus, we still reject saving mercy for sin.
This grace like I said not only comes to us at our baptism, but daily God is sending us grace to help us in our lives so we can grow in trust and peace, towards a saving faith and then perfection. When we receive some of God’s grace and finally hear God calling us to holiness (sanctity), we can use that grace to change our life and follow Jesus to Heaven so we may “attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9).
“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).
Different Kinds of Grace
There are different kinds of grace and so many ways God dispels His grace upon us; it is truly incomprehensible…but I will do my best to name at least some in this article.
This mercy God gives us is really a two part gift:
- Helping mercy
- Forgiving mercy
But both kinds of mercy are given so we can live a wonderful life of joy, obtain Eternal Life and grow into a perfect saint. Everything God does is for this purpose. 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.
There are many different kinds of grace God sends us but to understand how to obtain Salvation and even perfection, I’m only going to focus on the grace I think we need to comprehend to help us obtain those goals. After I speak about God’s grace, I will explain how we can obtain this constant outpouring of help in our lives.
- 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, 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 our first sin. Yes, unlike popular belief, 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 “mortal sins.” 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 (not wanting to do what is necessary to amend any sin and habitually committing it) causes us to not be able to truly repent, 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, it is deadly. To regain this sanctifying grace we need to be saved, we must implore God for much help grow into a saving faith, 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. 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 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 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 helps 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.
- 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 the grace we need to amend our ways, 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 a saving faith. This must change.
We reject God’s mercy–the help He sends–for several reasons:
- ask for His help (grace) for the wrong reasons,
- really desire sin and not God,
- want to take love from God and have no desire to truly love Him in return.
Much of the time we go to God and want help, even in His sacraments, where grace is flowing, but we approach God for selfish reasons and receive no grace. While other times, we will run to God for grace, receive some of it but it vanishes quickly because we don’t want to amend then next sin God seeks for us to amend, on our steps towards perfection. Then we wind up rejecting God’s help for that sin. Every time we seek to abuse God’s mercy–by wanting His help, without wanting to truly love Him (not wanting to stop sinning)–we cause Our Most Tender Loving Lord’s Heart insurmountable anguish. We don’t want to do this.
Our goal is to utilize all of the help (grace) God gives us so we can come to truly hate all of our sins that are killing us, and grow in true love of God with true sorrow for our sins against Him. Then continue to grow into a saint and then perfection (perfect love of God) so we can have a great life of peace on earth and for Eternal Life.
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.
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 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. He loves rewarding us for our efforts to love Him. But if we think we can manipulate God, oh, how foolish are we!
Without Much Humility, We Won’t Receive Much Grace
There is one means (outside of baptism) that we receive God’s transforming grace (actual or saving) and that is by means of 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.
Hearts that are stone–full of pride–can’t accept grace. 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–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 and there are two reasons for that…sometimes 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?
How to Obtain Much Grace
God has provided us with bounds of ways to obtain grace so much grace if we perused God’s love properly we could receive so much over flowing grace it would fill us up and pour out to others. God’s mercy in incredible. The greatest way we obtain God’s mercy is
Being in the state of grace–having God’s saving grace within our souls upon our death–is our life’s goal. This is what we spend our entire time on earth hoping to accept, at least, at the hour of our death. From the time we recognize Jesus as Lord, we need to seek out God’s mercy (grace) so we can grow in our faith to learn how to truly love Him and accept God’s sanctifying (saving) grace with-in our souls and be welcomed into Heaven upon our death.
What is Divine Mercy