Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Wonder of Sanctifying Grace

When we think of the words sanctifying grace, we often just think of the written definition in our catechism book. After learning it is God’s grace dwelling within our soul, most of the time it ends there. I would like to share with you some great thoughts about sanctifying grace that I have found in the book, “He Dwells in Your Soul,” by Bede Jarrett.

God’s Nearness towards Us – When we are in sanctifying grace, God is in the core of our being. Of course He is everywhere, but He is especially present within our souls when we are in the state of grace. The book says that, “In my prayers, in my troubles, in my temptations, I have to turn to God, not without, but within; not to someone above or beneath me, supporting me, but right at the core of my being.” So this union between our souls and God is like the union in the Holy Eucharist. The union between our souls and Our Lord in Holy Communion is a great blessing and is the greatest union we can have with Him on earth, but when our souls are in the state of grace, the Blessed Trinity is constantly, at every moment, dwelling in our souls. He is our closest friend, watching and protecting us. Who shall we fear when we have the almighty God within our soul?

Grace gives Us Faith – On our own, we have an intellect and reason. With this intellect we can prove that God exists. But with sanctifying grace, we are given the gift of Faith. Faith gives us the ability to accept the truths of God, because God said them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. The books states that, “I do not deduce by faith what God is like, but I know what He is like from His description of Himself.” In Romans, Chapter 8 Verse 16, it speaks of Faith, “For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God.”

Faith leads to Love – When we have knowledge of that which is good, we begin to love it. Faith leads us to something even greater – love. When a souls returns love to God, he enters friendship with Him. Friendship is not what we can get out of the other person, but what we can give because we love. In God loving us, who dwells within our soul with an infinite love, He gives us all that we need, not because He needs us, but because He loves us and desires to reflect His infinite goodness through us.

A Foretaste of Heaven – The only difference between our souls now when we are in sanctifying grace and in heaven is merely accidental. It is as if a veil is lifted from something we have always possessed. The book states that, “When I step outside the confessional after due repentance and the absolution of the priest, I am in a state of grace. At once, then, this blessed union takes effect. Within me is the Holy Spirit, dwelling there – sent, given. As the object of knowledge, He can be experienced by me in a personal and familiar way. I can know Him even as I am known. As the object of love, He becomes my friend, stooping to my level, lifting me to His. At once, then, although still in a merely rudimentary way, the glories of my ultimate reward can dawn upon me. Even upon earth, I have already crossed the threshold of Heaven.”

What a great privilege God has given to us, to dwell within our souls! Let us contemplate this mystery, and become more aware of His loving presence every day. God bless you all and Our Lady protect!

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