Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Lesson in Sanctifying Grace

I've been hearing this phrase "sanctifying grace" a lot lately and I have a basic understanding of what it means but I'm feeling nudged (or as my friend Sue says, "God's whispering)  to learn more... and I'm glad I did.  

"Sanctifying grace is an abiding (habitual) or permanent grace, which we gain by baptism, and lose only by mortal sin. By Adam 's sin all mankind lost the friendship of God; that is, we are born in original sin, without sanctifying grace. Our Lord's death won back sanctifying grace for us; it is granted freely at Baptism."

The importance of this is obvious... it makes us holy and pleasing to God because we are free of mortal sin.  This is the gift God gave us in Baptism and continues to do so through the sacraments.  By sanctifying grace the Holy Spirit enters our souls to impart God's graces to us.  It strengthens us but doesn't free us from temptation to sin.  We still have an ongoing battle to resist our worldly desires and follow Christ. 

Can you imagine living life without sanctifying grace?

It sounds horrible but many of us probably are living this life.  And if we are, what happens when we die?  If we do not die in a state of grace?

The church teaches us that mortal sin, by it's very nature, kills our soul by destroying the sanctifying grace within us.  So then we must ask, what is mortal sin? 

St. Paul gave us a long list, he said  "Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-20)

Wow, when I look at this list and view the world around me, I can't help but wonder... how different our world would be if we understood and accepted this gift from the Holy Spirit and acted on it.  I'm not pointing fingers because I'm looking at myself here and thinking, how different I would be if I understood and accepted this gift... how have I offended God?  What mortal sins are on my soul that I need to confess?

My blogging friends, please pray for me that I allow the Holy Spirit to work within me so I can be the child God called me to be.

God Bless,


  1. Noreen,

    I think after a while of sin eroding away at the sanctifying grace, we can forget about the process and just let it happen. I've found the times when I have received frequent confession to wash the sin away are the same times when I can better feel the effect sin has on me. (And, typing this I am reminded that I have been lax on going to confession and wonder if it isn't part of my problem with mood and attitude lately.)

    Praying for you to accept the work of the Holy Spirit and follow where He leads.

  2. Wonderful reflection, Noreen. The older I get and more I learn about our faith, the more I am in love with reconciliation! Christ's peace and love to you through our grace-filled Sacraments:-)

  3. Beautiful reflections Noreen! Thank you for sharing this post on NOBH! Understanding and accepting the gift of grace is something that I continue to struggle with, but your great post has given me greater insight. God bless and may the Holy Spirit lead you on a more faith-filled journey toward Heaven!

  4. Thank you ladies! I finally can comment on blogs (including my own)now that I've updated to Google Chrome.

    Laura - I'm in complete agreement with you. We can be so busy that we put those promptings aside and we slip down that slippery slope away from Jesus.

    Tiffany - I'm like you about learning more as I grow older. I'm not sure why that happened that way for me but it did. I'm grateful for this opportunity to grow in faith now though.

    Tracy - I haven't been able to comment on your blog for some time now but I'm back up and running so I will visit soon!