What does it do?
Published on July 3, 2010 By lulapilgrim In Religion

On another Blog, a JUser asked:  Now if you would, tell me what you think "grace" is.

Yes, I’m glad to tell you what I know about Grace.

There are two kinds: supernatural or sanctifying Grace and actual grace, but first some background.

God is the author of the Salvation plan and the first Source of our holiness through which our souls are sanctified. God created us to be with Him in eternal life.  Scripture has it that nothing defiled will enter into heaven and in order for us to enter heaven we must be be holy and unspotted in His sight.  Now, we can't be made holy according to our own will, we must be so according to God's will.

Scripture teaches from eternity, God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God decrees to call  mankind to share this eternal divine life. In Divine love, which we cannot fathom, God wills to beatify human beings by lifting them above their human nature to a new life.  Of these, God will give the name of children. By nature, God has only one Son; by love, He wills to have an innumerable multitude…that is the grace of supernatural adoption.

This perfection was realized in our first parents, Adam and Eve, who were endowed by God with sanctifying grace and with other preternatural gifts that were dependent upon their obedience to a moral command and threatened with death if they disobeyed. By their grevious original sin they fell from grace, loss their sanctity (original holiness) and as head of the human race, consequences would follow for all mankind.

This decree of Love is restored by God’s Infinite Justice, Mercy, Wisdom and  Goodness. The Son Who dwells eternally in the Father, unites Himself in time to a human nature…the wonderful mystery of the Incarnation, the Word made Flesh who is called Jesus, the Christ.

St.Paul compares the transgression  of Adam with the grace of Christ’s Redemption. “As by the offense of one,  unto all men to condemnation; so also by the justice of One, unto all men to justification of life. For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of One, many shall be made just.” Rom. 5:18-19.

So, the same Divine life which proceeds from the Father into the Son and from the Son into the humanity of Jesus will circulate through Christ, with Christ and in Christ in all who will accept Him. It will draw them to the Father where Christ has gone before us, after having paid with His Blood the price of this Divine gift of supernatural life (Grace).   

So, all holiness (sanctity) consists of this: to receive the Divine life from Christ and keep this Divine life and increase it unceasingly by an ever more perfect adhesion.   Holiness is a mystery of Divine life communicated in God from the Father by the Son who sends the Holy Spirit to humanity. Some people are holier than others. The more we adhere to God by detaching ourselves from all that is not God or of God, the more this adhesion to holiness is made stable and firm.

Next...how does Almighty God fulfill His plan and design by which He wills us to have a part in this supernatural life and cause us to enter into His friendship so we might enter into His heavenly family.

The answer to my last question is by adopting us as His children.

Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed upon us through the merits of Christ's Passion and Death and is absolutely necessary for our salvation.

God gives us a share in His nature which we call "Grace". Grace is real. Grace is an interior quality produced in us by God inherent in the soul, adorning it and making it pleasing to God. Same thing in the natural domain....beauty and strength are qualities of the body, genius is quality of the mind, loyalty and courage are qualities of the heart.

Sanctifying grace abides in our soul. It's what makes the soul holy. It gives the soul supernatural life. God's Grace is supernatural life. By His gift of grace, God gives us a share in His Divine nature and adopts us as His children and we become heirs to heaven.

Actual grace by contrast, doesn't live in the soul but is a supernatural help of God which acts upon the soul, enlightens our mind, and strengthens our will to do good and avoid evil. Actual grace is transient... that is, it's given to us only when we need it like to perform a good act or to overcome a temptation. 

God always give us sufficient grace to be saved. A true Christian should view his whole life in the light of grace. All God's gifts granted for man's salvation are Graces.


Comments
on Jul 03, 2010

Because sinners need to rise from sin, every one receives grace from God. Unfortunately, we can resist the grace of God for our will is free and God doesn't force us to accept His Grace.

on Jul 08, 2010

Whisper2 posts:

Interesting answers both of you, and as interesting as they are, they are just as contrary.

You've spoken of grace, but you've not explained what grace is. All that I've gotten from both of you is that grace exists. From one, it was a gift given by Jesus that washes away all sin, past, present and future, just for believing in Jesus's existance. From the other, it must be earned and there are varying degrees of it, and it is something real that it adorns the soul, making it pleasing to God. Wasn't the soul that God originally gave to man, pleasing in it's own right? Or are you telling me that God gave man a soul that really didn't please God?

What I want to know is what it is, how it is obtained, because according to revelations not everyone will posess it, and the steps that are necessary to take that will lead one to it. As Jesus said there would be many that shall say that they knew him, but Jesus will deny that they ever did. In other words is faith in the existance of the man enough?

 

on Jul 08, 2010

 

Interesting answers both of you, and as interesting as they are, they are just as contrary.

Actually we both agree Grace is a gift of God. KFC calls Grace "unmerited favor".

From one, it was a gift given by Jesus that washes away all sin, past, present and future, just for believing in Jesus's existance.

This is KFC's definition.

 

From the other, it must be earned

Where does this come from?

In my article  I wrote,

Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed upon us through the merits of Christ's Passion and Death and is absolutely necessary for our salvation.

 

Whisper2 posts:

and there are varying degrees of it, and it is something real that it adorns the soul, making it pleasing to God.

Yes.

 

 

 

on Jul 08, 2010

Wasn't the soul that God originally gave to man, pleasing in it's own right? Or are you telling me that God gave man a soul that really didn't please God?

Regarding your first question.....

Yes. absolutely. Genesis tells us that all of God's creation was very good (and therefore pleasing). Genesis 1:27 "And God created man to His own image: to the image of God He created him: male and female He created them".This image of God in man is not in the body, but in the soul which is a spiritual substance endued with understanding and free will. 

and 2:7 gives us more information about the creation of the first man...that God directly created Adam's immortal soul.

"And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul."

Adam and Eve's soul remained perfect, very pleasing to God as long as they were obedient and kept His commands.

I referred to this in my article....

This perfection was realized in our first parents, Adam and Eve, who were endowed by God with the gift of sanctifying Grace and with other preternatural gifts such as freedom from concupiscense as well as freedom from pain, disease and death. These gifts from God were dependent upon their obedience to His moral command and threatened with death if they disobeyed. By their grevious original sin they fell from Grace, that is they lost their sanctity (original holiness). Adam and Eve through their offense underwent a complete change for the worse in body and soul. And as head of the human race, consequences would follow for all mankind.

Regarding your second question.....

 

God creates our soul at the very moment when it is united to the human body produced at our generation at conception. But becasue all mankind inherits the Orginal Sin of Adam and Eve, when we are conceived, our soul is stained with Original Sin.

The antithesis of Grace is sin and Original Sin is the death of the soul.

................................................

Romans 5:12-18, "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men in whom all have sinned."

 

 

 

on Jul 09, 2010



Whisper2 posts:

What I want to know is what it is, how it is obtained, because according to revelations not everyone will posess it, and the steps that are necessary to take that will lead one to it.

Adam and Eve committed the first sin which we call Original Sin. By this first sin, they lost sanctifying grace which was the life of their soul as well as the immortality of their fleshly body. Adam's sin with all its effects was transmitted to the whole human race. We are all born with Original Sin on our soul and therefore cannot enter into Heaven because Original Sin is "the death" of our eternal soul.

 Just before God cast Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise into the misery of the outside world, He gave them the promise of a Redeemer.  The thought that by their sin, they had condemned themselves to eternal ruin would have driven them to despair had not God awakened in their hearts the hope of a coming Savior. We can see by this how God was punishing them in mercy so as to save his soul and make him eternally happy with Him in Heaven.

 And this is where Almighty God's supernatural gift of His own Grace comes in. Grace of God is God giving us a share of his own supernatural life.  Grace is bestowed upon us through the merits of Christ's Passion and Death on the Cross and is absolutely necessary for us to attain eternal life.

Grace is necessary for the beginning of the supernatural virtue of Faith. Grace is necessary for the just man topersevere in the grace he already received. Grace is necessary for him to avoid all sin. 

St.Paul teaches the necessity of Grace for salutary thoughts, resolves and actions.

All right thinking is from God. "Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God." 2Cor. 3:5.

The righteous will must rest on the Divine Mercy. "So that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that shows mercy." Rom. 9:16.

The righteous action from beginning to end is from God. "It is God who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish." Phil 2:13.

And in 1Cor. 15:10, he ascribes all his virtue and wonderful results of his work to the Grace of God.

And with all this, St.Paul is merely repeating the teaching of Jesus who said: "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me......without Me you can do nothing." St.John 15:4-5.

on Jul 10, 2010

sooooo you're proselytizing your RCC faith to Whisper without him even being here?   

I've never seen anyone do this on JU before Lula. 

on Jul 12, 2010

What makes you think that I am not here?  Lulapilgrim proselytizes her faith no more than you proselytize yours KFC.  I can see that you don't recognize that trait in yourself however, only in others.

I've been reading and considering your posts and what you are saying in them lulapilgrim.  It's taken a while to digest all that you've said.

Tell me just what preternatural gifts did Adam and Eve possess?  I see no such gifts written of in Genesis.

What makes you think that any innocent babe is born with the stain of original sin upon it?  What makes you think that it (original sin) isn't a given thing, given by parents and society in general?   

If it is so that original sin is disobedience to God then it must indeed be so that Adam was created also with original sin within him, and Eve of man was also born with original sin since they are the begining of disobedience.  That all leads up to original sin being given by God to God's creations since there was only God as the creator, and they were in God's sight perfect.   Is disobedience perfection? 

Now of course one can count the "Lord God" in the mix as being the giver of disobedience in the second creation since the Lord God doesn't say that his creation is perfect in his sight.  However we both know that you feel that they are one in the same God and the Lord God.  So it must be said that God created perfect and then turned around and recreated imperfect?  Even I have a hard time swallowing this one.

on Jul 12, 2010

ok, then...let the fun begin! 

on Jul 12, 2010

Lula posts:

Adam and Eve's soul remained perfect, very pleasing to God as long as they were obedient and kept His commands.

I referred to this in my article....

This perfection was realized in our first parents, Adam and Eve, who were endowed by God with the gift of sanctifying Grace and with other preternatural gifts such as freedom from concupiscense as well as freedom from pain, disease and death. These gifts from God were dependent upon their obedience to His moral command and threatened with death if they disobeyed. By their grevious original sin they fell from Grace, that is they lost their sanctity (original holiness). Adam and Eve through their offense underwent a complete change for the worse in body and soul. And as head of the human race, consequences would follow for all mankind.

WHISPER2 POSTS:

Tell me just what preternatural gifts did Adam and Eve possess? I see no such gifts written of in Genesis.

God said: let us make man to our image and likeness and give him dominion over all living things and over the whole earth. He then formed a perfect human body, breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.  So by what means did man become a living being and receive his nature (both natural and supernatural)? God breathed a soul into the human body. The soul is the cause of the body's life for without it the body cannot live. When the soul is separated from the body the body dies.

We begin to understand something about these gifts that God conferred upon Adam and Eve when we read that God created them in His "image and likeness" and man became a living "soul".

Man is the pinnacle of God's creation becasue he's created to the image of God and I have already mentioned this a bit in #4.

Since man is created to the image of God, that is, by his soul, we are therefore like unto God. This "likeness" is twofold..a natural and supernatural one..that's why Genesis uses, "image and likeness". So to a certain degree, "likeness" signifies a degree of resemblance of man to God. The image and likeness of man to God consists in this, that man has a spirtiual soul, which not only makes his body alive, but is also immortal, gifted with reason (sometimes called intellect) and free will.

By these 3 qualities, our immortal soul is in a measure like unto God Who is Eternal, whose intelligence is Infinite and Supreme, and whose Will is infinitely free. These gifts since they belong to the nature of the soul cannot be lost by it, though they can be marred and disfigured.

Adam and Eve's supernatural likeness to God consisted in those gifts which do not belong to his human nature, but soar far above it, for which reason they are called supernatural gifts. The chief among these gifts was sanctifying or Divine Grace, where the Holy Ghost dwelt in their soul and made them children of God and heirs to the kingdom of Heaven. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit carried many other gifts such as the 3 virtues of faith, hope and charity as well as the 7 gifts of HS (Is. 11:2-3) which produce good fruits Gal.5:22. These gifts also include freedom from ignorance, sorrow, and having evil desires and incliniations (consupiscence.)

Just as Almighty God had gifted the Angels with free will and like them, He gave Adam and Eve a probation time in which they had to undergo. As long as our first parents remained in a state of sanctifying Grace (Original Holiness and Justice), the body which is the dwelling place of the immortal soul, also possessed extraordinary gifts as well. There was no sickness and no need of work..they would not have died, but would have been translated, body and soul, from the earthly to the eternal heavenly paradise.

These free gifts of God to Adam and Eve are called Original Justice (OJ). OJ is a condition of human nature in which all of man's powers, that is his sense appetite, reason and free will act in perfect harmony with one another and in subjection to God. Through the gift of OJ, Adam's will and reason were properly subjected to God in Grace. His sense appetite was always under control of reason and wiill and his reason and will were subject to God. Consequently, Adam and Eve were perfect and fully equipped to pursue the Vision of God. Had they remained faithful, this same harmony would have been passed on to all his descendents as a gift of Grace to human nature. But he failed and so he lost this gift of OJ for himself and for all his descendants.

 

on Jul 12, 2010

What makes you think that any innocent babe is born with the stain of original sin upon it? What makes you think that it (original sin) isn't a given thing, given by parents and society in general?

Becasause we have God's Word for it.

The sin of Adam's disobedience to God caused sinfulness in the whole human race. His sin has made all mankind sinful.   In so far as all mankind take their origin from Adam, (including Eve), Adam's Original Sin (OS) is passed down to all his descendants in all generations by way of human generation.

The answer to your question lies in the fact that in God's plan Adam was the head of the whole human race both naturally and spiritually. In God's plan we are all contained physically in Adam, that is we are all from the seed of Adam. This applies to the spiritual order as well. God gave Adam certain spiritual gifts which were to descend to all his posterity. If Adam were to remain faithful, they were to be passed on. But he sinned and as a result each human person who is born comes into the world without the original supernatural gifts that God gave the race in Adam.

It's the absence of these gifts (Original Justice) which we call Original Sin that each innocent baby is born with. The lack of OJ is the only sin we inherit from Adam. And furthermore this sin effects all of us equally. Just as death is equal in all who are dead, for they all lack life, so Original Sin is equal in all since they all lack Original Justice. In other words, in every one who is born, there is the same lack of harmony and order between man in relation to God.

OS is a disorder in the soul of man. It is like a disease in human nature that every one of us is born with. Our human nature is ill-disposed...out of order.  Our sense appetitie is struggling with our reason and free will.   This lack of order in sense appetitie is commonly called concupiscence.

It follows then that since sin is concerned principally with the will, then individual man falls into personal sin, either mortal or venial.

 

 

 

 

on Jul 14, 2010

There are two kinds: supernatural or sanctifying Grace and actual grace,

Up to now, I've focused upon the gift of supernatural or sanctifying Grace which makes the soul holy.

Actual Grace is a supernatural aid by which God enlightens the minds and assists the will to help them towards everlasting life. Actual grace and the stirring of the will may be given immediately, (No man cometh to Me except the Father....draw him,..") or mediately, like the times in which we read Scripture or hear a sermon, or from a joy or even from a sorrow, a dream, a sunset. or a song, etc.

These heavenly inspirations of Grace make the will incline toward God and we are free to either accept or reject the arousal.

Actual grace is required that we might be strengthened at the time of conflict for we, always inclined to sin (concupiscence) are having an interior struggle.   Rom. 7:14-20.

We need God's help (actual grace) if we are to persevere in virtue and avoid sin in thoughts, words and deeds. 

 

on Jul 21, 2010

whisper2 posts:

If it is so that original sin is disobedience to God then it must indeed be so that Adam was created also with original sin within him, and Eve of man was also born with original sin since they are the begining of disobedience.

Genesis tells us that God created everything, including the first man and woman, "were very good".  

God did not/could not create sin because that would contradict His Goodness. Sin, remember, is an offense against God or breaking His laws.

God created us and has the right to lay down laws according to which we must conduct ourselves. If we do not obey those laws, we sin against God.

We read in Genesis that God commanded Adam not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil threatening him with death if he disobeyed and that Adam did disobey this express command. So right here we know that Adam wasn't created with this sin. 

The eating of the fruit was a trivial thing, but God made it a test of loyalty and love of Him. Adam's sin of pride and disobedience was grevious. The fruit of that tree would not communicate knowledge to them, but where before they had not known the evil of sin, they now had the sad knowledge of what it meant to be at variance with God. Their violation of God's prohibition  was an implicit blasphemy and a denial of God's right to dictate their conduct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

on Jul 21, 2010

Whisper2 posts:

That all leads up to original sin being given by God to God's creations since there was only God as the creator, and they were in God's sight perfect. Is disobedience perfection?

And this brings us back to understanding Grace.....for Original Sin is a deprivation of sanctifying Grace. 

Actual sin is a deliberate personal transgression of God's law. But Original Sin which all mankind inherits, does not mean that one has personally transgressed against God. 

There is a vast difference between nature and Grace. We are all born with a human nature and grace is a gift or quality over and above our human nature. Now, our human nature is fitted to know God only by deduction from created things. Yet, God in His Goodness, chose to give us what is in no way due to us,.....the supernatural destiny to see Him in Heaven and the grace to attain this Vision.

He promised this to Adam, and provided Adam were faithful, to all his children (mankind). In this supernatural matter, He regarded Adam as the father of the whole human race. Adam failed and he and his children were deprived of this supernatural destiny and of the gift of sanctifying Grace. 

This deprivation of Grace is Original Sin. It's called sin in so far as we lack that quality which renders us pleasing in God's sight as heirs to the Vision of Himself in Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

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