Sunday, October 7, 2018

Reason no. 6 why I remain Catholic: Grace

Where would we be without grace? Grace is like this image of delicate beautiful flowers set upon the harsh background of rough wood. We are the rough wood and the delicate flowers are the grace God give us.

Grace is amazing because it lifts us up from our human poverty and brings us to a place of mercy; a place where God meets us and says I want you to live with me in eternity.

There are a few types of grace. But without getting into too much theological explanation, I will touch upon how grace helps me to live my faith.

I don't want to share false humility here but without grace I am nothing.

I struggle! I struggle with my impatience. I struggle with my temper and I struggle with myself. I am my own worst enemy and truthfully I am my own stumbling block to receiving God's grace.

One of the graces that God gives us is sanctifying grace. This grace dwells in our soul. It's a free gift God gives us, we just have to take care of it and nurture it. Sanctifying grace is our ticket to heaven. Without it our soul is incapable of dwelling in heaven, in total communion with God.

So God gives us this grace and then of course, we mess up. We lose our temper. We lose our patience. We speak badly about others. We do not trust in God. The list goes on and on. The worst of these is mortal sin. This totally deadens our soul to this sanctifying grace. But, God then gives us actual grace, or a swift "supernatural kick in the pants. It gets the will and intellect moving so we can seek out and keep sanctifying grace."

So then we go to confession. We seek God's forgiveness, our soul receives sanctifying grace and there we go, as humans do, doing this over and over again. Some people would then argue, what's the point. Haven't we done this with your own mother? Didn't you mess up, talk back, lie or not give her the respect she deserves and then ask for forgiveness? Did we not do this over and over again? Do we not continue to ask for forgiveness in all of our relationships? Without forgiveness where would we be?

Well that forgiveness, that mercy, gives us the chance at our ticket to heaven: sanctifying grace. I see how that grace has changed my heart many times over. I still have a long way to go. I still struggle. I struggle big time. The only perfection that lies in me is God's grace and my desire for it. But "sanctification isn't just a one-time event, but an ongoing process in the life of the believer."

Grace is what guides us on the path to sanctification (aka holiness). Grace is our ticket to heaven. Without grace I am nothing. Grace is a treasure and it's another reason I remain Catholic.

Disclaimer: photo courtesy of Theodoros Douloumpekis @ unsplash

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