Accepting His Sanctifying Grace

Virtually every rational human being accepts as axiomatic the absolute necessity to belong, to exist within the context of a community, to depend, in even a small way, on the existence of others. This associative dependence is an essential element of our humanity, gifted to us by God, a vital ingredient of our well-being. The English poet John Donne wrote “No man is an island, Entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main” and Joan Baez sang “No man is an island, No man stands alone, Each man’s joy is joy to me, Each man’s grief is my own.

Alone with God

Alone with God

God created us to depend on one another, to rely on one another for help and support. After God created man “The Lord God said: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him” [Gn 2:18]. God recognized from the very beginning, that His creation was not designed to be a solitary creature; that man could not long survive without companionship, without relationships with others.

Thus we recognize and admit that our human nature is fundamentally a social nature, designed for interdependence with others: family, friends, neighbors, tribes, communities, nations, and humanity in its entirety.

Man’s arrogance and disobedience to God’s covenant resulted in the loss of sanctification and an estrangement from God’s presence and without God’s help man’s salvation would be forever lost.

Despite our inclination to sin, God loves us and desires for us to love Him and to ultimately dwell with Him for all eternity. And so, He gifts us graces to help us regain the sanctification that was lost through our own sin.

Salvation demands a soul that is filled with sanctifying grace, “an habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by His love.” [CCC 2000] “It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism.” [CCC 1999] And as Saint Paul describes it “whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation” [2 Cor 5:17‑18].

When we are born, our souls, because of the stain of original sin, are unprepared for heaven. What is missing is the sanctifying grace from God that is “infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it” [CCC 1999]. It is through the Sacrament of Baptism that our souls first become sanctified and it is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation that we can regain sanctification when we commit mortal sin. There is nothing that we can do on our own to sanctify our soul. It is a supernatural gift from God and only through His boundless love and forgiveness can we receive it.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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