holy card image re-printed with loving permission from "Holy Cards for Your Inspiration"
. ". . . and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. amen"
Hello dear friends in Christ,
How many of us can remember all of the teachings that were presented to us when we were younger regarding our Catholic faith? I know that I simply cannot pull it all out of my brain, even though what I learned didn't even scratch the surface of the depths of our Catholic Faith! I can't explain why; I just can't remember it all! My mother said it's because only so much could have been taught to us as children because our little minds could not grasp it all. I don't think that we as adults can grasp it all either; but it is such joy to learn more and more each day!
I remember that I was taught with the Baltimore Cathecism and I cannot forget the words that my classmates and I (in parochial school) would continually say:
"God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart. We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Catholic Church, through which God speaks to us."
But without that being constantly spoken or heard, those words set aside years ago. I'm so glad that they have been brought to my attention once again. The new Catechism states the same, but in different words. Yet as children, in the Baltimore, we MEMORIZED those words.
I've been thinking about 'sanctifying grace' lately, what it is and why we need it so very much. Sanctifying grace:
- is a free gift from God, through Christ's death;
- is supernatural;
- we need it for our salvation (to return to God as mentioned above);
- we cannot enter Heaven without it;
- it 'confers in our souls' a new life; a supernatural life that allows us to share in God's life;
- we are not born with it because we are born with original sin;
- we receive it freely through the Holy Spirit;
- when we are Baptised in the Catholic Church, through which our souls become holy and pleasing to God;
- and we become adopted sons and daughters of God;
- God lives in our soul through the Holy Spirit;
- we lose it through mortal sin (1-an act of grievous nature, 2-which we fully know to be mortally sinful, and yet 3-we commit anyway, with full consent of our will);
- without it God is lost from our souls and the devil gains our souls;
- without it we are enemies of God and cannot enter His kingdom of Heaven;
- without mortal sin, we are in a state of grace, necessary to enter Heaven;
- the Holy Spirit lives within us in the state of sanctifying grace and we have a new nature;
- and we become temples of God;
- yet due to original sin, we will still have the tendency to sin, through human imperfection;
- yet it strengthens our will to avoid further sin;
- which then, in turn, expands our heart and influences us to do more good,
- which brings us increased merit for heaven; without sanctifying grace, we can gain no merits;
- by doing so we are increasingly attracted to God;
- we increasingly know and love God;
- if we lose it, we can only regain it through the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) by confessing our sins to a Catholic priest with true contrition, sorrow and a firm resolve and commitment not to repeat the sin; and finally, by making an act of perfect contrition (a prayer of sorrow for offending God because He is infinitely good and worthy of all our love.)
- if in the state of mortal sin, we cannot receive Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (Communion), even if we made an act of perfect contrition);
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