It’s Day 263!!
So is it GRACE or is it FREE WILL?
It is the paradoxical mystery where we could not do this without grace
We need to be free when we are doing this
WE NEED BOTH!!
Does grace override our free will?
Grace gives our free will the ability to truly be free and say YES to what we are made for
Concupiscence and sin get in the way of that
Because of that, we are not able to say YES to God without His grace
Sacramental graces are proper to each of the different sacraments
There are also special graces called CHARISMS
This is a Greek term meaning favor, gratuitous gift, benefit
Think of the gift of tongues or miracles as examples
They are all oriented towards sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church
They are meant to build up the body
These gifts are not just meant for us to become holier in
Yes, if we are saying yes to God, we are becoming holy
They are given so that the Church, the Body of Christ, may be built up
And so that other people can know of God’s goodness and His love for them so that they, too, can participate in the divine life
THere are also graces of state
These are graces that accompany the exercise of responsibility in Christian life and ministries within the Church
So there we have it!!
Paragraph 2002 says, “God’s free initiative demands man’s free response, for God has created man in his image by conferring on him, along with freedom, the power to know him and love him…”
To say YES to love, we need to be FREE
We cannot love unless we are free
We cannot say yes freely without the power to be able to say no
God made you with a longing for truth and a longing for goodness that ONLY He can satisfy
St. Augustine said, “Late have I loved you, beauty so old and new. Late have I loved you. And see, you within. And I was in the external world and sought you there. And in my unlovely state, I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me. And I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called, and cried out loud, and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent. You put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant. And I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me. And I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.”
God made us for this goodness and beauty that we CANNOT ATTAIN ON OUR OWN
NO CREATED THING WILL SATISFY!!
We have this appetite
Fr. Mike is re-reading St. Augustine’s quote so let’s listen…
So is this keeping me from God or is it bringing me closer to God?
We can treat all of God’s created things as idols in our lives
They can keep us from God
All created things that God has made are good
All these things would not exist had they not had their existence in God
It is about treating things appropriately and using things wisely
Paragraph 2002 continues, “The soul only enters freely into the communion of love. God immediately touches and directly moves the heart of man. He has placed in man a longing for truth and goodness that only he can satisfy…”
Paragraph 2003 says, “Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning ‘favor,’ ‘gratuitous gift,’ ‘benefit.’ Whatever their character-sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues-charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.”
All that Jesus makes actual, the Holy Spirit makes possible
The Holy Spirit justifies us and makes us right with the Lord and sanctifies us and makes us holy like the Lord
What is one of the graces of the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Charisms can be given to us in an even subtle way
These graces come down like dew on a meadow
They can also be at other times unnoticeable
Paragraph 2005 says, “Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved. However, according to the Lord’s words-‘Thus you will know them by their fruits’-reflection on God’s blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an even greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty. A pleasing illustration of this attitude is found in the reply of St. Joan of Arc to a question posed as a trap by her ecclesiastical judges: ‘Asked if she knew that she was in God’s grace, she replied: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.’”
We can’t feel grace
We can’t taste grace
We can’t sense grace
Grace can only be known by faith
Grace belongs to the supernatural order
We need to know the fruits of grace
When it comes to making an examination of conscience, reflect on God’s blessings in our lives and in the lives of the saints
This offers a guarantee, in some ways, that grace is at work in us
This reflection is important for us
This is not us working our way to Heaven
This is not working for our salvation
It is a sign that we are walking with Christ that there should be some fruit there
Sometimes the fruit is not what we want in our lives
All of us have different temperaments and personalities
Your level of joy might not look how you think it should look or how it looks on someone else
We also have different limitations like physical illnesses, mental illness, emotional damage in our hearts and minds
We can have fruits like joy and peace and still be sick
You may have supernatural peace and supernatural joy and still suffer from anxiety and depression
Because grace looks different on everyone
Think of the difference between Tigger and Eeyore like Fr. Mike says, listen to him…
The kind of trust that St. Joan of Arc is necessary for every single one of us
God knows our weaknesses
God knows whether we are walking in grace or outside of His grace
Grace is amazing
God’s supernatural life dwells inside of you right now
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!