How to Recognize Grace

grace2Grace. What is it? What does it mean? How do you get it and how do you KNOW you got it?

Honestly, I don’t know the answers to these questions. I have no way of describing something I don’t understand BUT believe deeply in my soul that it exists. How do you get these graces? Sanctifying grace is IN your soul. It’s the free and underserved gift from God. Actual grace would come from our knowledge and belief of all things right and wrong – following the Ten Commandments, making sure we follow a path that is pure and justified. Justified means to be sinless, and to be sinless means you are in favor with God. When you are baptized you are sinless and therefore have favor with God. When you go to reconciliation, you are once again sinless and in favor with God. You are in a state of grace. Once sanctifying grace is in your soul, you can increase it by every good action you do – receiving Communion, saying prayers, performing corporal works of Mercy. The most important thing to think about is NOT what you are going to do or how you are going to do it but to recognize God’s love. The reason you can do any good work is because God LOVES YOU FIRST in Grace. You must continually seek God’s grace, continually respond to the actual graces God is working within you, inclining you to turn to Him and do good.

Have I answered the question as to what Grace is? I’ve read through all the study guides provided to me and compiled all the information, but I don’t believe that I’ve properly explained what Grace is.

To me Grace is a feeling. Sometimes it’s butterflies in the stomach, and it takes my breath away. I feel this way every time I think of my husband. We met and married 38 years ago. I see God’s grace in our meeting, getting married, and living our life together as husband and wife. Sometimes it’s a jolt, like an electric shock and then an overwhelming wave of love, like the enormous amount of love I felt when I held my first baby in my arms for the first time. This happened again with my 2nd and 3rd child, and then God blessed us with twins to make 4 and 5. Then sometimes it feels like a raging fight going on inside me, making hard decisions that breaks my heart in two. I have no power to stop things from happening and my only recourse is just to constantly pray. Mostly it’s a feeling of ultimate peace and an over-whelming calmness that comes over me at different times during the day when God allows me glimpses of HIS love for me: when my dog and cat are doing something cute together; when I see the birds eating the seed I put out for them; when a certain little girl comes over to the house and calls me “Grandma”. I just breathe a sigh of thanksgiving and relax in the comfort of His hand.

More Reading:

What is Grace?

Where does Grace come from?

The Different Types of Grace

“What Makes us Catholic?” Topic Sheet: Grace