The Different Types of Grace

There are several different types of graces.

Sanctifying Grace perfects the soul itself to enable you to live with God, to act by His Love. The perfecting of your soul is sometimes referred to as “the state of grace”. It’s an ongoing power or control to live and act in keeping with God’s call. Sanctifying grace stays in your soul. It’s what makes your soul holy. It’s what makes your soul immortal. Your soul is “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:24) Of course we are still human. God gave us “free will”, so we are still tempted by sin, but God removes the sins we have – much like a mom will wash the dirt off a child who goes out and gets dirty again. We sin, we’re sorry, we repent, we get grace, and we go back out and do it all over again.

Habitual Grace is the permanent disposition to live and act in keeping with God’s call, a supernatural push or encouragement, whether at the beginning of conversion or in the course of the work of sanctification.

Actual grace is transient – brief – and momentary. It doesn’t live in your soul but acts on it from the outside. It’s a supernatural kick in the pants, your wake up call. It gets your will and intellect working so that you can seek out and keep sanctifying grace. It’s God’s support for you in individual circumstances. God will keep on giving you these divine pushes, all you have to do is follow His lead. You can become unselfish, forgive, and accept without judgment. This power can bind people together, give comfort and peace.

Sacramental graces are gifts that the Holy Spirit grants us to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. We are all given graces at different stages of our lives. God works in us, slowly developing block upon block on building a temple of our bodies to conform to His. Some people are given special graces. For example, the gift of tongues, strong in service, teachers, etc. However, don’t wish for something someone else has. God will give you what He wants you to have when He wants you to have it. It’s up to you to listen to His call and cooperate with the reception of these graces.

Next week – How do you get graces and how do you know you got them? “

Oh my God, You know my weakness and failings, and that without Your help I can accomplish nothing for the good of souls, my own and others’. Grant me, therefore, the help of Your grace. Grant it according to my particular needs this day. Enable me to see the task You will set before me in the daily routine of my life, and help me work hard at my appointed tasks. Teach me to bear patiently all the trials of suffering or failure that may come to me today. Amen.”

More Reading:

What is Grace?

Where does Grace come from?

How to Recognize Grace

“What Makes us Catholic?” Topic Sheet: Grace