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‘Grow in Grace’. Is this simple, straightforward gardening?

I have just read a book called ‘What’s so amazing about Grace?’  I was disappointed to say the least. I am no more literate in my understanding of  Grace than I was before I started reading this book and in fact I disagreed with the author within the first few chapters of the book so much so that I started speed reading through the rest of the book.

Perhaps my perspective on Grace remains infantile but I realise that it’s an area of my Journey with the Lord that I need to investigate further, pray about and unwrap. I then came across the poster telling me to ‘grow in grace’…???

As I understand it, I receive Grace ( a sanctifying/Holy spiritual gift from God) through the Sacraments of the Church, namely Baptism, Reconciliation , Holy Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and the Sacrament of the Sick. Through these Sacraments, my eyes and ears are opened to God’s messages and communication with me through His Living Word, the people around me and through prayer and fasting. Through this precious gift of Grace my soul is open to receive and understand Revelation. I realise that I have to be ‘in tune’ with the Lord in order to recognise this precious gift of Grace thorough the Sacraments.

Some questions about Grace I need to investigate further: (lots of reading to be done!!)

  1. Is Grace something I just get because I say I am Christian?
  2. Is Grace different from a Blessing
  3. Is Grace free to us because Jesus died on the Cross?
  4. Do I need the Sacraments of the Church to receive Grace?
  5. What does a Blessing bestow as opposed to Grace?
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  1. Just a quick answer to #1. Grace absolutely is something you get just because you are a Christian (but not necessarily because you say you are a Christian. In baptism you are cleansed from original sin and receive the sanctifying grace of God. Of course, that state of grace can be lost through sin, but it can be regained though the sacrament of reconciliation, with a good confession. In the state of grace, many other graces are conferred on us through intercession of others, all the different ways you mentioned above, and in any way the Lord decides to freely bestow it on us — because it’s his grace; he can do what he wants with it. So, Yes, just for being a Christian, you get grace!

    • Thanks for your comment, BILTRIX. Made me dig a bIt deeper and wider.
      Makes sense that as practising Christians we are open to receiving Grace . This in turn will shape us, bring us closer to the Lord. What a loving Father we have!
      Baptism seems to be is key here. Would that mean for those who are not Baptized , the Holy Spirit would nudge them from time to time, through Christians around them or would they be closed to God’s calling?
      I come back to Confession: I have experienced Grace through Confession and then Holy Communion. I felt it as a deep peace that I knew belonged to the Lord. I long for that feeling. Hanker after it. This peace I felt was then the Grace bestowed on me through which I could sense the peace of God?
      Loving the intercessions of others bit: makes prayer sooo important and the intercession of others on my behalf sooo valuable. SUPERNATURAL in the real sense of the word. All of this working together for the life of my soul and a real relationship with my Lord. Amazing!

  2. SR

     /  August 3, 2012

    How are you doing and what a wonderful post. I thought about your questions and this is how I view grace.

    When I look at Jesus on the Cross, there is “grace.” To me “grace” makes it possible for us to receive God’s “blessings.” Yes, for me “grace” is very free to us, but not “cheap.” One thing it took the death of our Lord so we could live in and under grace. Also we have to make sure we can hold onto it, as Biltrix mentioned in his response. The Sacraments are “grace” to me and because of this grace each time we receive them, we are given a “blessing” especially in the Holy Eucharist. To me us living under “grace” is the enabler that God uses to “bless.” God Bless, SR

  3. Been wondering about you and how you’re holding up? Sorry to see your blog go, so am really glad you’ve popped in to say ‘hi’. How’s the prayer and meditation going?
    I’m going to have to do some more digging with different tools to find out about the difference between ‘Grace and blessings’. I too see them both as gifts. It makes sense that as a Christian you would be open to receive a blessing at any time (a blessing being a free gift that you know comes from God…such as the cheque from the Tax department that never seems to arrive, but that does eventually just when you need it the most and you know that it was no coincidence that it arrived when it did?)
    So what would the difference be between a priest’s blessing and one as described above be?
    Grace is a free gift from God and that we have to do our part in laying the groundwork and preparing the soil of our soul through the gift of Reconciliation and maintaining a relationship with God through prayer and fasting, Scripture, the Eucharist and obedience to Christ. That’s the ‘costly’ part on our behalf, the challenge as Christians.

  1. Back to Authority. « 1catholicsalmon

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