On another Blog, a JUser asked: Now if you would, tell me what you think "grace" is.
Yes, I’m glad to tell you what I know about Grace.
There are two kinds: supernatural or sanctifying Grace and actual grace, but first some background.
God is the author of the Salvation plan and the first Source of our holiness through which our souls are sanctified. God created us to be with Him in eternal life. Scripture has it that nothing defiled will enter into heaven and in order for us to enter heaven we must be be holy and unspotted in His sight. Now, we can't be made holy according to our own will, we must be so according to God's will.
Scripture teaches from eternity, God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God decrees to call mankind to share this eternal divine life. In Divine love, which we cannot fathom, God wills to beatify human beings by lifting them above their human nature to a new life. Of these, God will give the name of children. By nature, God has only one Son; by love, He wills to have an innumerable multitude…that is the grace of supernatural adoption.
This perfection was realized in our first parents, Adam and Eve, who were endowed by God with sanctifying grace and with other preternatural gifts that were dependent upon their obedience to a moral command and threatened with death if they disobeyed. By their grevious original sin they fell from grace, loss their sanctity (original holiness) and as head of the human race, consequences would follow for all mankind.
This decree of Love is restored by God’s Infinite Justice, Mercy, Wisdom and Goodness. The Son Who dwells eternally in the Father, unites Himself in time to a human nature…the wonderful mystery of the Incarnation, the Word made Flesh who is called Jesus, the Christ.
St.Paul compares the transgression of Adam with the grace of Christ’s Redemption. “As by the offense of one, unto all men to condemnation; so also by the justice of One, unto all men to justification of life. For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of One, many shall be made just.” Rom. 5:18-19.
So, the same Divine life which proceeds from the Father into the Son and from the Son into the humanity of Jesus will circulate through Christ, with Christ and in Christ in all who will accept Him. It will draw them to the Father where Christ has gone before us, after having paid with His Blood the price of this Divine gift of supernatural life (Grace).
So, all holiness (sanctity) consists of this: to receive the Divine life from Christ and keep this Divine life and increase it unceasingly by an ever more perfect adhesion. Holiness is a mystery of Divine life communicated in God from the Father by the Son who sends the Holy Spirit to humanity. Some people are holier than others. The more we adhere to God by detaching ourselves from all that is not God or of God, the more this adhesion to holiness is made stable and firm.
Next...how does Almighty God fulfill His plan and design by which He wills us to have a part in this supernatural life and cause us to enter into His friendship so we might enter into His heavenly family.
The answer to my last question is by adopting us as His children.
Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed upon us through the merits of Christ's Passion and Death and is absolutely necessary for our salvation.
God gives us a share in His nature which we call "Grace". Grace is real. Grace is an interior quality produced in us by God inherent in the soul, adorning it and making it pleasing to God. Same thing in the natural domain....beauty and strength are qualities of the body, genius is quality of the mind, loyalty and courage are qualities of the heart.
Sanctifying grace abides in our soul. It's what makes the soul holy. It gives the soul supernatural life. God's Grace is supernatural life. By His gift of grace, God gives us a share in His Divine nature and adopts us as His children and we become heirs to heaven.
Actual grace by contrast, doesn't live in the soul but is a supernatural help of God which acts upon the soul, enlightens our mind, and strengthens our will to do good and avoid evil. Actual grace is transient... that is, it's given to us only when we need it like to perform a good act or to overcome a temptation.
God always give us sufficient grace to be saved. A true Christian should view his whole life in the light of grace. All God's gifts granted for man's salvation are Graces.