by BCBP Editor

Grace and Love

Grace and Love are fundamental to healthy, upbuilding Christian relationships. These two qualities, Grace and Love, make the smile of God rest upon man. This article describes, in outline format, the different kinds of Grace and the many qualities of God’s Love that are readily available to us once we answer God’s call for transformation and action.

 Grace is the gift of God which contains all other gifts, the giving of His Son.

 But grace is more than just the gift. Grace radiates the generosity of the giver (God) and envelops with this generosity us who receive His gift.

 Grace is Love – a relationship of LOVE that exists between God and man.

 Grace is a sharing in the life of God.

 Grace and Love are fundamental to Christian relationships.

 Grace acts in accordance with man’s nature.

Kinds of GRACE

Sacramental Grace or Sanctifying Grace
• Received through the Sacraments
• Perfects the soul to enable it to live with God, to act by His love
• Is Life-giving

Actual Grace
• Refers to God’s interventions that produce acts of love

Healing Grace
• Removes fear, hurts, frustration, conflict and anxiety
• Builds and strengthens relationships
• Promotes understanding

Illuminating Grace
• Inspires truth, beauty and goodness
• Releases God’s creative powers in man
• Inspires from within one’s heart and soul
• Inspires through the medium of another person’s love

Grace of State or Apostolate
• Enables exercise of the responsibilities of Christian life…
• And of ministries within the Church and its Body of people (Rom. 12:6-8)

Special Graces – “Charisms”
• Favors, gifts from God intended for the common good of the Church
• Used to build up the Church and Community of God’s people

Other Graces
• Grace of Generosity
• Grace of Cheerfulness and Encouragement
• …etc…

Grace is Love and God is Love

• The inner life of the Trinity is LOVE.

God’s Love
– unconditional
– redeeming
– trusting
– upbuilding
– understanding
– non-possessive
– freedom-giving
– creative
– life-giving
– merciful
– compassionate

God’s Grace
– unconditional
– redeeming
– trusting
– upbuilding
– understanding
– non-possessive
– freedom-giving
– creative
– life-giving
– merciful
– compassionate

God’s love and grace can be seen as blessings: life, joy, fullness of strength, a personal relationship with the Savior.

Grace and Love make the smile of God rest upon man.

Since Grace belongs to the supernatural order (comes from God), Grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith.

How do we know Grace is at work in our lives?
• By the fruit of our lives
• By an awareness of the blessings we enjoy
• Through prayer, scripture, the Sacraments, and a strong Christian Community and Parish life
• Through our family relationships and family life
• Through interaction with other mature Christians (advice, spiritual guidance, encouragement, etc.)

Grace demands our response.

• The Grace of God looks for partners, an exchange, a communion.

• We are asked to use our God-given talents as His Grace and Love direct, especially in developing and nourishing relationships.

• The symbol of this Grace is the land which God gives to His people “… a land of springs, of mountains and valleys watered by rain from heaven, cities which you did not build…” Are we taking care of His land?

• Grace and Love call for ‘transformation’ and ‘action’. There must be no weakening on our part.

• Grace is a birth into a new life, the life of the Spirit, the life of complete faith in God.

Relationships and Grace

• Grace and Love are known by their effects, what they do.

• Grace and Love must be reflected in all our relationships, relationships must be built on a strong foundation of Grace and Love.

• A Christian relationship respects the individuality and dignity of the other person.

• Christian relationships should practice the qualities of Grace and Unconditional Love.

• Relationships should be life-giving and love-sharing, turning hurts into love and virtues.

The Color of God’s Love

• In the Grace of God, man succeeds in becoming himself.

• Grace is like the sun’s light passing through a prism … producing different colors of different brightness … yet the light remains as one reality.

• Everything is an expression of God’s Love and Grace, one of the rainbow colors of God’s love.

• Our prayer should be:

“If I am not (in God’s Grace), may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.” St. Joan of Arc

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