Evidences of being in a state of grace

I was thinking today about being in a state of grace versus mortal sin ( the absence of ) and if there are spiritual indicators that give us hints of one or the other an example of being in a state of grace may be increaesd desire for prayer and the mass, feelings of intense joy at the eucharist, increased charity and sensitivity to the plight of our brothers and sisters etc.and mortal sin just the opposite perhaps, no desire for prayer or the mass, no joy and so on.

But what I’m wondering is this: is it possible for one to decieve him or her self in regards to where they stand, can someone in mortal sin feel the same things “spiritually” that an individual in a state of grace can and be decieved or are there definate spirtiual indicators as to where one stands? I know at times the saints felt desolate and abandond by God, but it seemed they never lost their burning desire for him. Anyhow just curious what ya’ll think :wink:

This is very interesting, and I have also often wondered the same thing. I am looking forward to other people’s answers.

Very interesting that you brought this up, interested in what discussion takes place too. I guess there have been times (especially lately) when I’ve wondered the same thing… and always thought no one else wondered these things. I do think it’s possible to kid ourselves and I question this in both directions myself. Especially when it comes to doing good for others, I enjoy it a lot and feel good about it and myself when I do. And then there are those times when I question myself and ask if my motives are as pure as the ought to be. (because somehow deep inside I don’t feel I’m good enough I guess, how dare I think I’m a good person?) I don’t know if the doubts are just coming from my particular frame of mind at the time, or because there are things in my heart I need to examine. Hard to distinguish between the two sometimes. Don’t know if I’m making sense here, just thinking out loud I guess…

I know what you mean about doing good, there tends to be this natural high that comes from making a brother or sister happy or helping to alleviate some type of suffering so it can get confusing there. I think it’s fair to say serving others is not specifically a sign of being in a state of grace though, we can definately love and show affection for one another and be in mortal sin.

For me personally I went through a long period of time where I held onto a very grave sin, as time went on I lost all affection for God and my faith and was considering becoming agnostic. It was only the miracle of a brother interceding for me that caused my heart to repent. I noticed as time went on in that state my affection for God decreased dramatically.

I do feel that even if we are in a state of grace we will always battle pride and the flesh so that’s not specifically an indicator that we are in mortal sin, but it’s always good to examine our hearts:)

I don’t think it is good to look for signs.

I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts each soul of its sins to degrees and degrees again because each man has a measure and it is no-one else’s business who has what measure and to whom God has given what and that men cannot judge one another nor even themselves.

The witnessing of the Gospel lived by the prayer of our lives is not to condemn men because Jesus Himself condemned no-one (Jesus promised the Good Thief eternal life, but He did not condemn the other thief). By living the Gospel and therefore preaching the Gospel in the prayer of our lives we bring light to the world as Jesus told us to do, not to condemn but to spread the Light of God into the world.

Feelings are no indicator of grace either. A soul may feel no internal spiritual joy though they display every joy outwardly. A soul may feel totally dry and experience nothing at Mass other than living faith in darkness. God may even effect a spiritual distaste for all things holy and God has good reason for this.

Individually we are each convicted of our sins by the Holy Spirit and we can only discern for ourselves whether we are in fit state to receive Christ Jesus into our souls. And still there are pitfalls here. So unless we have murdered someone we are better to ask Jesus to cleanse us of all venial sins and receive Him to be transformed in Him.

If grace only ever brings us spiritual satisfaction then truly I believe it is not grace because grace leads to the cross. And grace is Love.

I cannot say I or anyone else is in a state grace but I do believe that God will put us into it if it pleases Him, to say otherwise is to condemn. I can only say that I am a sinner and desire to be a saint. None can say that they have not sinned and no man can put themselves in a state of grace.

We will only ever truly know the state of our souls when we come before the Lord at the end of our lives. For now all we can do is pray, endure in faith, persevere, hope, trust, strive in the practise of virtue and most of all, love God and neighbour. Desiring and praying for a holy death and to receive the Last Rites.

‘Lord have mercy on me for a sinner I was conceived’ Hold onto to that in faith and don’t worry about the state of grace because if God chooses we can be within it within the blink of an eye.

I don’t know. Sometimes, I am frightened that I could be fooling myself that I’m in a state of Grace. Even in this past year, a priest told me that a sin I habitually confessed was grave matter when I thought it was venial matter.

:eek:

now, I don’t trust my judgement. But, recently, I heard a Legionary priest say that God honors sincerity–afterall, we can’t remember every sin we’ve committed. So I just keep praying, “Jesus, I trust in Thee.”

I don’t think it is good to look for signs.

I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts each soul of its sins to degrees and degrees again because each man has a measure and it is no-one else’s business who has what measure and to whom God has given what and that men cannot judge one another nor even themselves.

The witnessing of the Gospel lived by the prayer of our lives is not to condemn men because Jesus Himself condemned no-one (Jesus promised the Good Thief eternal life, but He did not condemn the other thief). By living the Gospel and therefore preaching the Gospel in the prayer of our lives we bring light to the world as Jesus told us to do, not to condemn but to spread the Light of God into the world.

Feelings are no indicator of grace either. A soul may feel no internal spiritual joy though they display every joy outwardly. A soul may feel totally dry and experience nothing at Mass other than living faith in darkness. God may even effect a spiritual distaste for all things holy and God has good reason for this.

Individually we are each convicted of our sins by the Holy Spirit and we can only discern for ourselves whether we are in fit state to receive Christ Jesus into our souls. And still there are pitfalls here. So unless we have murdered someone (or something to that degree then we had better seek confession for those who are within the faith and faith convicts them to that by the power of the Holy Spirit - as for others they must do the best they can do within what their conscience convicts them of , as faith is a gift) we are better to ask Jesus to cleanse us of all venial sins and receive Him to be transformed in Him.

If grace only ever brings us spiritual satisfaction then truly I believe it is not grace because grace leads to the cross. And grace is Love.

I cannot say I or anyone else is in a state grace but I do believe that God will put us into it if it pleases Him, to say otherwise is to condemn. I can only say that I am a sinner and desire to be a saint. None can say that they have not sinned and no man can put themselves in a state of grace.

We will only ever truly know the state of our souls when we come before the Lord at the end of our lives. For now all we can do is pray, endure in faith, persevere, hope, trust, strive in the practise of virtue and most of all, love God and neighbour and grow in love of the cross. Desiring and praying for a holy death and to receive the Last Rites.

‘Lord have mercy on me for a sinner I was conceived’ Hold onto to that in faith and don’t worry about the state of grace because if God chooses we can be within it within the blink of an eye.

‘Jesus, I trust in You’

Hey, we’re all forming our consciences, so we’ve all been there? (You mean it really is a mortal sin to use ABC? It’s really not ok that I do this or that?) Believe me, been there, done that. Probably still doing that, although not on purpose! When I once talked to my priest about this, he told me that it is only a grave sin if you KNOW that it is a grave sin at the time that you do it, and you go ahead and do it anyway, all of your own free will. If you didn’t KNOW for certain that it was a grave matter, then you did not sin mortally.

An angel had to Tell Mary, the queen of all saints,
that she was full of grace.

Excellent point.

I don’t think it is good to look for signs.

I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts each soul of its sins to degrees and degrees again because each man has a measure and it is no-one else’s business who has what measure and to whom God has given what and that men cannot judge one another nor even themselves.

The witnessing of the Gospel lived by the prayer of our lives is not to condemn men because Jesus Himself condemned no-one (Jesus promised the Good Thief eternal life, but He did not condemn the other thief). By living the Gospel and therefore preaching the Gospel in the prayer of our lives we bring light to the world as Jesus told us to do, not to condemn but to spread the Light of God into the world.

Feelings are no indicator of grace either. A soul may feel no internal spiritual joy though they display every joy outwardly. A soul may feel totally dry and experience nothing at Mass other than living faith in darkness. God may even effect a spiritual distaste for all things holy and God has good reason for this.

Individually we are each convicted of our sins by the Holy Spirit and we can only discern for ourselves whether we are in fit state to receive Christ Jesus into our souls. And still there are pitfalls here. So unless we have murdered someone (or something to that degree then we had better seek confession for those who are within the faith and faith convicts them to that by the power of the Holy Spirit - as for others they must do the best they can do within what their conscience convicts them of , as faith is a gift) we are better to ask Jesus to cleanse us of all venial sins and receive Him to be transformed in Him.

If grace only ever brings us spiritual satisfaction then truly I believe it is not grace because grace leads to the cross. And grace is Love.

I cannot say I or anyone else is in a state grace but I do believe that God will put us into it if it pleases Him, to say otherwise is to condemn. I can only say that I am a sinner and desire to be a saint. None can say that they have not sinned and no man can put themselves in a state of grace.

We will only ever truly know the state of our souls when we come before the Lord at the end of our lives. Our Blessed Mother came before the Lord when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her in perfect union with God and only then she learnt of the state of her soul. For now all we can do is pray, endure in faith, persevere, hope, trust, strive in the practise of virtue and most of all, love God and neighbour and grow in love of the cross. Desiring and praying for a holy death and to receive the Last Rites.

‘Lord have mercy on me for a sinner I was conceived’ Hold onto to that in faith and don’t worry about the state of grace because if God chooses we can be within it within the blink of an eye. However God’s work of grace takes a lifetime.

If you post this wondering about yourself, then you cannot know the answer, but strive to live the Gospel and embrace God’s inspirations of grace. If you post this wondering about others, then it is none of your business!:smiley: - ‘What is it to you what I do with him?’ (Jesus speaking to Peter about John)

The rich young man thought he was rich in the ways of God only for Jesus to point out his poverty. The Pharisee sung his own praises before God and thanked God he wasn’t like the tax collector, only for Jesus to say the tax collector was more at rights with God for asking for mercy as he was a sinner…be careful and cling to the knowledge you are a sinner like everyone else and thank God for His kindness and mercy to you and to all people.:smiley:

‘Jesus, I trust in You’

On a Fatima Youth Pilgrimage, Father Robert J. Fox explained during a talk on grace that a soul in mortal sin could still feel human affection towards God, so the best way to ensure being in a state of grace is to frequent the sacrament of Confession.

~~ the phoenix

Michael Howard:

One time is after being absolved and completeing penance after confession. What one does/think from that point on determines how long he wishes to remain in that state.

Confession is a very definite reference point, another is Baptism.

AndyF

To bring some clarity to what I’m thinking there are spiritual benefits I believe to being in grace like the power of answered prayer, a person holding onto mortal sin should not expect prayers to be answered except maybe a prayer for a repentent heart.

Any of the spiritual giftings of the Holy Spirit really, in a state of mortal sin these gifts would not be operating because grace has left the soul. St. Paul talks about “grieving away” the Holy Spirit. I agree that feelings should not in themselves be what we gauge the conditional of our souls on and any of us being in grave mortal sin is really without excuse being that mortal sin is a conscious pre-meditated act of the will and defiance against God.

Excorists have certain things they look for in possession which is a sould completely ensnared by the devil, blasphemy and hatred toward the things of God is always one of the biggies. Scripture says that those who live a lie are turned over to sin, it owns them and if sins owns a person they become the devils property. Living in conscious mortal sin opens us up to all kinds of evil and I think the longer a person lives in that state of rebellion the more that rebellion manifests outwardly, that’s my opinion. On the other hand a person who strives after holiness, who lives for Jesus and flees from opportunity to sin will be conformed more and more to the image of Christ.

Drew Mariani spoke recently about meeting Pope John Paul II and feeling “overwhelmed” by the love of Christ that came from him. He said he felt like a schoolgirl in a rock concert. So to wrap this up, I think it’s possible to lie to ourselves for awhile, I lied my way out of sin all the time as a protestant and had to convince my self there was nothing I could do to lose the grace of God, but after awhile the facade will come crashing down. It’s amazing to me that after a good contrite confession, time in the word, time before the Blessed Sacrament all the evidences of grace begin to come forth, answered prayer, love and DESIRE for the Eucharist, the mass for Christ, this has been my experience anyhow.

You will want to see the film “Into Great Silence” if it’s at all within driving distance of you. It’s about the life of Carthusian monks. Some of the scenes are close-ups of the monks’ faces. This sounds like what you’re talking about.

Particularly interesting is the difference you can see in a monk whom they show first making his vows, then again show after about a year has passed and he has matured more into his vocation. Wow!

~~ the phoenix

It’s hard to know by “feelings”, and I definitely think it is possible to kid yourself if you want to badly enough. However, I do think that one good indicator might be how you respond when you face adversity. I think if you feel strength and peace when your whole world seems to be collapsing, that is a good indication that you are likely in a state of grace.

I think the answers so far are very good.

However, although no one has brought this up, I’d just like to clarify that I really don’t think being in a state of grace has anything to do with feelings or emotions or that sort of thing.

One of course can feel good about doing good things, but one could do something good in a state of grace. Likewise hardened sinners could actually feel happy about continuing to sin.

To sum up what I’m saying is that I don’t think the state of grace has much to do with emotions/feelings.

I have not heard of this but you have me extremley interested:)

If you live anywhere near The Rose Theater in Port Townsend, you’re in luck, it’s up between April 20 - 26. They’re only showing the film in a few select theaters in each state for a very limited time. I hear it comes out on DVD towards the end of 2007, but if you can possibly get to a theater then by all means it’s recommended.

Here’s a link with more information:

zeitgeistfilms.com/film.php?directoryname=intogreatsilence

~~ the phoenix

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.