Does grace mean favor? …as in granting someone something… or is there a deeper understanding?
, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.46
1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an “adopted son” he can henceforth call God “Father,” in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church.
1998 This vocation to eternal life is supernatural. It depends entirely on God’s gratuitous initiative, for he alone can reveal and give himself. It surpasses the power of human intellect and will, as that of every other creature.
1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:
…understanding Grace from the Catholic perspective must entail a free Gift from God, to enable man to Know Him, Grow in the Faith, and be open to His Commandments… the key being God’s enabling man…
We have experienced this throughout our lives… God more than meets us half way in our sojourn; He gives us the thirst for seeking Him (Grace); He gives us the ability to understand Him (Grace); He gives us the Power to Stand for Him (Grace).
…the counter-Church philosophy that’s out there claims that secular powers took over the Church Founded by Christ and introduced such themes as Triune God, and Christ Divinity; that Christmas and Sunday Observations were part of secular encroachment upon the Believers…
They fail to understand that God’s Grace could not have abandoned the Church; that Christ Promised that the other Paraclete would come to the Church, live with and in the Church… the Grace the Church receives through the Holy Spirit is not a mere “favor” found in God’s eyes or an invitation to walk (fellowship) with God.
The Grace that the Holy Spirit Brings to the Church goes to the very existence of the Believer… But the Grace abounds only in God’s Determinant need… the Incarnation of the Word would happen only once; the Grace given the Virgin Mary did not require a repletion since it would happen only once… the Grace given to the Apostles to propagate the Faith would change according to the need of the Church…
At her infancy the Grace was strong–granting Powers and Abilities to allow the mind and spirit of man to recognize the Event that was unfolding… as the Church matured (grew), the Grace remained but the need to physically demonstrate God’s Power and Presence diminished (as it happened in the Old Testament with the Hebrew sojourn).
Such is God’s Grace. It both conforms to God’s needs and to the individual Believer… God did not need hundreds of Moses; Moses was given God’s Grace abundantly… yet, Moses did not enjoy the Fullness of Grace as the Virgin did. Cephas was given great Power (valor) to Stand for Christ… but the Grace given him did not completely engulf his life, otherwise he would not have failed and would have unerringly Claimed Christ at every junction.
Likewise the Grace given Stephan allowed him to Stand for Christ, Profess his Faith, receive a Vision of Christ’s Reign, and Powerfully submit to death for Christ… not all martyrs are Blessed with Stephan’s Grace.
…Christians in the East enjoy some of Stephan’s Grace as they face persecution, torture, and all sorts of atrocities as they Stand for Christ… we in the West fail even to ask God for the Grace to receive Christ’s Body and Blood every Sunday…
Fullness of Grace must mean something more encompassing than the mechanical demonstration of man’s will to Stand for Christ at a particular encounter. Gabriel alludes to it by stating that:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
(St. Luke 1:28b)
The angel Gabriel does not greet the Virgin with: ‘you will be in God’s favor’ or ‘the Lord will be with thee’ or ‘you will be blessed among women.’ The angel addresses the Virgin with a definite: ‘you are’ as in, ‘have been before the Conception of the Word and will continue to be.’