Prayer and sanctifying grace


Can we ever get sanctifying grace outside of the sacraments? Specifically, can we get it through private, non-liturgical prayers?

Maybe another way of asking is, can prayer increase sanctifying grace that is already present in us?

I am looking for a specific theological answer to this question. If you are certain that you know the answer, can you please cite a source. I truly appreciate your help.



A reading of the Catechism of the Catholic Church may help, paragraphs 1996 though 2005.

2003 Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning “favor,” “gratuitous gift,” “benefit.”53 Whatever their character—sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues—charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church


I’ve been reading some catechisms today and I think the best answer is from The Question and Answer Catechism by Fr. John Hardon in question 1078:

Yes, sanctifying grace is increased by every good action we perform in the state of grace.

So that would include prayer.


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