What is grace?

I was asked this the other day and in the same instance told that grace is simply God’s love. I realized I don’t have a concrete definition of it (however the dictionary defines it as God’s favor). So what is grace?

BTW, we were talking about the Angelic Salutation, Hail Mary, full of grace…

Mary was full of God’s Love. She didn’t have room for anything else.

Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us, through the merits of Jesus Christ, for our salvation. There are two kinds of grace, sanctifying grace & actual grace.

Santiying grace is the grace which makes the soul holy and pleasing to God.

Actual grace is that help of God which enlightens our mind and moves our will to shun evil and do good.

Mary had both of these graces, having been immaculately conceived. That is why she was chosen by God to be the vessel of the Incarnation.

Grace is unmerited Divine gifts for us.

USMC_Convert. You mentioned . . .

the dictionary defines it as God’s favor

Grace IS God’s favor. That is correct as far as what it asserts.

But this definition MAY implicitly DENY another aspect of God’s grace since Jesus gave of Himself on Calvary, that is, His own Divine life within us.

Now in the New Covenant we not only have God’s favor, but He lives IN US in a special way . . . and WE IN HIM.

Grace in addition to God’s Divine favor is an actual participation in the life of God too!

God bless (and I hope you folks are doing well—see here).



Below I have a few CCC and Biblical references to above if interested.

CCC references below to above points (with bold and UL emphasis mine, italics original) . . . .

**II. GRACE **

CCC 1996 Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, 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.

CCC 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.

Also from Session VI, Chapter 7 of the Council of Trent showing the unmerited aspect of this . . . . (There is potential for “merit” in another sense. But THAT would be for another thread.)

COUNCIL OF TRENT . . . . none of those things which precede justification-whether faith or works-merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace.

Some Bible references to above (illustrating not our mere “works” but God WORKING in us and through us):

2nd PETER 1:2-4 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.

PHILIPPIANS 2:12-13 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

2nd CORINTHIANS 6:1 1 Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.

PHILIPPIANS 4:13 13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me.

GALATIANS 2:20 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

EPHESIANS 3:20-21 20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

HEBREWS 13:20a, 21 20 “Now may the God of peace . . . . 21 equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

ROMANS 8:8-11 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.

JOHN 6:55-56 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

1st THESSALONIANS 2:13 13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

PHILIPPIANS 1:6 6 And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

ROMANS 6:3-5 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

1st CORINTHIANS 12:13 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

The Amazing Gift of Grace

Whenever it rains and leaves raindrops on the cedars, pines, bushes, I always think of the presence of grace. I don’t know where I got the idea. I’ve done it for years and years.

In Mary’s case [a unique one] it means literally “FULL of AL"L types of grace” [hence perfection]

DOUAY Bible:

Luke 1:28
“And the angel being come in, said unto her: **Hail, full of grace, **the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”


quote GRACE. In biblical language the condescension or benevolence (Greek charis) shown by God toward the human race; it is also the unmerited gift proceeding from this benevolent disposition. Grace, therefore, is a totally gratuitous gift on which man has absolutely no claim. Where on occasion the Scriptures speak of grace as pleasing charm or thanks for favors received, this is a derived and not primary use of the term.

As the Church has come to explain the meaning of grace, it refers to something more than the gifts of nature, such as creation or the blessings of bodily health. Grace is the supernatural gift that God, of his free benevolence, bestows on rational creatures for their eternal salvation. The gifts of grace are essentially supernatural. They surpass the being, powers, and claims of created nature, namely sanctifying grace, the infused virtues, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and actual grace. They are the indispensable means necessary to reach the beatific vision. In a secondary sense, grace also includes such blessings as the miraculous gifts of prophecy or healing, or the preternatural gifts of freedom from concupiscence.

The essence of grace, properly so called, is its gratuity, since no creature has a right to the beatific vision, and its finality or purpose is to lead one to eternal life. (Etym. Latin gratia, favor; a gift freely given.) See also ACTUAL GRACE, EFFICACIOUS GRACE, HABITUAL GRACE, JUSTIFYING GRACE, SACRAMENTAL GRACE, SANCTIFYING GRACE, SUFFICIENT GRACE. end quote

Here is the FREE site to look up the various types


GBY and thanks for asking


Yes. I will just add that sanctifying grace is a permanant habit or disposition God infuses into our souls which makes us partakers of the divine nature. This supernatural habit or disposition is something created by God which becomes a part of our being. It elevates our nature to a supernatural order. It is a gift from God that makes us participate in someway in the divine nature. Sanctifying grace does not make us God himself but it is a supernatural participation in the nature and life of God.

Actual grace is not a ‘habit’ God infuses into our souls. It is God’s supernatural transient help or favor or gift. Here, God works by his power enlightening our minds such as placing a good thought in our intellects or something he would like us to do concerning our eternal salvation or our neighbors and moving and strenghtening our wills in favor of the good thought or the task he would like us to do.

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