Yesterday, we learned about the Resurrection of Jesus and the Church He established that would help us grow in holiness. This is only possible with the help of grace. Today, on this fifth day, we will learn about grace.
Come O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
+ Amen +
When Adam and Eve broke God’s command, they introduced sin into the world. Today, we must fight sin everyday if we ever want to go to Heaven.
Sin is any thought, word or action that we purposely do that breaks God’s commandments. Just as Adam and Eve sinned, we too can sin. There are two kinds of sins: mortal and venial.
A mortal sin is any sin that is very wrong, that we know is wrong and that we purposely do.
It cuts us off from sanctifying grace, makes us enemies of God, makes our good works worthless, makes us lose Heaven, and makes us gain hell.
A venial sin is any sin that is not mortal. It is wrong, but not as evil as mortal sins, or we may not know it is evil, or we may not have purposely done it.
They do not make us enemies of God, but cause us to love God less, may lead to mortal sins and may lead to punishments in this life or in purgatory.
The capital sins are those sins that lead to all other sins. They are pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. We must avoid these sins.
If we want to go to Heaven and be with God, we must do all we can to avoid sin.
We can do this by remembering that God is with us and that the Holy Spirit lives within us, working, recreating, fighting off sinful thoughts as soon as they come and avoiding the “near occasion of sin” (people or situations that can lead us to sin).
But all of this is only possible with grace.
Grace is God’s help for us go to Heaven. There are two kinds: sanctifying grace and actual grace.
Sanctifying grace gives life to our souls, gives us the gifts of the Holy Spirit which help us to do God’s will, makes us holy and pleasing to God, makes us His adopted children, makes us temples of the Holy Spirit and gives us the right to Heaven.
We need sanctifying grace to go to Heaven.
Actual grace is help that God gives us to do good and avoid evil.
On Pentecost Sunday, Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit Who gives us grace.
We first receive sanctifying grace when we are baptized.
We constantly receive actual grace through prayer, the sacraments (we will learn about the sacraments on Saturday) and especially the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (we will learn about the this sacrament on Sunday).
If we commit a mortal sin, we lose sanctifying grace and this can only be restored through the Sacrament of Confession (we will learn about sacraments on Saturday).
God does not force us to accept His grace. But, if we accept it, we are able to go to Heaven. If we reject it, we will end up in Hell.
The Rewards of Grace
When we are in a state of grace, whatever we do out of love for God merits a reward in Heaven. So do everything, even the smallest things, out of love for God and in a state of grace.
God has called us to be with Him in Heaven and has given us grace to make this possible. In living a life filled with grace, we will become holy. Tomorrow, we will learn about what it means to live a holy life.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why are mortal sins called mortal? “Mortal” means being able to die. Mortal sins can lead to the eternal death of hell because they cut us off from sanctifying grace.
- Why are venial sins called venial? “Venial” means being easy to forgive. Venial sins can be easily pardoned and we do not lose sanctifying grace, but it can lead to mortal sins if we don’t fix them.