The Why and the What of Sanctifying Grace

The Why and the What of Sanctifying Grace

This is a very helpful excerpt from Frank J. Sheed’s book, Theology for Beginnings:

“Putting it bluntly, the life of heaven requires powers which by nature we do not possess. If we are to live it, we must be given new powers. To make a rough comparison: if we wanted to live on another planet, we should need new breathing powers, which by nature our lungs have not got. To live the life of heaven, we need new knowing and lovinig powers, which by nature our souls have not got.

For heaven our natural life is not sufficient; we need supernatural life. We have it only by God’s free gift, which is why we call it grace (the word is related to gratis). Sanctifying grace will be our next topic. Everything the Church does is connected with it, and can be understood but cloudily if we do not grasp what it is.

SANCTIFYING GRACE

When we come to die there is only one question that matters—have we sanctifying grace in our souls? If we have, then to heaven we shall go. There may be certain matters to be cleared, or cleansed, on the way, but to heaven we shall go, for we have the power to live there. If we have not, then to heaven we cannot go; not because we lack the price of admission, but because quite simply our soul lacks the powers that living in heaven calls for. It is not a question of getting past the gate, but of living once we are there; there would be no advantage in finding a kindly gate-keeper, willing to let us in anyhow! The powers of intellect and will that go with our natural life are not sufficient: heaven calls for powers of knowing and loving higher than our nature of itself has. We need super-natural life, and we must get it here upon earth. To die lacking it means eternal failure.

We must look at grace more closely if we are to live our lives intelligently. Two things about it must be grasped.

First: It is supernatural, it is wholly above our nature, there is not even the tiniest seed of it in our nature capable of growing, there is nothing we can do to give it to ourselves. We can have it only as God gives it, and He is entirely free in the giving. That, as we have seen, is why it is called grace; and because its object is to unite us with God, it is called sanctifying grace.

Second: Even the word supernatural does not convey how great a thing it is. It is not simply above our nature, or any created nature. It enables us to do—at our own finite level, but really—something which only God Himself can do by nature: it enables us to see God direct. That is why it is called “a created share in the life of God.” That is why those who have it are called “sons of God”: a son is like in nature to his father; by this gift we have a totally new likeness to Our Father in heaven.

Giving us this new life, God does not give us a new soul with new faculties. He inserts it, sets it functioning, in the soul we already have. By it our intellect, which exists to know truth, is given the power to know in a new way; our will, which exists to love goodness, is given the power to love in a new way.

We get the supernatural life here on earth. Not until we reach heaven will it enable us to see God face to face and love Him in the direct contact of the will. But even on earth its elevating work has begun; it gives the intellect a new power of taking hold of truth—by faith; it gives the will new powers of reaching out to goodness—by hope and by charity.

Faith, then, does not mean simply feeling that we believe more than we used to; hope does not mean simply feeling optimistic about our chances of salvation; charity does not mean simply feeling pleased with God. All three may have their effect on our feelings; but they are not feelings; they are wholly real.

The supernatural life in our souls is a new fact, as real as the natural life we have to start with. The powers it gives are facts too; they enable us to do things which without them we could not do: they are as real as eyesight, and considerably more important. Without eyesight, we could not see the material world. But without sanctifying grace we should not be able to see God direct, which is the very essence of living in heaven.

Not only that: here below we should not be sharers of the divine life, sons of God, capable already of taking hold of God by faith and hope and charity, capable of meriting increase of life. This increase of life must be realized; one can be more alive or less, and our life in heaven will differ according to the intensity of faith and hope and charity in our souls when we come to die.

We shall go on to consider these three virtues in detail. Meanwhile concentrate upon one truth: grace is not just a way of saying that a soul is in God’s favor; it is a real life, with its own proper powers, living in the soul; and he who has it is a new man. A soul with sanctifying grace in it is indwelt by God.” (Frank J. Sheed.)

Being

Hide me, hold me, help me,
Living Rock of my being.

You, Truest Truth,
No mere symbol,
But Holy Being,
Are Ground of my being.

Creating with a word, the world,
You speak my name,
And, moment by moment,
Sustain my being.

Christ, my Rock,
May I forever be in Thee.

© 2015 Joann Nelander

The Prenatal Care Deception

No Price Too High

Deacon Alex Jones died a few days ago after a very sudden illness. He came to the Catholic Church from his life as a Pentacostal preacher in Detroit, where he pastored two churches. When he entered the Catholic Church, after serious study of the early Church Fathers, over half his congregation followed him. It was really quite remarkable. He found the center of the Early Church was not great preaching, or even the moving of the Spirit, but the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

May God bless him now with the Beatific Vision.

Marcus Grodi: The Early Church Fathers

Human Fertilization

https://www.facebook.com/medical.com.8/videos/846350225502581/

"Who We Are As a People—The Syrian Refugee Question"!

“Who We Are As a People—The Syrian Refugee Question”!
https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/who-we-are-as-a-people-the-syrian-refugee-question/

Islam’s "Human Rights"


Islam’s “Human Rights”

by Janet Tavakoli

  • No intelligent government

Patrick Madrid – IHRadio

Patrick Madrid – IHRadio

Becoming Flame

I offer You the straw of my life,
O Lord of my redemption.
Send Your angels, day by day,
To glean my field,
To fuel the fire of Your Love.

Did You not say,
“Learn from Me,
For I am meek,
And humble of heart?”
You do not need my riches.
You seek my poverty, my emptiness.

Your Fire penetrates my stubble.
I become like You,
All aglow As light and heat
Testify to Your Presence in the flame
That shoots to the heavens.

I am surrender and trust
In welcome transformation.
I am lost and yet eternal.
In You, straw by straw,
As kindling,
I am become the Flame.

Radio Interview: Dr. David Prentice Explains the Science of Fetal Pain – Charlotte Lozier Institute

On May 12, 2015, David A. Prentice, Ph.D., Vice President and Research Director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, was invited to speak on the science of fetal pain on Points of View radio talk show. On May 13, 2015 the United States House of Representatives passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The full transcript is here.

Source: Radio Interview: Dr. David Prentice Explains the Science of Fetal Pain – Charlotte Lozier Institute

(1) Amazing Footage of Life in the Womb – Pro-Life Wisconsin

Source: (1) Amazing Footage of Life in the Womb – Pro-Life Wisconsin

Choices

I believe that if we realized the person in-utero is not hanging in some ethereal place while we decide whether or not we can accommodate our lives to their presence in the here and now, realizing that they are a reality and not a choice, and that their one life is all they have on earth and they want it just as much as we want, defend and protect our own, for they precious to us, then the abortion debate would be over.

Here I Am

Here I am, beneath your heart,
My heart beating in happy harmony,
As my frame perceives
The gentle throbbing within your breast,
Serene.

I began in secret and in darkness,
A mystery, even to myself.
Day by day, nature shapes my clay,
As you await the blessed dawn of my birth day.

What I know, I know by existence.
I am now all trust,
Simply growing,
Simply becoming who I am.

Comfort, you give comfort.
Love, you are all I know of love.
As you wait for me, my mother,
The eyes of my soul are wide open.
I behold you, smiling upon me.
Expectant, vigilant and gleeful,

Mother of my moments,
You cradle me.
You are my home of sweet delight.

© 2011 Joann Nelander

Choices

I believe that if we realized the person in-utero is not hanging in some ethereal place while we decide whether or not we can accomodate our lives to their presence in the here and now, realizing that they are a reality and not a choice, and that their one life is all they have on earth and they want it just as much as we want, defend and protect our own, for they precious to us, then the abortion debate would be over.

Here I Am
Here I am, beneath your heart,

My heart beating in happy harmony,

As my frame perceives

The gentle throbbing within your breast,

Serene.
I began in secret and in darkness,

A mystery, even to myself.

Day by day, nature shapes my clay,

As you await the blessed dawn of my birth day.
What I know, I know by existence.

I am now all trust,

Simply growing,

Simply becoming who I am.
Comfort, you give comfort.

Love, you are all I know of love.

As you wait for me, my mother,

The eyes of my soul are wide open.

I behold you, smiling upon me.
Expectant, vigilant and gleeful,

Mother of my moments,

You cradle me.

You are my home of sweet delight.
© 2011 Joann Nelander

What of Me?

I am old and getting older.
My frame is frail and fire flickering.
My body speaks of leaving,
But what of me?

The body is all I have known.
My soul and spirit have been quite at home
What we have known of living
Has come by the body’s telling.

When I go hence,
And dust reclaims this house,
I will look to You,
For it was You who lit my flame.

The body didn’t give me life,
Nor shall its demise
Claim my life.
You are the font of my being.

Those who seek to love the world,
And those who choose the self apart from God,
Finally find they worship a needy god,
Who has not the power to meet their needs.

Before my parting,
My course will be marked,
Drawn by my choices and loves.
In death, may I further pursue my Love.

You are familiar to me in a homey way.
We have lived together all these years,
And I will recognize Your Voice
When You call me home.

No fear, no sudden fury,
Shall stop my pilgrim stride,
Or bend my will,
Long bent on You.

What of me?
Without You,
I would not know myself.
Call to me and I will come

©2016 Joann Nelander

Abortion Debate: Trent Horn vs. Professor Cecili Chadwick

An Act of Faith

I have seen enough to know,
I just don’t know,
But there is One Who does,
Giver of Life,
Giver of generations,
Giver of prayer.

One generation to pray
For the next generation.
Mother, and father,
Grandmother, grandfather,
A circle of care
To pray it forward.

Faith waits upon the Lord,
A gift beyond measure,
A mystery waiting to happen,
Not in our time,
But in our Father’s.

No seed too bad
To wait upon,
Hope for,
Entrust to God,
In His Mercy,
And providential time.

Our own close their ears
To the prophet at home
Or next door,
But no one knows
What God has in store.

"Place them here
With Me in the tabernacle,"
Whispers God to the heart.
"I’ll have the last word,
My Love to impart."

One generation to pray
For the next generation.
"All shall be well,
And all shall be well,
And all manner of thing
Shall be well."     (Bl.Julianna of Norwich)

©2012 Joann Nelander

When Does a Human Life Begin?

Lilies Like Trumpets

The lilies like trumpets
Stand about Your altar.
In their loveliness,
They proclaim Love.
In their pure white splendor,
They blast forth
Your glory.

All hallowed Mystery,
You satisfy for the Fall,
Make happy our eternal destiny.

In Your thirst for Man,
Your make new our souls,
And plan a future
Full of Hope,
Drinking our condemnation
To its bitter dregs,
Turning back the sea
Of our unrighteousness,
Drowning the enemy.

You are Mercy calling out,
Before the seat of Judgment.
You, "More Than a Conqueror,"
Turn sinner into saint,
Exchange Blessing for the Curse.

By that grace,
I am become the lily
With You on the altar,
Living witness
Of the Light
And the Life.

Alleluia!

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012
All rights reserved

Hope’s Longing

I find you in tears.
I find you in longing.
I find you covered in the news of the day,
Lying in the cold,
Under the blanket of the night,
Under heaven’s gaze.

Who wipes your tears?
Who comforts and consoles?
Who sees you in your many disguises,
Crying in the child,
Laughing with young,
Smiling down from Heaven?

Give me eyes to see through the tears.
Give me a heart to feel hope beyond sorrow.
Give me the shelter of your company.
Here in the Now,
I find You sweet within me
Promising Forever.

copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

"21 Thoughts" by Dr. Jerome Lejeune, the father of modern genetics

The Father of modern genetics, Dr. Jerome Lejeune, was dismayed when his work was being used to end lives in utero because chromosome 21 indicated Downs Syndrome. He worked to protect and improve the live of the weakest among us.

http://lejeuneusa.org/advocacy/21-thoughts-dr-j%C3%A9r%C3%B4me-lejeune#.VilDMF2BxwU.email

Choice

Jesus, high, lifted up, I adore You.
Jesus, high, lifted up, I praise You.
Jesus, high, lifted up, I love You.
Jesus, high, lifted up, I choose You,
As from the beginning, Jesus,
You chose me to be.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander

Who really died?

Who really died?
I never saw
The light of day.
Black descended,
Of a kind
I knew not,
And then no more….

How did I know you?
All I knew was you.
You flavored my becoming,
Your genes, my genes,
Your feelings,
Emotional rhythms,
Touching me
By blood connection.
All this,
And then no more…..

How did I feel you?
Warmth, gentle rocking
To and fro.
I felt you,
Heart-sounds
Surrounding me,
Pressing me,
Impressing me.
You whooshed at times
And hummed.
And then no more…..

How did I leave you?
I knew anguish
As once I knew you,
Your blood feeding mine,
I knew as parting,
Leaving behind mother
As gift withdrawn,
And bid goodbye.
Too young for endings,
Too soon to die,
And then no more…..

How now and by and by?
Sorrow and black
And then the Light.
New Day, as womb,
Enfolding me.
Life ending
Beginning yet again.
And I behold
The Face of God.
I live,
Knowing Love,
Yet still,
I wait for you.

Eternity has a door,
God knocks from His side,
I listen for you.
Pray but open the latch.
That you might die no more,
And free from sin,
Enter in.

There is yet more.
Who really died that day?

Who?

“Who do you say I am?”
Jesus asked.
Who do you say I am?

The jars lined the walls.
Each one marked:
A weight and words,
“Products of conception.”

Parts, just parts!
Parts, just parts?
Who do you say I am?

©2012 Joann Nelander

Opportunity Lives

Opportunity Lives.

Who really died?

Who really died?
I never saw
The light of day.
Black descended,
Of a kind
I knew not,
And then no more….

How did I know you?
All I knew was you.
You flavored my becoming,
Your genes, my genes,
Your feelings,
Emotional rhythms,
Touching me
By blood connection.
All this,
And then no more…..

How did I feel you?
Warmth, gentle rocking
To and fro.
I felt you,
Heart-sounds
Surrounding me,
Pressing me,
Impressing me.
You whooshed at times
And hummed.
And then no more…..

How did I leave you?
I knew anguish
As once I knew you,
Your blood feeding mine,
I knew as parting,
Leaving behind mother
As gift withdrawn,
And bid goodbye.
Too young for endings,
Too soon to die,
And then no more…..

How now and by and by?
Sorrow and black
And then the Light.
New Day, as womb,
Enfolding me.
Life ending
Beginning yet again.
And I behold
The Face of God.
I live,
Knowing Love,
Yet still,
I wait for you.

Eternity has a door,
God knocks from His side,
I listen for you.
Pray but open the latch.
That you might die no more,
And free from sin,
Enter in.

There is yet more.
Who really died that day?

Related articles

Lent

Lent is about Love,

Recognizing our lack and need.

 

Lent is about Spring,

becominf fertile grouns for Christ’s seed.

 

Lent is about Life,

Allowing the sprout to be freed.

 

Lent is about creation,

Imaging Christ in love and deed.

 

©2013 Joann Nelander

Holy Mystery of Love

May I burn like a candle
On the altar of God.

In the mystery of fire.
May I contemplate Your Presence.

In the flame that is Love.
We exist together.

The wax of my being is consumed,
In sacred transformation.

Enkindled, ignited and enflamed,
I Am sets me free.

Lover and beloved,
Be now All Holy Light.

copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

Joann Nelander
lionessblog.com

New Song

Love and praise hold hands.
Happy hearts rejoice.
Song rises from the multitude,
As lives lived in faith believing.

The Just sing with their being,
Resplendent and resounding love.
Praise embodied in saintly flesh.

New song, New Day,
New creation,
In harmony with Heaven
A symphony of faithful, forgiven witness.

Alleluia.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Top 10 Unpleasant, Daily Experiences You Can Make More Enjoyable

Whitson Gordon

When you can’t solve life’s big problems, solve the small ones. Here are 10 everyday experiences that are no fun, and how to make them a bit more enjoyable.

10. Make the Most of Your Long Commute

Top 10 Unpleasant, Daily Experiences You Can Make More Enjoyable

Driving to work can seem like hours stolen from your life, every single day. But it doesn’t have to be all bad. Make it a bit more productive and fun with some audiobooks or brain-boosting podcasts. Sit up straight and do some "desk exercises" to keep yourself from getting cramped. Practice a little mindfulness. And, most importantly, test different routes to keep things interesting (and find the fastest way there).

How Can I Make My Commute Suck Less?

Dear Lifehacker, I have a long commute. Traffic makes it much longer. It’s incredibly boring… Read more

9. Turn Boring Small Talk Into a Real Conversation

Top 10 Unpleasant, Daily Experiences You Can Make More Enjoyable

Nobody likes small talk—it’s boring, awkward, and plays out the same way every time. "Nice weather we’re having…what do you do for a living? Oh, verrrry interesting…" But it’s not hard to take that small talk and turn it into a real conversation. For example, when someone asks you how you’re doing, respond with a small detail instead of just "good". Arm yourself with relevant topics to the event or situation at hand. And, when in doubt, fall back on the FORD technique: Ask them questions about their family, occupation, recreation, and dreams. Chances are, you’ll find something you have in common.

How Can I Turn Small Talk Into a Conversation?

Dear Lifehacker, I hate small talk. I never know how in-depth I should go into a conversation and… Read more

via Top 10 Unpleasant, Daily Experiences You Can Make More Enjoyable.