Tuesday 21st November 2017

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

God The Sanctifier Of Men . . . A Supernatural Gift Of God

September 3, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


There was once a priest who was giving a catechism class to a group of children in a Catholic school. At some point in his explanation of God’s love for us, the beauty of Heaven, and the angels, he said, “Who among you here wants to go to Heaven?” All of the kids raise their hands (they had been told by an older student that in Heaven you do not go to school). Then the priest asked again, “Now, who among you here wants to be a saint?” Two or three of the younger ones slowly raised their pinky finger.
The priest asked: “Why do you have so little interest in becoming a saint?”
The kids replied, “Oh, father, to be a saint is so boring . . . praying all day . . . going to Mass every day . . . reading big books, no fun — you know, this kind of thing.”
Then the priest replied: “OK, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Here is the good news: God wants all of you to be in Heaven with Him forever!” All the kids clapped their hands and rejoiced.
“And the bad news?” the class leader asked. “Well,” replied the priest, “you don’t get to Heaven unless you are a saint.”
This little story illustrates a fundamental point in the Christian doctrine of salvation: only saints get to Heaven.
“Well,” you, the reader might say, “then we are all in trouble, because saints are in short supply these days.”
Yes, they are few and far between, but we can always spend a little holiday in Purgatory, get a nice tan, and purge ourselves of our little miseries, can’t we? Besides, we do not become saints on our own: As Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). It is God who sanctifies us; we do not sanctify ourselves. And here is the topic of this series of articles: How does God sanctify us?
In a few words, here is the truth: To be sanctified, we need divine grace and the sacraments.
As Pope Zosimus said: Christ, by His sufferings and death, won for us the right to be made children of God. We are made children of God by sanctifying grace, which we obtain chiefly through the sacraments.
Before the Sacrament of Baptism, we were creatures of God, not children. At Baptism, we were incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ, the Holy Catholic Church, and became children of God. Good or bad, living a virtuous life or a sinful one, but always His children.
You all know the parable of Jesus in which He compares the Kingdom of God — Heaven — with a Pearl of Great Price: A merchant of pearls finds a pearl, huge, great, beautiful beyond compare, and sells everything he possesses in order to buy it. So is Heaven: It is worth us giving everything away to get it. The solemn teaching of the Church on sanctifying grace is that it is a pearl of great price: a higher life, a participation in the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Now please, let us read it again: It is a higher life, a participation in the divinity of Jesus Christ! Can we grasp its full meaning? It makes us children of God, brethren of Christ, and enthrones the Holy Spirit in our soul!
If you ask me how can we contemplate its beauty and know its efficacy, I will tell you that everything will be revealed after we cross the threshold of eternity. Then we will give thanks to God for all the good things He gave us, and even, if not especially, the crosses He allowed to happen to us, since they allowed us to be like Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus carry His cross.
Yes, its beauty is hidden in this life and its efficacy will be known only after death. You may ask: “But how is it caused in us?” It is caused in us by God through the humanity of Christ. With it we receive the divine virtues, the moral virtues, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In adults, it is preserved and increased by good works, always bearing in mind that good works cannot be performed without actual grace. To make it easier to understand the reality and effects of grace in our souls, and how it works, let us break the doctrine into ten points. Please consider each of them one at a time:
By sanctifying grace, dwelling within our souls, we are made just, holy, or pleasing to God. That’s our ticket to Heaven, a one-way trip.
But when we commit a mortal sin, we lose our ticket, we lose sanctifying grace.
God gives sanctifying grace to different people in different ways, as it is not possessed by all just persons in the same amount or measure. You may get more — or less — grace than your neighbor; it all depends on God’s divine Providence. He knows best about who needs more grace and who needs less. We just say, “Thy will be done. . . .”
Divine grace is increased in our souls whenever we fulfill the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church; that’s our increase in merits and treasures in Heaven.
This is the real deal: By our good works, sanctified by grace, we truly merit eternal life, an increase of sanctifying grace and of glory hereafter in Heaven!
If we are faithful to divine grace until death, at the moment of our passing into eternity, it gives us the right to a degree of eternal happiness proportionate to our good works.
By ourselves, we can do nothing for salvation. Divine grace is always necessary for our good works to be meritorious.
Actual grace prepares the sinner or the unbeliever for the reception of sanctifying grace.
The first actual grace which God gives the sinner or the unbeliever is altogether gratuitous and cannot in any sense be merited.
To sum up, sanctifying grace, or habitual grace, is a supernatural gift of God by which the soul is made pleasing to Him. It removes all stain of grievous sin; it gives the soul a new and higher life, and fills it with splendor. It prepares the soul for that most intimate union with God which He has destined for it in the blessedness of Heaven.

God’s Friendship

Why is it called “sanctifying grace”? It is called sanctifying grace, because it sanctifies us, it makes us holy, with the Holiness of God Himself. It is no small gift! It is called a supernatural gift, because it is something to which no creature as such can ever have any natural right or claim. It is way beyond our ability to obtain by ourselves.
It is also called habitual grace, because it dwells and endures in the soul as a habitual, that is, permanent and constant, quality. It is also called justifying grace because by it the sinner is “justified,” that is, made just or righteous.
The only thing that can remove it from our souls and deprive us of God’s friendship is mortal sin.

+ + +

(Raymond de Souza, KM, is available to speak at Catholic events anywhere in the free world in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Please email Sacred
HeartMedia@Outlook.com or visit www.RaymonddeSouza.com or phone 507-450-4196 in the United States.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Bannon Discusses Growing Up in ‘a Very Observant Catholic Family’ in the South Where the KKK ‘Tarred and Feathered’ Priests

In a freewheeling new interview with author Keith Koffler, Steve Bannon recounted his upbringing in a “very observant Catholic family” in the 1950s and 1960s and how that molded who he is now. Koffler, author of Bannon: Always the Rebel, asked Mr. Bannon—Breitbart…Continue Reading

Bishop McElroy decries extremism on religious freedom, calls for solidarity in American politics

WASHINGTON (RNS) — In an address at Georgetown University, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego criticized both extremes in the fight over religious freedom and called for public consensus based on solidarity to heal our nation in this hyper-partisan age. McElroy…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke makes ‘final plea’ for clarity to Pope Francis on dubia anniversary

ROME, November 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – One year to the day after the dubia were made public, Cardinal Raymond Burke today is turning again to Pope Francis and to the whole Church in an urgent and final plea for clarity.…Continue Reading

Giving bishops final word on Mass translations would ‘destroy’ Church unity: Cardinal Muller

November 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The unity of the Church would be “destroyed” if bishops’ conferences, not the Vatican, had the final word over translations of liturgical texts, said Cardinal Gerhard Müller in a recent interview. The former prefect of…Continue Reading

Notre Dame reverses decision to end coverage of birth control in university insurance plans


In a reversal of school policy, the University of Notre Dame announced this week that it would continue to cover contraceptives for its employees, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune. The news marked a departure from Notre Dame’s announcement…Continue Reading

House Tax Reform Bill “Unacceptable” As Written, Say U.S. Bishops Chairmen

WASHINGTON—In a letter of November 9, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, Ohio called for amendments to the current draft of the House…Continue Reading

Truck honoring Dubia Cardinal stopped by police while circling Vatican

ROME, November 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Today in Rome, a publicity truck carrying billboard-size images of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, the dubia Cardinal who passed away three months ago, and Pope John Paul II made its way through the streets of…Continue Reading

Trump admin asks Supreme Court to ‘discipline’ lawyers for rushing teen’s abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to punish the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for lying to the government about the timeline of an underage illegal immigrant’s abortion.…Continue Reading

Christian nurse sues hospital for requiring her to assist abortions

DURHAM, North Carolina, November 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic nurse is suing Duke University Hospital, claiming that the university discriminated against her religious and pro-life beliefs by requiring her to assist in abortions. Sara T. Pedro was told during her employee…Continue Reading

It’s ‘impossible’ to change Catholic teaching against contraception: Cardinal

ROME, October 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Church’s teaching against contraception as expressed in Humanae Vitae is an “extraordinary example” of how the “truth of faith” deepens and develops while “continuing to be identical to itself,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller stated at a…Continue Reading

Thousands sign online petition to remove Madison’s bishop

MADISON (WKOW) — There’s an online petition being circulated to remove the Bishop of the Diocese of Madison. Bishop Robert Morlino is being criticized for his attitude about the LGTBQ community.  Earlier this week, an email was sent to priests in the…Continue Reading

Pontifical Academy of Sciences welcomes leftist California Governor Jerry Brown to keynote

ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is again throwing open its doors to abortion and population control activists. From November 2–4, the Vatican’s scientific academy will host a conference on the environment that will feature, among others, far-left…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

U.S. bishop defends pro-LGBT priest speaking at Catholic college as thousands protest

DALLAS, Pennsylvania, November 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A U.S. bishop is defending a local Catholic university’s invitation to a pro-homosexual priest to have him speak at its winter commencement in the face of almost 20,000 Catholics having signed a petition asking that the invitation be cancelled. Scranton Bishop Joseph C. Bambera is defending Jesuit homosexualist Fr. James Martin’s speaking engagement at Misericordia University’s winter commencement on December 17, saying that the priest’s latest book condoning…Continue Reading

Progressives hate everything old, including the elderly

November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Earlier this year, Maclean’s Magazinepublished an article asking a question that seemed to capture the prevailing mood on the Left: “Should older people lose the right to vote?” Because old people are practically dead, the author explained, there are some today who feel that they vote with only a short-term vision in mind, and thus should be barred from interfering with the Progress that would be brought about should young people be allowed…Continue Reading

Venerable Solanus Casey: the priest who answered the doorbell.

Vatican City, Nov 17, 2017 / 06:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Venerable Solanus Casey, a Capuchin priest from Wisconsin, was humble before all else, said the postulator of his cause for sainthood. The life of Venerable Solanus Casey is the story of his “humility, his simplicity, as well as his acceptance of whatever life gave him,” Franciscan-Capuchin Fr. Carlo Calloni told CNA Nov. 15. Fr. Solanus Casey is an American-born Capuchin priest who died in 1957.…Continue Reading

Swiss Planned Parenthood president invited to speak at Vatican

November 18, 2017 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life co-hosted a conference on the topic of end of life issues that included several speakers who oppose the Catholic Church’s teachings on the right to life, including the president the board of Switzerland’s Planned Parenthood affiliate, and the president of the pro-euthanasia Royal Dutch Medical Association. The conference, entitled the “WMA Europ

Catholic priests, activists to stand trial for pro-life witness inside abortion facility

November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday, November 20, six pro-lifers will stand trial in a State of Virginia courtroom for their defense of the unborn—facing a possible jail term of up to 90 days. On Friday, September 15, 2017 in three different cities across the United States, pro-lifers entered abortion centers to talk to women scheduled for abortions. By refusing to leave the clinics when told to do so by law enforcement, they offered…Continue Reading


A Book Review… The Sacred Heart Vs. Secularism

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, From Secularism and the New Age to Christendom Renewed, by Roger Buck (Angelico Press, 2016, 482 pages; $21.95 paperback, $10.12 Kindle). The Cor Jesu Sacratissimum of the title is the Latin for “Sacred Heart of Jesus,” and the premise of Roger Buck’s sizable volume is that the Sacred…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Questions In The Aftermath Of The Las Vegas Tragedy

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… “The Star” Shines For Christmas

By REY FLORES As children, many of us grew up watching television, particularly memorable special broadcasts of The Wizard of Oz, Rankin and Bass’ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and of course, all the holiday-themed Peanuts animated specials. My favorite was A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving where Snoopy and his little bird friend Woodstock fix a Thanksgiving…Continue Reading

Saints Francisco And Jacinta Of Fatima

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the tenth in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.) + + + So far in this series of articles published in commemoration the centenary of our Lady’s…Continue Reading

Mary Ann Glendon… A Voice For The Voiceless

By DONALD DeMARCO Mary Ann Glendon was born on October 7, 1938, in Dalton, Mass., a small town nestled in the Berkshire Hills. Her father was an Irish Catholic, her mother a Yankee Congregationalist. She learned a great deal from her mother’s religion about social organization and from her father, how Catholicism “enlarged the spirit,…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The Kingmakers Reject A Papal Favorite

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The approval of one’s peers is a highly prized trophy in the complicated world of adult professional relationships. Many work for years in obscurity with little acknowledgment. The opportunity to be championed and appreciated is a blessing not to be taken askance when other forms of promotion are no longer possible for those already at…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Cisterns Of Grace

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 In the last article, I finished the text with a prayer for the bishops of Malta, who now allow people living in adultery to receive Holy Communion. May our Lady guide them to repentance, and to correct their wrong teaching, lest they answer before God our Lord for leading people into committing a…Continue Reading

The Recipient, Minister, And Celebration Of Holy Orders

By DON FIER A significant reform of Vatican Council II, as we saw last week, was the restoration of the permanent diaconate in the Western Church “as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy” (Lumen Gentium, n. 29 § 2). An ordained ministry that has always been retained by the Churches of the East, it can be conferred on…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Asked in the past whether we will know family and friends in Heaven, we have responded in the affirmative. We would now like to call your attention to a book that provides additional confirmation of this belief. It is called In Heaven We’ll Meet Again: The Saints and Scripture on Our Heavenly Reunion, and was written by Francois…Continue Reading

King And Shepherd

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER The Solemnity Of Christ The King (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 34:11-12, 15-17 1 Cor. 15: 20-26, 28 Matt. 25:31-46 In the first reading today we hear God speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel saying that He will tend His sheep as a shepherd tends his sheep. This might strike us as strange since the feast is about…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Vicente Liem De La Paz

By CAROLE BRESLIN Vietnam received its first missionaries of the Catholic Church in the 1500s. These missionaries were predominantly Portuguese in the 16th century, with French Jesuits and the Dominicans coming in the 17th century. Throughout the following centuries the priests and missionaries suffered excruciating tortures and martyrdom. When the Communists captured northern Vietnam, Catholics fled to the south and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Scotland

By CAROLE BRESLIN Quite frequently saints have left their home country and died in another country, but most of them died in a foreign land because they left to serve as missionaries to Asia, Africa, or America. The land of Hungary, however, has seen a few saints depart because they were of royal families, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who…Continue Reading