Father Robert Altier – There Are Only Two Ways Our Souls Exist: 1) In The State Of Sanctifying Grace or 2) In The State Of Mortal Sin.
DesertVoice.Org – Anyone who was raised Catholic will remember that grace is defined as the supernatural life of the soul. Grace makes us children of God and heirs of heaven. Grace is God’s life that He infuses into our soul, and it is precisely the sharing in His life that makes us partakers of the divine nature. It raises us to a supernatural level of acting and being. It makes us children of God, and because we are children of God, we are members of the one Son of God. His inheritance becomes our inheritance, and therefore heaven – God Himself – becomes our inheritance. We remember from the third lesson that Adam and Eve were created with sanctifying grace but they lost it when they sinned. This means that humanity originally had everything necessary to enter into the Beatific Vision, the blessed vision (which is what “Beatific” means), the face to face vision of God for eternity, so we would have been able to go straight to heaven. But they lost that. We also saw that Christ’s death on the Cross reconciled humanity with God, but we also said that that objective redemption must be accepted and appropriated to each person individually. The application of the fruits of the Redemption is called “justification” or “sanctification.” Because we have a mind and a will, the Church teaches that the process of justification requires the free cooperation of each person. God will not force anybody to cooperate; it requires our free will. Each of us has the freedom to choose. Grace, then, is a supernatural gift of God which He bestows freely on rational creatures so they can obtain personal union with Him.
There are two ways our soul can be. We are either in the state of sanctifying grace or we are in the state of mortal sin; it is one or the other. We can have venial sins, the smaller sins, on our souls, but that does not remove God’s grace entirely. The reason a mortal sin is called “mortal” is because it causes a supernatural death, that is, the death of the life of God in the soul. If we are in the state of sanctifying grace, we have God’s life and we partake in the divine nature and we have union with God. If we do not have sanctifying grace, then we do not have the divine life in us and we do not have union with God.
Why does God allow evil? In order to bring about a greater good. He allows the fact that some people will go to hell in order for the free acts of love which merit the Beatific Vision to take place. In other words, if we were puppets on His string, heaven would mean nothing. If we do not have a choice about getting there, it is not going to be an issue: “So what? It’s just heaven.” No, it means everything when you have to make the choice to be there. If you did not have a free will, heaven would not mean a thing. But when you have a free will and you could have chosen the opposite, when you have rejected all the devil’s lies and all the things he is offering you in this world so that you can be united with God, heaven is going to mean everything to you. That is exactly what the Lord wants from us. And this does not in any way contradict God’s desire for the salvation of all. He offers His grace to all, but some people will misuse their freedom and they will say “no” to God, and He allows these to go their own way. Their reprobation, then, is conditioned on their foreseen future sins.
That is a point I think I made before. We look at some people whom God allows to do all kinds of bad things and we say, “It’s not fair. If I step one inch out of line, God’s right there to whack me. But look at what these people are doing. He just lets them do whatever they want.” The worst possible thing that could happen to somebody is for God just to say, “Go ahead, do what you want. You don’t want to do it My way? Then go do it your way.” If you are trying to do it God’s way, He is going to help you. If you step a little out of line, He will straighten you right back out. That is because He knows you are trying to do it His way and you want to do it His way. So it is not an unfair thing of saying, “Why doesn’t God let me get away with anything?” What we should do is thank Him that He does not let us get away with anything.