Father Robert Altier: Grace And The Divine Life

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.

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6 comments to Father Robert Altier: Grace And The Divine Life

  • Audri Molander

    A Question:
    I’m burying my 29 year old son soon. He was a alcoholic and drug addict. I always prayed for God to guard him from death until he was ready to accept God’s mercy.
    We don’t know if his death was from drugs, or if it was something else. He was on psych Meds which could have interacted with cold medication due to his being ill at the time. His life was difficult from the start with many circumstances beyond his control that were damaging to him. So, we know his will was less free. The last weeks of his life seemed much better, staying sober, talking with his girlfriend about going to church together, showing love and care toward others in addiction recovery and street people. God’s grace was clearly moving in his life and he was responding to it! To my knowledge, he did not confess before he died. I am troubled that he is in hell because of this. I am trying to understand how Gods grace could have allowed his death, unless perhaps God saw his contrition and chose to take him at an opportune moment. I am beside myself with grief and am battling fear. Please help me!
    Thank you,
    Audri Molander

  • Mary

    PLEASE continue to share beautiful homilies for all to read. The average CAtholic is starving for food for our souls and are not finding it in many if not most parishes. Homilies that speak of sin, pride, Adoration and the Real Presence, Jesus’s longing to receive us at Adoration, the reality of Hell, the consequences of sin, what mortal sin means and what constitutes a mortal sin…………..it’s the young people that need direction!!! Finally, please stress the importance of prayer for the laiety as well as for priests/religious and WHY prayer is so necessary………………THANK YOU, THANK, YOU, THANK YOU!!!! THIS SITE IS SO WONDERFUL!!!!!!! A MILLION THANK YOU’S!!!!!

  • terrig

    Thank you Father. I love this website where I can read the Truth. I actually have to pray before I go to Mass so I won’t get annoyed at the homily. I’m so sick of priests making it seem like we’re all going to Heaven and there is no sin, etc. I can’t believe your Bishop forbide you from publishing your homilies. I actually now watch the Mass on EWTN so I can get the clear meaning of the Gospel from a priest.

  • Jacqueline Griffith

    This was beautiful, so to the point but yet so very clear. Sometimes I am so very confused at what I hear in the homilies (at times) that it frightens me. Thank you I will use this when I teach my 8th graders catechism this week. God Bless you

  • Patricia Extance

    What a great joy to see Father Altier’s words of wisdom once again. I have a notebook full of his Homilies before his Bishop would not allow him to put them on his website any more. What a shame as these Homilies were sent to my friends who distributed them to others and what a help in understanding Scripture. Let us pray that Father will once again have his own website and continue to teach the faithful the real meaning of Scripture. In The Two Hearts, P.E.

  • June St. James-Pfouts

    Thank you, Father, for straight and clear reminders of God’s Grace and how human will for its own pleasure reject that Grace. Thank you for the reminder of why God seems to be so tough on those of us who sincerely strive to live as He Wills, and as our Faith commands. We are brought up short, aren’t we, and leaving no doubt about it. Yes it comes to refining the gold with fire, doesn’t it, or the gold that God sees is within us when even we do not. The choice is ours. I so worry about those among my own children who reject His Grace and live as they choose. All they do is deride and scorn my faith, the beliefs we cherrish, in which they were raised. It comes to the scourge of our day, moral relativism.

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