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There are two kinds of grace.

Actual grace is the name for the help we get from God when things are difficult.

When we are having a hard time following God’s will, we can pray and ask God for grace. God gives us supernatural help to overcome the spiritual challenges we face. This is called actual grace.

The other kind of grace is sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace is a gift from God that allows us to live with Him forever in heaven.

Imagine being an astronaut and riding a rocket into space. If we were to go on a spacewalk, we would need a suit with a helmet, and that helmet would be filled with air. Sanctifying grace is like air in a spacesuit. Without this gift from God, we would not survive in heaven.

Our mission as people is to ensure that we equip ourselves on Earth before we take our trip to heaven. Just like an astronaut needs to make sure they have enough oxygen for the trip, we travelers on Earth must make sure we have enough sanctifying grace for heaven.

God gives us the grace we need. In fact, He gives us grace all the time. Even people who sin are always offered the gift of grace. God wants everyone to make it to heaven, but He respects our freedom and our choices. God will never force us to accept a gift –otherwise it would not be a gift and we would not be free!

Every waking moment, God is with us, offering us grace. Many people accept this grace with gratitude, the same as we would if a person we love offered us a gift we valued. But some people reject these gifts, treating God like a salesperson trying to push a cheap product that we do not need.

Grace is not cheap, and we need it!

We can tell when God is offering us graces. We can sense it. When God gives us strength to go to confession, or the strength to go to Mass, that’s grace. When we feel a nudge, discouraging us from committing a sin, that’s God offering us grace. When a voice in our heads reminds us to pray, that is God offering His grace –actual grace.

As we accept all the grace God is giving us, it changes us. Over time, we develop the habit of listening to God and following His will. His will becomes clearer to us as we become more attuned to His grace. Eventually, grace changes us from the inside. We become holy or sanctified. A sanctified person is filled with sanctifying grace.

When a person filled with sanctifying grace passes away from this world, they will know they have what they need to enter and thrive in the kingdom of Heaven.

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