Lesson 8: Sanctifying Grace
"And Jesus addressed them, and spoke to them again in parables, saying,  "The kingdom of Heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son...  And the marriage was filled with guests.  And the king went in to see the guests:  And he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment.  And he saith to him:  Friend, how camest thou in hither not having on a wedding garment?  But he was silent.  Then the king said to the waiters:  Bind his hands and feet and cast him into the exterior darkness:  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."  (Matthew 22:1-12)

  1. Why did God make you?

  2.     God made you to know, love and serve Him in this world so that you might share in His happiness in Heaven.

  3. Are mere human beings equipped to share God's happiness?

  4.     No, because God has a completely different kind of life.
    To share in the happiness of another, it is necessary to have the same kind of life.  A dog, for example, cannot enjoy a book because man has a higher kind of life than the dog.

  5. How is God's life a higher kind of life than that of man?

  6.     God's life is unlimited, uncreated and independent, whereas, human life is very limited, created by God and absolutely dependent on Him.
    "For in Him we live, and move, and are."    (Acts 17:28)

  7. What, then, is needed to share in God's happiness?

  8.     A new kind of life, called Sanctifying Grace.

  9. What is Sanctifying Grace?

  10.     A sharing in the life of God, which raises you to God's level and gives you the power to share in His happiness.
    "By whom He hath given us the most great and precious promises:  that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature."    (2 Peter 1:4)

  11. Does Sanctifying Grace make you the same as God?

  12.     No, only like God, because Sanctifying Grace is a created sharing in the life of God.
    You are still a human being, but one that is equipped to live in Heaven.

  13. Can you get to Heaven without Sanctifying Grace?

  14.     No, it is absolutely impossible to live in Heaven without Sanctifying Grace.
    The wedding garment in the parable (Matthew 22:10-13) is Sanctifying Grace.  The banquet hall is Heaven, and the king is God.  The attendants are the Angels, and the darkness outside is Hell.

  15. Is there Sanctifying Grace in your soul when you are born?

  16.     No, all human beings are created without Sanctifying Grace.
    "For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God.  Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus."    (Romans 3:23-24)

  17. How can you get Sanctifying Grace?

  18.     Baptism puts Sanctifying Grace into your soul for the first time.
    "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."    (John 3:5)

  19. Can you make Sanctifying Grace grow in your soul?

  20.     Yes, chiefly by receiving Holy Communion and the other Sacraments, and by prayer and good works.
    "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."    (2 Peter 3:18)

  21. Can you lose Sanctifying Grace?

  22.     Yes, by committing a serious sin (that is, a mortal sin) -- one that destroys God's life in your soul.
    "But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death."    (James 1:15)

  23. Can you feel Sanctifying Grace in your soul?

  24.     No, because Sanctifying Grace is completely spiritual.
    It is impossible to experience something spiritual, such as grace, a soul, or an angel, with one of the five senses.

  25. Does a religious feeling indicate Sanctifying Grace in the soul?

  26.     No, nor does the absence of such a feeling indicate the absence of Sanctifying Grace.
    A person being baptized may not experience a religious feeling but can be morally certain from the promise of Christ that Baptism is putting Sanctifying Grace into his soul.


  1. Adam and Eve were created with Sanctifying Grace in their souls.  After them, the only other human being created with Sanctifying Grace was the Blessed Virgin, Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
  2. A soul in the state of Grace has two kinds of life:  Human life, and the sharing in God's life.  A mortal sin kills (or drives out) only the Sanctifying Grace.  Nothing can kill the human life of the soul, which is immortal.
  3. Babies who die without being baptized cannot go to Heaven because they die without Sanctifying Grace.  The Church has never taught, as an official doctrine, what happens to the souls of unbaptized infants.  However, Catholic books approved by the Church have consistently taught that unbaptized babies probably go to a place of natural happiness in the next world called Limbo.  God is not cruel or unjust in not allowing them to enter Heaven because Sanctifying Grace is a gift and no one has a right to a gift.  Man does not have a natural right to Heaven, which is a supernatural end for man.  If a baby dies without Baptism, the parents should put the matter in God's hands and trust in His wisdom and goodness.
  4. Adults who neglect to be baptized do not go to Limbo but to Hell.