We all know that the Mercy and Grace of God exist, but sometimes it gets a bit difficult to understand these words and what exactly do they mean entirely. Let’s dive a bit deeper.
What’s God’s Mercy?
In this discussion on Mercy and grace of God let’s begin first with understanding what is Mercy and, specifically, what is God’s Mercy? By definition, Mercy is defined in the New Oxford American Dictionary as “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”
When it comes to God’s Mercy, the definition definitely does not steer away far, but in essence, it is God’s forgiveness. We see His Mercy in the bible, just like in Exodus 33:19
“The Lord answered: I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim my name, “Lord,” before you; I who show favor to whom I will, I who grant Mercy to whom I will.”
One very important aspect of God’s Mercy is that you can only really truly understand the whole experience of it when there is an involvement of sin. Sin is something that is normal that we go through as humans, but there is of course some gravity to the sins that we commit. As Catholics, we are able to experience God’s Mercy through the sacrament of reconciliation which is a genuine and special gift from Him.
Praying For God’s Mercy
If you’re wondering if you can pray for God’s Mercy, the answer is yes, of course! Prayer is a communication that we have with God, and opening your heart to Him and asking for His Mercy is a beautiful thing. It simply makes us better as humans and helps us to strengthen our relationship with Him. Praying for God’s Mercy can also be seen as asking for forgiveness from our sins, though do not confuse this as a confession. Praying for God’s Mercy is still something that can not replace the sacrament of reconciliation.
What Does God’s Grace Mean?
Moving on to talking about God’s grace, let us first look at its definition. From the New Oxford American Dictionary, the word “Grace” is defined as “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”
In the Catholic Church, grace is a gift from God to us, humans that vitally allows us to attain eternal life and for our sins to be forgiven. There are two types of grace that is acknowledged in the Catholic Church which are the Sanctifying Grace and the Actual Grace.
Sanctifying Grace Meaning
Sanctifying grace emerges when we are in a constant state of holiness. Sanctification means “to make holy” and when we are sanctified we are set up and made to be more like God. One way that we can be sanctified is through the sacrament of baptism. In baptism, our soul is cleansed and permeates with Sanctifying Grace.
Actual Grace Meaning
Now when it comes to Actual Grace, this is something obtained through acts of charity, kindness, and acts of faith. This type of grace is not constant and enduring, as it appears only when we humans take part in those good acts.
Responding to God’s Grace and Mercy
Sometimes it may be overwhelming to respond in both Mercy and grace of God. In these moments, we must remember that we are humans and that sin is part of humanity, but it does not define who we are. At the end of the day, we are children of God, and to receive Mercy and grace from Him is a sign of His unmerited favor and love for us. He is no doubt a loving God.
If you are looking for a concrete way to respond to His grace and Mercy, you may do so through prayer and acts of faith and kindness towards others. But the most important way to respond to these blessings is through acceptance. Once we accept and acknowledge His grace and Mercy we are fostering and growing in His love and this will truly change our lives. If you face some difficulties in this, you can ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through this.
Praying for God’s Mercy and Grace
There are many ways you can pray for God’s Mercy and ask for God’s Mercy. You can start with a personal prayer during your prayer time, or you can do a Novena to the Dive Mercy. If you want to get really into it, you can also sign up for online catholic retreats and listen to talks about seeking God’s Mercy. Evidently, these are all great ways to pray and ask for God’s Mercy, but the best way still is to go to confession and partake in the sacrament of reconciliation.