What does God’s grace do to us?
God’s grace brings us into the inner life of the Holy Trinity, into the exchange of love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It makes us capable of living in God’s love and of acting on the basis of this love.
Grace is infused in us from above and cannot be explained in terms of natural causes (supernatural grace). It makes usespecially through Baptismchildren of God and heirs of heaven (sanctifying or deifying grace). It bestows on us a permanent disposition to do good (habitual grace). Grace helps us to know, to will, and to do everything that leads us to what is good, to God, and to heaven (actual grace). Grace comes about in a special way in the sacraments, which according to the will of our Savior are the preeminent places for our encounter with God (sacramental grace). Grace is manifested also in special gifts of grace that are granted to individual Christians (charisms) or in special powers that are promised to those in the state of marriage, the ordained state, or the religious state (graces of state).
How is God’s grace related to our freedom?
God’s grace is freely bestowed on a person, and it seeks and summons him to respond in complete freedom. Grace does not compel. God’s love wants our free assent.
One can also say No to the offer of grace. Grace, nevertheless, is not something external or foreign to man; it is what he actually yearns for in his deepest freedom. In moving us by his grace, God anticipates man’s free response.
Dig Deeper: CCC section (1999-2004)