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Grace is a supernatural gift of God to an intelligent creature, bestowed to enable us to merit eternal life. There are two kinds of grace, actual and sanctifying (also called habitual). Actual grace is a supernatural help given to us by God to avoid evil and to do good, it affects the faculties of will and intellect. Actual grace operates in the soul by illuminating it, so that a person can differentiate between good and evil and choose to do good. St. Augustine explained grace as the “will and performance.” He explained, that we cannot take credit for any beneficial act we perform as it is in actuality God working in and through us to accomplish His will.

Sanctifying grace is that grace which sanctifies the soul and makes it pleasing to God. It also has an absolutely supernatural quality, essentially and permanently dwelling in the soul by which we are made sons and daughters of God. The moment we receive the precious gift of sanctifying grace we pass from the state of sin to the state of grace.

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