You wouldn’t want to run a marathon while in the middle of a fast. You would lack the energy to go very far. Marathon runners carbo load their bodies with energy so they can successfully run the race.
Many of us think of grace in much the same way. It is a mystical fuel that we can store up in our spiritual gas tanks. When we do something right or partake in the sacraments, God gives us his grace which strengthens us in our day and helps us to live a good Christian life. We take God’s grace and deposit it into our spiritual bank accounts for a withdrawal later.
But grace is more an effect than an object. Grace is what happens to us when our wills and our actions are in harmony with God. When our wills are aligned with God’s the light of God’s loves shines through us, making our souls glow brightly. This glow is veiled to us who can only see the natural world but it is spectacularly visible to the supernatural world.
There have been occasions when the veil has been lifted and man has been allowed to see what grace looks like. The most notable was Jesus' transfiguration on the mountain. When Jesus was visited by Moses and Elijah on the mountain top Peter, James, and John were permitted to see what the angels could. Jesus took on a glow, a light emanating from within that had no apparent source. Jesus, being the second person of God, is always full of grace. On this occasion we were allowed to see him as the angels do.
Mary, mother of God, was conceived without sin and lived a sinless life. Her life was in communion with God’s will from the very moment she came into being. When the angel Gabriel addressed her he refers to he as ‘full of grace’. Mary’s glow of grace is the brightest of all creatures, second only to that of Jesus. She is a guiding light for all humanity and the epitome of what a human can become if we could only say yes to God’s plan for our lives.
When we are in communion with God we are in a state of grace. When our wills are aligned with his the light of God’s love shines through us. As we separate ourselves from God through venial sin that glow starts to diminish. When we commit mortal sin we separate ourselves completely from God and that glow no longer exists. The glow of grace acts as a beacon to all creatures supernatural. Joy filled is the guardian angel whose assignment glows brightly. The glow of grace is a light that hurts the devil’s eyes. No demon can tolerate being in the presence of Mary. Her cooperation with God’s will casts her in such a light that demons flee from her. Having Mary by your side is one of the best protections from evil you can get.
But woe to the man who is not in a state of grace. Just as a bedroom light scares monsters from under a child’s bed at night the glow of grace helps keep demons at bay. When this glow is faint or does not exist at all it is like ringing a dinner bell for those who look to devour a weak will. Fearful are the guardian angels whose assignments lack the glow of grace. They must work harder for those they protect to ward off the roaming lion looking to devour the weak or lost soul.
It would be so much easier if we could see the supernatural. We could see the angels that surround us and the demons that lurk in the shadows preparing to pounce. We could see Mass for what it really is. We could see all of the Saints who have gone before us. We could see those who are in a state of grace and we could see those who are struggling. We could aid the angels and the Saints to help those who were struggling.
But we do not need supernatural vision to do that. We aid those around us by being in a state of grace ourselves. Our glow can help those who don’t. The light of God’s love shining through us can be a beacon and offer protection to those still in darkness. It all starts with us. Partake in the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Align your will with that of God’s so your soul glows brightly with grace. Help make this world and the supernatural one a brighter place.