June 2015 (Vol. XXVIII, No. 6)
"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"
Greetings, dear friends ~ What is grace? It seems to linger just beyond our awareness until it seeps in unbidden and undeserved—the unexpected fragrance caught on the breeze, the cool refreshing stream with its melodic soothing of the heart, the warmth of the sun on an upturned face. It triggers the moments that against all odds soften our hearts. Perhaps it arrives on the fingertips of human touch or in the space between the notes of our allegro movements. Perhaps it is a gentle tap on the shoulder from beyond the edges of the visible world that causes us to turn our heads to listen and to look and to feel the blessings all around us. Whatever it is and wherever the source, it asks nothing more of us than gratitude.
Every breath we draw is a gift of God's love; every moment of existence is a grace.
~ Thomas Merton, from THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE
Grace comes when we are made to realize the futility and ephemeral nature of all things under the sun, and it is typical of human nature to resist this realization. When one thing turns to dust and ashes for us, we turn from it hopefully to something else, and so the restless search goes on. This seed of restlessness placed in the human heart is in reality a great blessing. For when we have discovered that all our fevered searching leads only to blank walls of disillusion, we begin to experience a new realization which makes way for God’s love in our heart.
~ Karl Rahner
I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact — to borrow from the languages of the saints — to live "in grace" as much of the time as possible.
~ from GIFT FROM THE SEA by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Grace is an energy; not a mere sentiment; not a mere thought of the Almighty; not even a word of the Almighty...It is a divine energy; it is the energy of the divine affection rolling in plenteousness toward the shores of human need.
~ Benjamin Jowett
We must not wish for the disappearance of our troubles but the grace to transform them.
~ Simone Weil
Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. Yet, the choice for gratitude rarely comes without some real effort. But each time I make it, the next choice is a little easier, a little freer, a little less self-conscious. Because every gift I acknowledge reveals another and another until, finally, even the most normal, obvious, and seemingly mundane event or encounter proves to be filled with grace. There is an Estonian proverb that says:
"Who does not thank for little
Will not thank for much."
Acts of gratitude make one grateful because, step by step, they reveal that all is grace.
~ from RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON by Henri Nouwen
There is a grace in life that can be trusted. In our struggle toward freedom we are neither abandoned nor alone.
~ from MY GRANDFATHER’S BLESSINGS by Rachel Naomi Remen
I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
~ Anne Lamott
I want to leave enough room in my heart
For the unexpected,
For the mistake that becomes knowing,
For knowing that becomes wonder,
For wonder that makes everything porous,
Allowing in and out
All available light...
So I will stay open
And companionably friendly,
With all that presses out from the heart
And comes in at a slant
And shimmers just below
The surface of things.
~ Carrie Newcomer in A PERMEABLE LIFE
Usually grace beings by illuminating the soul with a deep awareness, with its own light.
~ Diodicus, 5th c.
Nature and grace are viewed as flowing together from God. They are both sacred gifts. The gift of nature ... is the gift of "being"; the gift of grace, on the other hand, is the gift of "well-being." Grace is given to reconnect us to our true nature.
~ from CHRIST OF THE CELTS by J. Philip Newell
Grace is the breath of God, a divine force that moves through us, within us, and around us. Grace holds the potential to heal our souls, our minds, and our hearts, as well as the dynamics within relationships and other life circumstances. We are natural channels of grace. The monasteries that are dedicated to prayer for the world and the people in them are continual channels for grace in this world. These individuals know that while they are in that state of prayer, grace can flow through them and into the world at large.
~ Caroline Myss
Reality is permeated, indeed flooded, with divine creativity, nourishment, and care.
~ from CONFLICT, HOLINESS, AND POLITICS by Marcus Borg
Grace is not a thing to come to you. It is ever showering on you. You have only to be conscious of it. May God grant you this faith and this consciousness.
~ Swami Ramdas
... where people have lived in inwardness the air is charged with blessing and does bless ...
~ May Sarton, in COLLECTED POEMS
Put yourself in a place where grace can flow.
~ Robert Lax
Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb.
~ from A Tree Full of Angels, Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B
- Linda DeGraf © 2014
- Ralph LaForge © 2015
- Linda DeGraf © 2014
- Ralph LaForge © 2015