: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification
: approval, favor : privilege
: a temporary exemption : reprieve
plural capitalized : three sister goddesses in Greek mythology who are the givers of charm and beauty
: a musical trill, turn, or appoggiatura
: sense of propriety or right
: the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful
Grace (n.): late 12c., “God’s unmerited favor, love, or help,” from Old Frence grace “pardon, mercy; favor, thanks; elegance, virtue,” from Latin gratia.
Sense of “virtue” is early 14c., that of “beauty of form or movement, pleasing quality.”
In classical sense, “one of the three sister goddess (Latie Graiae, Greek Kharites), bestowers of beauty and charm.”
“If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company.”
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892, British Baptist preacher, and known as the “Prince of Preachers,” who preached to over 10,000 people before electronics was invented.)
“Butterflies are self propelled flowers.”
Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988, American science fiction writer, often called the “dean of science fiction writers,” who was an influential and controversial author of the genre in his time. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke were often considered to be the “Big Three” of science fiction authors.)
“All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
Cormac McCarthy (b. 1933, age 82, American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter; two of his novels include: “All the Pretty Horses” and “No Country for Old men”)
“It is the tenderness that breaks our hearts. The loveliness that leaves us stranded on the shore, watching the boats sail away. It is the sweetness that makes us want to reach out and touch the soft skin of another person. And it is the grace that comes to us, undeserving though we may be.”
Robert Goolrick (b. 1948, age 67, American writer, best known for the novel, “The End of the World as We Know It” and “A Reliable Wife”)
“Love is holy because it is like grace--the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.”
Marilynne Robinson (b. 1943, age 71, an American novelist and essayist; she has received several awards including a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005 for her novel, “Gilead.” She also received a National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2013.)
“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.”
Matthew Henry (1662-1714, Welsh-born or British Non-Conformist minister and author)
“A miracle is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand.”
Frederick Buechner (Carl Frederick Buechner, b. 1926, age 89, American writer and theologian; ordained Presbyterian minister and the author of more than thirty published books)
“You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.”
Rumi (1207-1273, Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic)
“This grace of God is a very great, strong, mighty and active thing. It does not lie asleep in the soul. Grace hears, leads, drives, draws, changes, works all in man, and lets itself be distinctly felt and experienced. It is hidden, but its works are evident.”
Martin Luther (1483-1546, German friar, priest, professor of theology, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation)
I was thinking a great deal about Grace this week and the states of illumination, especially in light of the Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S.
Please allow me share some of my thoughts about last week, which for me (along with Equinox and Eclipse) felt like quantum moments of time, and to focus on the words highlighted during the Pope’s visit: Grace, Mercy, Humility, Authenticity, and Peace.
While watching on TV the Pope’s visit to a Philadelphia prison, Van Jones, a CNN contributor said it best, “I may be a Protestant, but I am such a fan of Pope Francis. He is not just calling us over, he’s calling us up!” Jones went on to say, and I can’t agree more, that the Pope’s visit initiated a world revival.
The Pope’s presence in this country and on this side of our global hemisphere quickened something profound within me. I felt very much like the Speaker of the House John Boehner, where I often welled up with a great deal of emotion and tears. I was not only crying for joy and because of the Pope’s supreme and authentic living example of piety, humility, and devotion; but my heart also became full when I witnessed the faces of those who were fortunate to be near him, especially children and those in need: the homeless, the incarcerated, the victimized, and the grieved.
We are definitely undergoing a Shift, a transformation and awakening of sorts that feels similar to the quickening this planet endures during some of our greatest tragedies; except this time, we are being filled with profound joy. It is clear that most of us are ready be kinder and more loving spiritual luminous beings.
While researching the word, Grace and its wisdom, I gleaned another quote by Charles H. Spurgeon from his book entitled, The Treasury of David, (Psalm 1): “It is a rich sign of inward grace when the outward walk is changed, and when ungodliness is put far from our actions… Although a sinner himself, he is now a blood-washed sinner, quickened by the Holy Spirit, and renewed to hear.”
We are ready to hear and we are to our own individual internal work and implement the spiritual practices that nourish our inner grace. Like Pope Francis said so eloquently, it’s about how the investments we make towards our soul.
I love this Native American proverb called the Tale of Two Wolves:
One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealously, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
“The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one that you feed.”
When we are able to feed ourselves with all the good this world has to offer, we will be able to access and initiate our personal inner states of grace and further the world’s collective grace as well.
No matter what faith, religion, belief system, or affiliation you are called to we are now being uplifted to be of service and to do our part to love. I’m ready and hope you are too!
Sincerely Yours, Tonya