Grace: Week 2
Summary: Sunday, January 31-Friday, February 5, 2016
The passion of Pope Francis is to again make merciful love the foundation, the center, and the goal. (Sunday)
Grace is not something God gives; grace is who God is. (Monday)
God does not love you because you are good; God loves you because God is good. (Tuesday)
“YHWH, YHWH, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and abounding in faithfulness.” —Exodus 34:6 (Wednesday)
I believe that faith might be precisely that ability to trust the Big River of God’s providential love, which is to trust the visible embodiment (the Son), the flow (the Holy Spirit), and the source itself (the Father). (Thursday)
Mercy has to be your deepest way of seeing, a generosity of spirit that draws from your identity, your deepest dignity, which is love. (Friday)
Practice: Saying Grace
Many cultures have a beautiful tradition of saying a prayer before or after a meal, expressing gratitude and asking for blessing. If we are accustomed to praying over our food, it may become a rote, almost thoughtless gesture. Yet it is another opportunity to intentionally open ourselves to receive and participate in grace. The food is already blessed simply by its existence. God doesn’t require our words of thanks. But it does us good to “say grace,” to verbally acknowledge the grace that is everywhere, even and especially in the giving of lives—plant and animal—for our sustenance.
If you have a practice of saying grace, bring greater awareness and presence to it. Find or create a prayer that names your experience of grace. This Hindu blessing, from the Bhagavad Gita, is said before meals:
This ritual is One. The food is One. We who offer the food are One. The fire of hunger is also One. All action is One. We who understand this are One.
Indeed, it is all One in the immense and undiscriminating Grace that is God.
Gateway to Silence:
Everything is grace.
For further study:
Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self