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Gratitude and Grace
Gratitude and Grace

Gratitude and Grace: Weekly Summary

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Grace cannot be understood by any ledger of merits and demerits. It cannot be held to patterns of buying, losing, earning, achieving, or manipulating. Grace is, quite literally, “for the taking.” It is God eternally giving away God—for nothing—except the giving itself.
—Richard Rohr

We stop seeking our own worthiness and we begin to know the gift of God. We begin to realize that it’s all gift, and it’s all free, and we already have it, and all we can do is learn to enjoy it, and that changes everything.
—Richard Rohr

The movement of grace toward gratitude brings us from the package of self-obsessed madness to a spiritual awakening. Gratitude is peace. —Anne Lamott

To understand the gospel in its radical, transformative power, we have to stop counting, measuring, and weighing. We have to stop saying “I deserve” and deciding who does not deserve. This daily conversion is hard to do unless we’ve experienced infinite mercy and realize that it’s all a gift—all the time.
—Richard Rohr

Jesus established a table of hospitality where all are guests and no one owes anything to anyone else. Around this table, gifts pass without regard to payback or debt. Everyone sits. Everyone eats. And, recognizing that everything is a gift, all are grateful.
—Diana Butler Bass

In the world of grace and freedom, for a channel to be opened, it must flow forward, through, and toward something else—or the channel becomes blocked. The positive and appreciative response demands consciousness and choice—and freedom on our part.
—Richard Rohr

Week Forty-Five Practice

Nurturing the Good

We share a practice of embodied gratitude from meditation teacher Kaira Jewel Lingo:

Begin by settling into the body. Feel the breath, notice the environment, be aware of sounds, and connect with sensations in the body. Open to what’s here in the body and mind, with acceptance and kindness….  

Now I invite you to appreciate yourself for your practice and the many ways that you are open to learn and grow. Something in you is energetic and motivated to grow and deepen; it cares about your own inner life, your own happiness. Feel the goodness of this impulse in you that brought you to practice in the first place. A kind of faith in yourself and your own inherent goodness. Feel it in your body. Notice its qualities and characteristics, this strength of mind/heart. Open to it, let it grow in you…. 

Let yourself bring to mind other things you feel grateful for. How your body is still functioning right now, your heart still beating, your lungs expanding and retracting, your skin protecting your flesh.  

Let yourself connect with gratitude for the presence of beloved people or pets in your life, or someone who has been supportive of you in the past. Connect with the ways they were present for you and how they made a difference in your life…. 

Now let yourself open to gratitude for the world around you, the Earth that is supporting you right now, the sun that shows up each day, the air that sustains all life, water, the stars, the oceans. Feel the gift of life that is pulsing through your veins now and let yourself feel thankful for it. Feel the gift of life that surrounds you every moment, everywhere you go.  

Feel this gratitude in your body. Let yourself be nurtured, strengthened by it.  

And notice if there are any ideas arising about how you might create a beautiful past today or soon, for yourself and those you care about.  


Kaira Jewel Lingo, We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons on Moving through Change, Loss, and Disruption (Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press, 2021), 105–106, 107. 

Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Loïs Mailou Jones, Textile Design for Cretonne (detail), 1928, watercolor on paper, Smithsonian. Loïs Mailou Jones, Eglise Saint Joseph (detail), 1954, oil on canvas, Smithsonian. Alma Thomas, Red Abstraction (detail), 1959, oil on canvas, Smithsonian. Click here to enlarge image.

This street scene reminds us of the ordinary, loud, multi-colored, sun and shade gift of life.

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