Today’s post comes from presenter Susan Boruff. Susan often presents retreats at our Center with Kathy Anderson and they have a ministry together, Take Twelve Today. Their next retreat will be held June 17-21 and the theme is “Healing Our World One Person at a Time: Discovering How God’s Love Transforms Ourselves, Our Families, Our Communities and Our World”. What a poignant theme for everything that we’re experiencing during this pandemic! To learn more about the retreat and these presenters, please click here. Let’s take a moment to breathe as we read Susan’s post. There is also a meditation at the end by Kathy Anderson.
Reflections on Grace
Catholic priest and mystic, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, states in his book, The Divine Milieu, that we are all living in the “divine sea of love and grace.”
What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word Grace? Take a few minutes and reflect on this word. Grace. Do this now. Maybe jot down a word or two.
The literal definition of grace is God’s favor or help. In Hebrew it is ‘Chen’ from the root word ‘Chanan’ which means “to bend and stoop in kindness to another.” It also means protection.
Grace makes us feel safe. We are living in an atmosphere of God’s favor, help, protection and kindness! Let’s just sit with that for a minute. Take 25 seconds to savor this truth. We are surrounded by God’s help and protection. This is good news! This helps us understand how everything is here to help us: Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him.” Our love of God implies an awareness of His grace. Grace helps us to accept all situations because we know that these situations are here to help us. This includes everything and when we embrace this and allow it to become part of our operating system it helps us see the holy in all. This is what St. Paul became aware of and wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. (Please read the following scripture slowly and aloud. Read it at least twice. Pay attention to a word or phrase that might speak to you.)
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect (complete) in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
This scripture tells us that we access God’s grace through humility. It is in our humility that we ask for God’s grace not just for us, but for the common good. When our prayers are for the good of all, they are all good! I know during this uneasy, unknowing time it might be difficult to say, “I delight in this virus!” but might it be an invitation to ask “Christ’s power to rest in us”? An invitation to admit our weaknesses, limited beliefs, failures? An invitation to remember who is in control? An invitation to surrender to the Great Mystery?
Joyce Meyer says, “When we are leaning on God and dependent upon his grace, we are not leaning on ourselves and we will experience more peace. Whenever we let go of our control, we are making room for grace in our lives.”
Rabbi Rami Shapiro says “grace is the ability to engage life as it is without wishing it were other than it is.” He also says:
Grace is an antidote for anxiety.
Now, click here or below for a Breath Prayer Meditation by Kathy Anderson.