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Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Grace in my feed

Yesterday we celebrated the conversion of St Paul, an event I wrote about a few years ago here... It is full of drama and the mystery of God's choice and call, and also full of the most overwhelming, amazing, life-changing grace.

Very few people will ever receive a call quite as clearly and absolutely as Paul. For most people dawning clarity is their version of a blinding light, and directions for their next steps are rarely so precise. God's voice - not always recognised as such - speaks in whispers, as much through people, events or something read as through times of prayer. Grace might creep in silently and unannounced, though it is no less amazing or life-changing for that.

I've been thinking about grace thanks to two very short things I've recently read. The first is a tweet from Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, which appeared in my feed on Saturday. In between so many other tweets, many with images or promotions vying for my attention, sat grace, quietly unostentatious yet somehow dispelling all the other showier tweets, summed up so perfectly in 140 characters:

Grace is the most beautiful word in the language of God - it means love given freely and without expectation of return.

The second comes from Richard Rohr (from his meditation God Is Eternally Giving Away God) and appeared on my Facebook feed yesterday. It too sums up grace, and the all-too human dilemma which both yearns for God and God's gifts yet fears to say yes.

Grace is the divine Unmerited Generosity that is everywhere available, totally given, usually undetected as such, and often even undesired.

And when grace comes calling, as it surely does and will, whether loudly or with a soft, timorous tap at our door, may we be able to welcome it and all its consequences into our lives.

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