Grace IS God...

As the years ripen, a few key insights about "God" become clearer. Earlier this year, for example I was blessed to discern through the help and wisdom of Fr. Richard Rohr that my feelings of sadness and helplessness over the suffering so many of us know, were not mere feelings. Rather, they were communion with the Lord. My experience in those times, therefore, is more than personal feelings, they are actually intimate connections with the essence of all that is holy. 

Another glimpse of clarity took place this morning while reading one more observation from Fr. Rohr. It began some 20+ years ago during my divorce. For a time I stopped using the word "God" in public and private because it was so filled with conflicting meanings - most of which were negative. I kept up this silence for a year. Despite the rhetorical awkwardness of discipline, I found it liberating but also incomplete. God is a useful word to summarize all that is mystical and awesome, so after a year I reclaimed its use in my speaking. In this morning's reading, however, I came upon these words that take things to another deeper level.

The goodness of God fills all the gaps of the universe, without discrimination or preference. God is the gratuity of absolutely everything. The space in between everything is not space at all but Spirit. God is the “goodness glue” that holds the dark and light of things together, the free energy that carries all death across the Great Divide and transmutes it into Life. When we say that Christ “paid the debt once and for all,” it simply means that God’s job is to make up for all the deficiencies in the universe. What else would God do?

Grace is not something God gives; grace is who God is. Grace is God’s official job description. Grace is what God does to keep all things that God has created in love alive—forever. If we are to believe the primary witnesses—the mystics, the saints, the transformed people—an unexplainable goodness is at work in the universe. (Some of us call this phenomenon God, but that word is not necessary. In fact, sometimes it gets in the way of the experience, because too many have named God something other than Grace.)

For about 15 years I have been talking almost exclusively about God's grace - and now I know why!


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