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Graces - In them we find support for living in a truly graceful manner of life.
Most of us are likely familiar with “grace” in the singular, as for example, “She has about her an aura of grace,” where we refer to the quality of a person rather than a specific act. But when we talk about graces, we engage in reflections not about our own or others’ personal excellences, but upon experiences that influence, guide, impel, and otherwise move us in the direction of kindness, generosity and any and all possible manifestations of goodness.
In looking within ourselves to better appreciate the particular graces we receive, we find that there is no coercion involved, only invitations or positive options that we can accept or ignore. When we consciously observe our past and present experience of graces, we probably gain a joyful awareness of how much that is good comes to us unbidden and without previous preparation on our part. We do not need a definition of terms from an encyclopedia to guide us. Instead, whenever we wish, we can give a few moments’ attention to some of the gentle but real interior movements that assist us in choosing thoughts, words and actions that merit our own honest approval.
Though we do not create graces, nor have any means of directly causing them, we can definitely seek graces and dispose ourselves to receive them. We know the difference between the times when we find ourselves giving attention to skeptical thoughts and when we take on a more hopeful, open manner of making judgments about experiences. In the first case, we receive nothing, and rarely are satisfied with reasoning that is basically negative in orientation. When we choose to tentatively identify some of our thoughts as graces, based upon their positive effects, satisfaction follows.
In carefully examining the movements that we identify as likely being graces, we make proper use of our reasoning skills to find the real connections between our thoughts and feelings with reference to particular incidents. We can with assurance classify as graces all those ideas, suggestions and insights that enable us to make good decisions. In so doing, we find support for living in a truly graceful manner of life.
Since we receive graces rather than create every good thought or impulse by some power of our own, we might wonder about the origin of such positive activity within us. We can read and otherwise consult with others to learn what they tell us. But we can also return to our reflections upon experiences to find answer to our enquiry. What thoughts come to mind in answer to our question that seem to have the same qualities of reasonableness and a sense of authenticity as those that we have already identified as graces? Without anyone telling us that we are right, we are able to accept as true those possibilities that are accompanied by an interior sense of peace. There is no limit to the graces that we can receive, whether as answers to questions or even questions themselves.
Upon reflection, the graces we receive are found to be the direct personal activity of a loving God.
Last Updated 4/21/18