Grace cannot be understood by any ledger of merits and demerits. It cannot be held to any patterns of buying, losing, earning, achieving or manipulating, which is where, unfortunately, most of us live our lives.
Grace is, quite literally, "for the taking." It is God eternally giving away God—for nothing—except the giving itself.
Richard Rohr, from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality
There has been so much of grace just lately. Hilfield, the time in silence, the conversations I had there, the gentle touch of the Spirit, were all grace upon grace. It’s far too soon to go deciding things, but the path looks clearer, and God’s call to the life of prayer is stronger every day. Things are beginning to fall into place. I’m trying to take it easy, to tell myself not to run ahead of myself, that no-one will believe the clarity with which I’m being shown things—but despite everything, despite the shock and the grief, despite my disbelief at the ending of these 20 years in a way I could not change or influence, and the worries about what all that might have been doing to my health, and Jan’s, behind the scenes—I have to admit that I’m excited, and scared, in equal measure.
Give me your failure; he says I will make life out of it. Give me your broken, disfigured, rejected, betrayed body, like the body you see hanging on the cross, and I will make life out of it. It is the divine pattern of transformation, and it never seems to change.
We’ll still be handicapped and terribly aware of our wound, but as St. Augustine says, “In my deepest wound I see your glory and it dazzles me.” Our wound is our way through. Or as Julian (of Norwich) also put it, at the risk of shocking us, “God sees the wounds, and sees them not as scars but as honours… For he holds sin as a sorrow and pain to his lovers. He does not blame us for them.” (Chapter 39, Showing 13, Revelations of Divine Love) We might eventually thank God for our wounds, but usually not until the second half of life.
Richard Rohr, from Everything Belongs