Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working hard on a paper for my spirituality class.
The paper is on St. Bonaventure's understanding of grace, as presented in his document called the Breviloquium. The challenge of the paper is how to help people in 2012 understand the thought of this Medieval writer, and make his beautiful understanding of grace come alive for them.
My paper is going to be lengthy, but this blog post won't. In a nutshell, Bonaventure reminded us that there is nothing we can do to earn God's grace. It is out of God's goodness that He shower's that grace down upon us, despite ourselves.
He goes on to write that grace can manifest in our lives as we live out the Virtues, the Beatitudes and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. More on these another time, but I want to share what came to me on Friday.
I was talking to a friend of mine, and all of a sudden a line from Scripture came to me. "My grace is sufficient for you." Reflecting on this passage got me thinking, so when I got home I read the whole passage, which comes from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians (12:9), and it reads "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." What a great passage!
If you're anything like me, when I'm struggling with something, I turn to friends, books, prayer, etc. But I think when I really look at it, I usually turn to friends and books first, turning to God towards the end of my discernment, instead of putting Him first.
This passage reminded me that, through my baptism, I'm fully equipped to deal with anything that comes my way. His grace is really all I need, and, when I'm really struggling, my weakness can be totally turned around through His power. Talking to friends and turning to books are great and certainly important, but we'd be better served by not putting them before God. Most importantly, if we try and go it on our own, it probably won't turn out that well.
So, friends, whatever you might be thinking about, dealing with, or thinking through today, remember this passage from St. Paul. His grace is all we need, we just need to turn to Him. Not just some of the time, but every time. Give it a try.