Saturday, July 19, 2014

A note on grace

I think the phrase "grace builds on nature," that is, grace is always at work through the ordinary and every day circumstances we experience, is just a way of saying it usually percolates slowly. I believe this is true because I do not believe that God's grace is irresistible. You are always free to resist grace at any given moment and you are even free to do so ultimately. This why C.S. Lewis, in the Great Divorce, wrote:
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened
While God relentlessly pursues you, He won't save you, or damn you against your will. Keep in mind Jesus' rebuke of the "lukewarm" Christians of Laodicea: "So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth" (Rev 3:16). A lifetime of resisting grace, of pursuing your own will, especially with regard to matters that are clearly at odds with God's expressed will, doesn't predispose one to want to submit to God's will in the end.

Pater Tom wrote, "A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire." Lest I tempt anyone to despair, please remember these words of our Risen Lord to St Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9)

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