What Is Grace?

How does an awareness of grace enlarge our spiritual lives? Grace can feel elusive, difficult to put your finger on. It’s a little easier to understand within the context of our interactions with people close to us.

Grace can be an act of humility and love to appreciate a gift from someone, especially when you feel you didn’t do anything so remarkable to receive it! In the generosity of another, we are made aware of the gift of their spirit of love.

The grace of God comes to us in similar ways. God’s grace is a blessing, a gift of light from His generous love—given to us unconditionally, freely with no strings attached. This can be a challenging concept to keep at the forefront of our minds in daily routines. It is not a gift that manifests itself in ways we can see or touch. It is a gift that opens, nurtures, strengthens, and supports all who we are as children of God.

Grace is a gift from Him; we cannot cultivate it from within and we cannot work to earn it. At first, there seems to be little for us to do in relation to God’s grace other than accept. But then what we can do is become more sensitive to the experiences of grace God gives us, and grow in our awareness of His presence.

In looking back on his life, St. Paul recognized that God worked in and through him. Paul considered himself “less than the least of all” to whom grace was freely given. From his profound humility, he addresses the Corinthians with “by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Pope Francis continues, in the spirit of the Apostles, to encourage us in accepting that we are worthy of God’s grace. He asks us to make the love of God the aim of all actions and thoughts, a practice (which does take practice!) of deep awareness. This continually opens us further to a deeper connection with God, enabling us to take our faith to new levels of integration in our daily lives.

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