Are you in a State of Grace? That was the question.
David and I grew up Catholic, and have been recovering Catholics ever since.
When our girls were little we started going to church again because growing up with a sense of community was a good thing for them to experience. We lived in the Black Forest in Colorado at the time.
One Sunday we explored a Catholic church called the Servants of the Holy Family that is tucked away in the ponderosa pine forest. As it turned out, it is one of the few Latin mass congregations left in the country (Roman Catholic Tridentine or Old Mass). These are run by groups of “renegade” priests that maintain the pre-Vatican II doctrines, and create quite a stir within the Church.
We didn’t know all of this when we arrived at mass, but figured it out quickly. Mass was indeed in Latin, and all the women’s heads were veiled. So yes, our naked heads stuck out, our girls’ eyes were wide open, and our knees were sore afterwards.
After mass, a monk approached us outside the church and said to our young girls, “Are you in a state of grace?” David, being a protective father said, “probably more than you, brother.” And that was that. We never returned.
What is this “State of Grace” thing?
David, remembering all things Catholic, knew immediately what the question meant. My recall was a little hazy.
When we grew up, the “state of grace” was a transactional model. Grace was a spiritual commodity. It was like a bank account— the more you had, the less purgatory you had to endure. The more sacraments you participated in, the fuller your bank account.
Holy people were filled with grace, sinners, not so much. That’s why David got a little protective of the girls.
Now days the Catholic church has a kinder approach to grace.
It’s more like a light switch. If your spiritual light is turned on, you are in a state of grace.
The word “Gratitude” comes from Grace
Practicing gratitude is the exercise of turning on our spiritual light. Grace opens our awareness to the experience of our wholeness, healing and connectedness.
“Grace is something that comes to us when we somehow find ourselves completely available, when we become open hearted and open minded, and are willing to entertain the possibility that we may not know what we think we know.”
It is in these moments where our consciousness expands. Grace reminds us that we are never alone, and that we are connected within the web of life. Gratefulness makes us more open to surprise. Adyashanti
Blessings and Gratitude are Connected to Grace.
The experience of grace contains an element of surprise, awe, or mystery.
Gratitude is a self-blessing, and brings us into a State of Grace.
May Your Thanksgiving Be Filled With Grace