Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The grace of the moment is a very beautiful thing

"The grace of the moment is a very beautiful thing. It comes with each duty, or pleasure, or fresh effort of any kind, and it is exactly proportionate to the purpose for which it is given. We shall often find, for instance, that, at the end of a long piece of work, we suddenly begin to go very much faster and with an ease which is quite new. We could not imagine ourselves beginning any set project at that pace, it would seem fantastic for the start, and still less could we maintain it through all the weary middle. This is quite simply the grace of the end, that unconscious crescendo which carries us to a successful conclusion and is a matter of both supernatural and psychological tension, of pleasure at the achievement of a satisfactory effort - a last spurt so to speak.

So it is for most things in life, and one would love to thing that one might have the grace to die to a Crescendo Fortissimo, as befits one going to meet Eternal Love, and not a Rellentando, as is sometimes the fate, one fears, of those who have habitually wasted their grace during life. It is worth thinking of, perhaps.

We get grace for each fresh thing, fresh turn of events, trial, duty, pleasure, effort; but instead of acting upon it at once, how often we try, by our plans and our home-made rules, and unconscious self-will, to construct, as it were, a reservoir, with pipes all over the place, to hold it. It is never of any avail for, as a matter of fact, we can neither store our actual grace nor postpone it; it is given us now, for the thing we have to do to-day, at this very hour. All we can do, if we do not use it, is to lose it. It is not applicable to anything else, for that other thing, when it comes, will require its own special grace, which again will vary with a precise and delicate variability straight from God. We must quite simply use our grace: that is the only thing to do if we want to live continually at full pitch spiritually. To take the grace of the moment for the moment's work, and - as far as possible, even in the perfectly ordinary Christian life - let the work be primarily the work of God. We have to live, of course, and most of us have to work for our living; but God knows that a great deal better than we do, and He is not likely to make the achievement of the one clash with the achievement of the other.

There is, however, one dishonesty into which it is never permissible to fall under any circumstances: and that is to use God's grace for our own ends. That is a theft which is unworthy of us and which, in the long run, will surely never bring with it anything but pain."

-- Catch Us Those Little Foxes by A Carmelite Nun

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