Grace: Advent Word 5

I delight in volubility and could write thousands of words on the idea of grace, so antithetical to American culture beginning with our Puritan forefathers and continuing right through the rugged individuals of the frontier.

However, I also delight in beautiful words written by others. Beginning on p. 845 of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, we find “An Outline of the Faith: commonly called the Catechism.” It is to this seldom-used section of our prayer book that I turn for my discussion of grace, which occurs in a section aptly labeled “The Sacraments.”

Q: What are the sacraments?
A: The sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward
and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain
means by which we receive that grace.

Q: What is grace?
A: Grace is God’s favor towards us, unearned and
undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens
our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills.

My prayer for the days of Advent and for every day of our lives is that we may accept the daily miracles of God’s grace and, in turn, practice its etymological cousin, gratitude.

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