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Entries related to: grace

A Time for Grace

When I first started going on contemplative retreats, I remember how difficult it was to give myself grace in my journey inward. I was uncovering so much within myself I had never seen before, which sent me spiraling beyond introspection into something of obsession. 
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God Is a Remedy for Our Sins

I am a sinner. As a 9-year-old, I remember eyeing a miniature Cincinnati Reds baseball bat at my friend Mike’s house. And I wanted it. I don’t have one, I clearly remember reasoning, and he has so many toys that he won’t notice. So I took it.
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Reconciliation: Graced Opportunities

  One of my greatest joys as a priest is to be an instrument of God’s mercy to people in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Some people tell me they leave freer and with a lighter heart after hearing, “Through the ministry of the Church, may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” I’m surprised more people don’t use the opportunity for forgiveness and grace.
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The Grace of Giving

It had become almost a habit. I would see a street person asking for money, roll down the car window, and hand him or her a couple of dollars. Then I would drive away, feeling good about myself as the words of Jesus played in my head: “I was hungry and you gave me to eat, thirsty and you gave me to drink.” As I handed my meager donation to the person in need, I would often imagine Jesus standing in place of the person. After all, it was Jesus who said, “What you do for the least of my brothers you do for me.” However, it was only after a close family member, Gary, fell on hard times and became homeless that I began to see street people in a whole new light. Witnessing firsthand the downward spiral of the life of someone I knew and loved opened my eyes to a deeper understanding of the words of Jesus.
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My Lord, the Healer of Wounds

When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, 'Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?' But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man”
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Saints in the Making

Image: Dick Vos. Occasionally, we will hear someone say, “She was a saint,” but we’re more likely to hear, “He was no saint,” or to say with a shrug, “I’m not a saint.” Our concept of saints is that they are extraordinary people who, for the most part, lived long ago and possessed special divine favors that the majority of us neither have nor comprehend. We admire and venerate them, but their alabaster perfection is beyond us. Becoming a saint is frightening because it seems to demand the impossible. Why would God demand from us what is not attainable? Or do we not understand what makes a person—a sinner like any of us—a saint? 
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