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Archive for August 17th, 2022

Costly Grace

MEDITATION:

Written by Macrina Wiederkehr (1939-2020), a nun, spiritual teacher, and author. This is an excerpt from her book “A Tree Full of Angels.”

One of the great lies of our day is that conversion is instant, like fast food. God can zap us and we’re saved. It is all free. It costs nothing. Take it and run. This is what Bonhoffer calls “cheap grace.” Punch in at church. Grab a sacrament and run. Season your conversation with “praise the Lord” and you’re among the saved. One of the great truths of our day is that conversion is ongoing. Conversion is the process in which we are given opportunity upon opportunity to accept the free gift of salvation. Salvation is a free gift, yes, but it’s costly. It’s “costly grace.” It costs us our lives lived passionately. The road to conversion is not a fast food line. When Saul was knocked down by that flash of lightning, that was not conversion. The conversion came as he groped his way in blindness to Ananias, able to see with interior eyes because he had no external eyes to depend on. His conversion continued day after day as he began to give meaning to his new name, Paul. He was still in the process of conversion when he was on his way to Rome in chains.

PRAYER:

Written by Clement of Rome (?-99), considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the church, one of the three chief ones together with Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch. He was the second or third bishop of Rome, after Peter.

We beseech you, Lord and Master, to be our help and provider. Save those among us who are in trouble, have mercy on the lowly, lift up the fallen, show yourself to the needy, heal the ungodly, convert the wanderers of your people, feed the hungry, release our prisoners, raise up the weak, comfort the fainthearted. Let all the Gentiles know that you are the God alone, and Jesus Christ is your Son, and we are your people and the sheep of your pasture. Through your work you show yourself in the everlasting fabric of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in your judgments, marvelous in strength and excellence, you are wise in creating and prudent in establishing that which you have made, you are good in the things which are seen and faithful with those who trust in you, merciful and compassionate. Forgive us our iniquities and our unrighteousness and our transgressions and shortcomings. Do not count every sin of your servants and your handmaids, but cleanse us with your truth, and guide our steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and singleness of heart and to do such things that are good and well pleasing in your sight and in the sight of our rulers. Yes, Lord, make your face to shine on us in peace for our good, that we may be sheltered by your mighty hand and delivered from every sin by your uplifted arm.\ And deliver us from those who hate us wrongfully. Give concord and peace to us and to all who dwell on the earth, as you gave to our fathers when they called on you in faith and truth with holiness, that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and to our rulers and governors on the earth. Amen.

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