18
Feb
15

Ash Wednesday — Lent Begins, and Grace postings continue…

I jumped the gun and started looking at the Catholic Catechism on Grace, and with Lent now begun, I continue to examine the issue.  We are now onto Section 1998, which reads as follows:

This vocation to eternal life is supernatural. It depends entirely on God’s gratuitous initiative, for he alone can reveal and give himself. It surpasses the power of human intellect and will, as that of every other creature.

I see here some phrases which very much appeal to me:  “God’s gratuitous initiative,” for instance, has an appeal.  I don’t believe in a personal God, but I find myself very much in agreement with the idea presented in The Color Purple that “God is always trying to please us.”  For me, it isn’t a personal God here, but rather a sense of a beneficent universe.  There is lots to celebrate every day.  And those beauties of our lives are not “deserved.”  We don’t “earn” them.  Rather the universe is quite full and always radiating something that I might call grace.  And that is gratuitous;  it is not dependent on our worth, but we are, at the same time, not unworthy.  It’s just that there is a lot of good out and about and we can tap into it, if we so choose.  It is something beyond each one of us, but I don’t see it as a personal deity, or even necessarily some world intelligence.

Of course, I can’t subscribe to the “he” or “himself” which suggest maleness to this power, and that limit to whatever this “goodness” may be is wrong.

I do agree that this is something beyond “human intellect.”  We cannot will it into existence, but we can acknowledge it and try to get in sync with it.  Whatever that power is — nature, world soul, some would say God — is beyond human control and animal control, but its being beyond does not mean it does not exist.  It is something, though, that cannot be proven.

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