Graceful Grace

Image“I’ll have a host, a tiny sip of wine and several pieces graces please.”

You wonder where it comes from during trying times but it did arrive, just in the nick of time.  Reflecting upon it later, you consider whether it might have been God’s grace.  What a great help to help us explain the good deeds done by us sinful people.

And it’s not only a noun but a proper noun.  It’s also an adjective and even more it’s a verb and an adverb.  What a flexible word, this grace stuff.  “Grace Kelly graced us with her effortless grace and graceful presence as she gracefully walked into the room.”  (Wow.  There’s grace all over the place today!  It’s walking.  No, it’s on the table.  No, it’s over there.)  It is rich in worth, effortless in its attempts and limitless in its quantity.

Alas, the Catholic Church needs to rein in this wild grace stuff and present it as a commodity.  There are actually two form of grace, according to the one, true Church.  Sanctifying and actual.  Most Catholics can name those two graces, even on their deathbeds.  What they may not know is that sanctifying grace is that which is derived by the sacraments.  When you participate in a sacrament you receive this elusive, rewarding, beautiful proper noun, noun and verb.  Actual grace appears to appear when you need it the most.  We cannot determine graces travel time to us but we know that it is within us within nick’s time.

Just when you were about to say something questionable, grace zooms in from some unknown place.  (I have yet to receive grace’s reward during those occasions.)  Another sibling has past away and you discover a peace that even amazes and baffles you.  A serious discussion erodes and you feel you’ve said your peace and quietly listen.  A story is told to you for the third time and your newly found grace enables you to listen again knowing there will be a fourth time.  A serious diagnosis strips you of yourself but slowly but surely that noun/verb creeps into every part of your being.  A smile replaces a frown.  The handshake is forgotten and a hub is provided.  “If there’s anything I can do for you,” comes out of your mouth when there is nothing you can do.

Grace.  It’s a beautiful name.  It’s even a better verb when it travels by light speed to become within us a noun.  Our lives are graced.  We can be grace to each other.  Mary was full of it, so why can’t we be?  There is grace, in plentiful supply, thanks be to God.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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