Graceful Moments

GraceAs youngsters we talk to animals, whether stuffed or real.  We sleep with them and feel an unbreakable bond.  Perhaps this union helps us move into the real world.  I shouldn’t say “talk” because words are only between you and your “pet.”  Not taught to us by parents or teachers – it’s automatic.  (What else could happen with emerging brains?)

As adults we feel a fondness for animals – whether our personal pets (“money is no object”) and even a mouse.  We’d jump on our couches if a mouse ran passed us but we “money is no object” ourselves into Disneyland.  Our connection to animals is a union like no other.  Twenty people can die in a movie I’ve watched but I only remember the dog being killed at the beginning.  The mystery of this union baffles me but it also makes complete sense to me.

My same feeling apply to grace – we’re told it’s a gift from God.  It’s the grace that stops a damaging comment until further thought is provided.  It’s your graceful of your smile to someone’s frown or the grace of letting your 80 year old relative tell the same story for the third time and you need to act surprised at the end.  Grace.  I doubt you can define it although many have tried to reduce it to words.  The Catholic Church separates them between what it gives and what is freely given.  That’s too bad when both are freely given.  (And, you cannot divide into two what is always one.  Sorry, Aquinas.)  No one, ordained or not, can bestow the untouchable and wordless gracefulness graces of God.

Grace can be that pause.  Grace can be that self-forgiveness knowing the past is indeed past.  It’s your anxious feeling about whatever in your life that transforms itself into a peaceful patience.  Is it God’s intervention in our world at the right time?  No.  God’s already done His intervening, it’s now time to grace yourself up.  I love the word because of its flexibility – proper noun, noun, verb, adverb, adjective.  Other words may fit the bill but none can be so easily associated with the unknown or the Divine as grace does.

I talk to my cats as though they’re human.  They respond to me as most humans do to me, they just walk away but I still feel a kinship that cannot be reduced to one word or can it?  I think you know the word by now.

Now, with Grace’s permission, I’ll gracefully end and grace you no longer with this graceful blog and wish you all a heap full of grace; which you already possess.

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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