Grace to you!
We continue our reflection on actual grace.
As a mom or a dad, have you had deep desire (the pains not withstanding) to help your humbling child out of his or her struggles? Perhaps, the child is an addict or has mental challenges, the kind that makes the child so unpredictably snappy and sometimes violent. If you could, if you have the power, you will love to absorb his or her challenges or pour your love into your baby so he or she would see how much you love and how much you care. Or you could remake your child’s brain to remedy what may have gone wrong.
Such a feeling is frustrating, especially when you know there is nothing you can do about the situation.
Thank God for the actual grace of prayer. You could lift those concerns to the Lord in prayer. God hears. God helps us in lifting the burden.
More: how would you feel if I told you that God, our Creator, simply doesn’t create and leaves us alone? I guess you know this already, a reminder, though, helps. Sometimes.
God isn’t a distance deity who wanders in the supernatural world and is out of touch with his creation. Our Maker follows us all the way, even when we are down and almost out.
Unlike a mom or a dad, who can do only a little for an adult child, worse when they no longer have the durable power of attorney, can’t follow up on the child’s medicine and are helplessly miserable. God provides the dew of his tenderness and follows us through the inner cities and the homeless centers of our spiritual impoverishment. He punctuates our struggles with the perfect aids, touches of his love he has already given, actual graces, that would make us walk into a freer, more joyful and happier end. It’s because, regarding us, we are God’s children, the Church his bride.
In the prophesy of Isaiah, just like in many prophesies of the Old Testament, God speaks with a metaphor of a relationship with his people (Israel, but also with us, believers), a relationship akin to marriage. “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. For the Lord has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God” (54:5-6).
Just like a dad and a mom would love to give their wounded child their all, God goes above and beyond, by pouring Godself through different channels of grace so his tender loving care would mold us into a restored people of his.
“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back…with enduring love I take pity on you, says the LORD, your redeemer…. Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the LORD, who has mercy on you” (Isaiah 54:7-10).
On this Day 19 of Advent, what if we settled before the Blessed Sacrament; if not possible, in the quiet of a church for a few minutes—thirty minutes to an hour would be the ideal—and contemplate those moments we have felt God’s love in our life so intensely. The grace of that hour could refresh your soul.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.