Lately I have been doing a significant amount of reflection on the concept of grace.
1. simple elegance or refinement of movement : she moved through the water with effortless grace.
⁃ courteous goodwill : at least he has the grace to admit his debt to her.
⁃ (graces) an attractively polite manner of behaving : she has all the social graces.
2. (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
⁃ a divinely given talent or blessing : the graces of the Holy Spirit.
⁃ the condition or fact of being favored by someone : he fell from grace because of drug use at the Olympics.
When used in the religious or spiritual sense, grace is reserved for Christianity. If you are Christian, you either strive for or have already received the grace of God, whereby you are blessed and forgiven for your sins. I have been contemplating what Divine grace would mean in a pagan (or polytheist) context. There is generally no salvation in paganism – we are honoring the gods and goddesses who may bless us, and we will live virtuously for a pleasant afterlife, but we are not marked by any sin requiring Divine forgiveness. Yet I am still convinced that I have experienced, and continue to experience, the grace of the Divine in my own life and in my own heart.
Whenever I consider grace in my life, I am filled with a sense of lightness and joy. Grace is knowing that the gods love me, and are present and working in my life; knowing that the world is suffused with beauty and sacredness; knowing that I am a part of this wild and holy web of mystery called the Universe; and living fully in this knowledge with peace and wonder. To walk with pagan grace in my heart means to act with consciousness of this blessing, aware that with everything I do I carry these things with me.
As a student in Catholic school, I was taught that grace is the greatest gift that God could give to a person, and that He gave it to all of His children. Now that I don’t need to be given salvation, I think grace is the greatest gift anyone can give themselves.
What are your thoughts on grace?
Whenever I hear this song I am reminded of how it feels to be full of grace. Enjoy. 🙂