When I transformed to Catholicism 15 years in the past, a household good friend mailed me a replica of The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor with a be aware that learn, “Welcome to the family.” The good friend, realizing I cherished literature, wished to attach me with some of the renown Catholic writers up to now.
I picked up the gathering just a few occasions all through the years, however lately I made a decision to learn the tales in earnest. What struck me most in studying these wincingly sensible quick tales had been the moments of violence. Most of the tales have a surprisingly violent second that appears to come back out of nowhere: a slap, a fireplace, a homicide, and in a second of darkish comedy, the theft of an smug atheist’s wood leg.
Flannery O’Connor stated she used violence as a means “of returning [her] characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace.”
I’ve seen this in actual life too. I’ve seen automobile accidents and a dying of a cherished one or a drug overdose that shocked an individual to actuality—to God. Sometimes I’ve heard this known as “rock bottom,” the very lowest level we are able to get. When an individual is at all-time low, one is humbled. He or she finds him- or herself in a spot the place all one can do is rely on the grace of God.
I take into consideration this by way of my very own life. There have been surprising moments I wasn’t anticipating. These moments left me humbled, realizing I couldn’t do it by myself. I may solely rely on God. And there he was, simply ready to pour his grace upon me.
I like how Flannery O’Connor says she returned her characters to actuality. Reality, our true existence, isn’t within the violent moments; it’s that second after, once we are humbled. True actuality is present in grace. Reality is present in God.
O’Connor stated typically our “heads are so hard that almost nothing else [other than violence] will do the work” of bringing us again to actuality. Sitting again from a cushty distance from these violent moments in my life and in these of my associates, I practically giggle at her statement. Yep, I used to be so hardheaded, it took a really dramatic second to humble me to see the grace that was ready for me.
St. Paul, who knew one thing about dramatic moments when God’s grace shines via, reminds Christians that grace is ready for us. Paul shares the highly effective phrases of Christ: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) In our humility, in our “rock bottom,” Christ’s grace is enough.
Let us relaxation in that grace.
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