Grace is abundant in the world. I love this idea. I search for this grace all the time and I usually find it. I see the hand of the Divine in all the beauty of the world – nature, people, events. In this way, I have the “Catholic Imagination,” which is a point of view that sees God present in all of creation. Catholics gain this imagination through the Sacraments, where material things and human beings are channels and sources of God’s grace. (I mentioned an example of this in an earlier post when I shared how the Sacrament of the Sick before my surgery was a moment of grace for me.) This Imagination is how I see the world. Because the Sacraments are so great a part of my life, I find sacraments everywhere. The world is continuously revealing God to me. I could stop going to Church. I could stop receiving the Sacraments. But I could no more turn off my Catholic Imagination than I could stop breathing. I see reality as being touched by the sacred and I see God being revealed through the ordinary. Grace reaches down into all situations – good, bad, horrible, dirty – and transforms them into something holy, something God can use for healing or growth.
There is a song that illuminates this world view for me. It is “Grace” by U2. I wanted to share it with you. (This is not the official music video, but includes the lyrics.)
I find so much hope, for myself and for the world, in this description of grace. All of the lyrics are beautiful, but the mention of a pearl is something I can visualize.
She carries a pearl in perfect condition
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings…
Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things
Grace finds beauty in everything
A pearl is really a speck of dust or a parasite, changed by time and pressure inside the body of an oyster into something beautiful and valuable. I love the idea that God’s grace can take the worst occurrences, the biggest hurts, the most ugly sights, the most grievous sins and turn them into beauty, peace, forgiveness, pearls. This is how I have been able to come to terms with my deteriorating vision. I look forward to finding out how grace will transform this challenge into beauty.
(GRACE LYRICS are the property of the respective authors, artists and labels, the lyrics are provided for educational purposes only, If you like the song, please buy the CD to support U2.)