July 14, 2019 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

    As we have been reflecting on Israel’s development over the centuries, and how time and time again they fell from God’s Grace, one thing to keep in mind is that God never abandoned His people. He was always there to help them.

    Let us, therefore, look at what is going on here, in basic terms. When God helps us in our everyday live, we use the term “Grace.”  Grace is God’s favor, the free and underserved help that God gives us to respond to His call to become His children, partakers of Divine Nature and of Eternal Life. How God’s Grace is given is widespread. Grace helps us to become who God wants us to become. A free gift, we accept Grace or reject it. If we accept His Grace, we become one with Him and are Holy. If we reject His grace, we are left behind.

    Here is a simplistic example of what Grace is. One of my teachers at Ringgold taught the Advanced Math courses. Her method of teaching was to give her lecture and have us do our homework at the end of class, when she could be there to help us. I was never really good at word problems, so I was always asking her to help. When I was having difficulty, I would call her over. She would ask me if I looked at what we were working on that day.  DING! Lightbulb shining over my head. And I was able to do the problem. Another time I would bring her over and ask for help. She would ask me if I looked at what we worked on today. I would answer yes. Did you look at what we did yesterday? DING! Lightbulb shining over my head.

    In both cases she did not give me the answer, but helped me all the same. I still did the work. This is how some of God’s Graces work. God freely gives us the means, we use that means for a desired end and effect. In these cases God does not do the work; we do. We can use those Gifts, or not. We are better off using them – as in my case, using what she suggested helped me get a better grade.

    When Israel used God’s Graces, their lives were less complicated, and they lived more Saintly lives. When they rejected God’s Graces, their lives were miserable.

    For our reflection, do you even ask God for help in your lives? Do you expect Him to do everything for you? Or do you use what He offers and improve your lives?

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