It is barely five days until Christmas begins. At St. Michael Friary, we sense the Spirit is with us. Prayerfully, we speak, we sing, we sit in silence, and we wait.
One of the things we have talked about, during instruction, is sin and grace. My postulant brother and I gave a good presentation on these doctrines. I come away with a renewed conviction of the reality of each -- the derivative reality of sin and the ultimate reality of grace.
And I sense both the solidity and instability of my being. Life is welling up inside of me, but also there is dullness, and at times yet I perceive dread emptiness itself.
I am full of sin. I am full of grace. Which is easier to believe -- we are full of sin, or that we are full of grace?
We are dared to believe both, so as to underestimate neither and properly appreciate the mystery of each.
Sin is real, and so is grace. The challenge is daring to believe that grace is the most real reality, which is to say that all is grace. All that is, is grace. All that increases the well-being of the creation, this is grace, and it is present in thoughts, words, and deeds that perfect being-in-life. Sin, in contrast, is nothing, nothing at all, nothing in all. All thought and word and deed that declines well-being, that diminishes what is and denies what could be, and could be better, is sin.
"Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Romans 5:20). The mystery of Christ is that, in spite of or because of the preponderance of ill-being, there comes to us the incredible gift of new life, as if the morbid sighs of resignation are the unbearable provocation that launches divinity into the broken heart of humanity. To the unspeakable horrors of age after age, across a void the work of creation did not close, God speaks the Word. Amen and alleluia.