Grace Changes Everything
A passage from Forgotten among the Lilies by Ronald Rolheiser (quoted in Common Prayer) :
“If the Catholicism that I was raised in had fault, and it did, it was precisely that it did not allow for mistakes. It demanded that you get it right the first time. There was suppose to be no need for a second chance.
If you made a mistake, you lived with it and, like the rich young man, were doomed to be sad, at least for the rest of your life. A serious mistake was a permanent stigmatization, a mark that you wore like Cain.
I have seen that mark on all kinds of people: divorcees, ex-priests, ex-religious, people who have had abortions, married people who had affairs, people who have had children outside of marriage, parents who have made serious mistakes. There is too little around to help them.
We need a theology of brokenness. We need a theology which teaches us that even though we cannot unscramble an egg, God’s grace lets us live happily and with renewed innocence far beyond any egg we may have scrambled. We need a theology that teaches us that God does not just give us one chance, but that every time we close a door, he opens on for us.”
Grace IS the power that changes us. If we skip over repentance and receiving grace, we will never truly change-it will only be outward change and not heart change. It is not a balance of grace and work – it is all of grace, all of Jesus. If change does not come as a result of receiving grace, then we don’t truly understand grace.