Friday, February 8, 2013

The Delicate Breath of Grace

It is so easy to forget that God's initiative, God's gift, is the foundation of every beginning. The Lord encounters us anew every day of our lives, and it is this encounter that awakens us from the stupor of evasive rationalizations and desperate attempts to justify ourselves.

Every moment we need the presence of His love, the memory that salvation has come, that life is something more than our solitary and anxious efforts to put together the pieces of our own shattered existence.

And this initiating, healing, tender companionship that is God's love finds an intimacy in our lives through the Woman who brings Him to us, and whose own maternal love accompanies His saving presence.

The world’s salvation is not the work of man
– of science, of technology, of ideology – 
but comes from grace.

What does this word mean?
Grace is love in its purity and beauty,
it is God himself such as he is revealed
in the salvific history narrated in the Bible
and fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Mary is called “full of grace” (Luke 1:28)
and with this identity of hers she reminds us
of God’s primacy in our life
and in the history of the world;
she reminds us
that the power of God’s love is stronger than evil,
that it can fill the voids that egoism leaves
in the history of persons, of families,
of the nations of the world.

These voids can become a sort of hell
in which human life is drawn downwards
toward nothingness,
without meaning and without light....
Only love can save us from this fall,
but it is not just any kind of love:
it is a love that has the purity of grace in it
– the grace of God that transforms and renews – 
and that can breathe, into lungs filled with toxins,
new oxygen, clean air,
a new energy of life.

Mary tells us
that man can never fall so far down
that it is too far for God,
who descended to the very depths;
however far our heart is led into error,
God is always “greater than our heart” (1 John 3:20).

The delicate breath of grace
can disperse the blackest clouds;
it can make life beautiful and rich with meaning,
even in the most inhuman situations.

Benedict XVI