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Grace

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

Grace: the unmerited favor of God, given freely and without obligation.

This focuses on Grace in Christianity because its doctrine verbalizes it, defining an abstract concept; Christianity has embedded Grace within its fabric. But to claim that the absence of Grace as a verbalized concept in other faiths means they are without Grace is both arrogant and ignorant. Many of my Christian readers will not like that statement. But I am not doing this to become popular. I am Christian, but I do not want you to ignore Grace because you fear I am preaching to you. I could not believe in a God who lets your marriage fail because you are Buddhist and succeed because you are Christian--and statistics show that God has no such prejudices.

Consider that a culture has no concept of an idea if they do not also have a concept of its opposite and experience--through direct experience or absence via the opposite condition. Societies who have never experienced human ownership--as slaves or slave-holders--are often shocked that such an institution can exist. Religions not based on the Judaic concept of original sin are often shocked that people can even consider that their own flesh and instincts are bad.

The Unconditionals are a loop, each creating the other. Where love exists Grace must also be present. I am not here to convert you, judge you or disrespect your faith and system of beliefs. My goal is to help you to understand the importance of Grace and show that it is a universal concept and not the sole property of a single faith. In doing that I have drawn from Christianity as a source of both Grace itself as well as a source of recorded information about Grace.

Grace is the seed; it permeates everything; without it all else is not possible. It is the integration of agapé and forgiveness, and with those it completes the Unconditionals--freely given gifts. Though made up of many parts, it is greater than its sum. It is an endless and fathomless trust and knowing of the divine; it is the highest vibration, harmony with all and thus interpreted as beauty in all sense realms. To feel grace is to recognize the reflection of Self in others; a realization of unity and all that is positive and beautiful. It is union with divinity and physical transcendence.

Show grace even amidst deceit. It is the constant force around which the MLCer will spin. But the consistency becomes his center and his grounding. The constancy of grace is an attraction. It is for all--regardless of sins or guilt. Strip away motivation, history, emotions, former reactions, arguments etc. To the mind of an MLCer, everything is against them, age, body, success--the world. They are overwhelmed with a Chaos that is confusing them internally. By reacting and arguing, you add to their Chaos. Grace is love without motivation; it is not a doormat or without accountability, it is not about giving into to tantrums. It is about remaining steadfast and calm while also being firm. Grace will say No when appropriate.

What is Grace? It is a difficult concept because Grace is poetry--right brained--and there is a loss when translating it into prose. Perhaps it will be helpful to look at what Grace is not.

Ungrace: an action or opinion of directed toward another based on judgment and rules.

Disgrace: Sin, turning away or separation from God; an action which may bring shameful harm to Self or others.

The difficulty with those definitions is that both are determined by society or culture and vary between different cultures; they are subjective.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
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