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From the Desk of the Chaplain, April 2006:

The Transforming Effects of Grace

Dear Brother Knights,

Peace and Joy be with you.

This month let us examine the sixth deficient area in Catechetical texts identified by the U.S. Bishops in 1997: the transforming effects of grace. It sounds unbelievable that we would impoverish so many for so long with a deficient teaching on the transforming effects of Grace. There is a close relationship to the Holy Spirit and grace "The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ," (CCC#737).

One of my favorite images of grace comes from a novena to St. Joseph. The reflection begins this way: "Suppose you own a sailboat. One lovely day you set out for a sail; but alas! Not a single breeze comes over the water. Progress is impossible, and after a while you give up the venture. The next day you try again. This time a strong, steady breeze fills the sails and the boat skims lightly over the waves. This comparison illustrates the working of grace in the soul. Without grace there can be no progress against the temptation of life. With it, the soul's progress to God is swift and easy. St. Joseph, with his eye firmly fixed on his final goal, responded with generous heart and ready will to the gentlest breathing of the Holy Spirit. His entire life was stamped with loving, ready consent to the movements of grace. God had His designs for St. Joseph, although they were not made clear to him from the beginning. Because he accepted each grace as it was given, the beauty of his soul increased from day to day. Finally, in God's time, he was ready to become the spouse of the Mother of God and the foster father and guardian of her Child."

We must become sensitive to the movements of grace in our life. Through prayer we become like a sail, searching for the right position to catch the winds of grace.

For a study on grace, open your Catechism of the Catholic Church to the index and look up the word, "Grace." There you will find a treasure chest of teaching on the works of grace. Let us conclude with these words from the CCC #1701: "It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God."

"Lord grant me your love and your grace that is enough for me." Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

May God bless you.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Todd Schneider


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This page last updated December 19, 2010