The Basic Practice

Grace is a gift of God. Because it comes to us at God's initiative, there are some things we can't do about grace. We can't earn it. We can't control it. We don't have to deserve it.

If grace is out of your hands, so to speak, how do you engage in the spiritual practice of grace? Accept that you are accepted. Practice receiving. Receive objects, love, help. Notice when presents and presence come to you without your effort.

Why This Practice May Be For You

Grace confounds certain very natural human tendencies. We want to believe we are in control. We assume there are specific moves we can take to ensure that we are rewarded. We expect God's gifts to be doled out according to some recognizable plan.

But grace does not work that way. Instead, it teaches us to let go and let God. Not only are we not in charge, we don't have to be. We just need to stay open to receiving the sacred.

Receptivity, in turn, requires that we give up shame — those persistent feelings that we are unworthy, that we don't deserve all that we have, that we're not as good as people assume, that we've messed up, that our whole life is a mistake. Grace doesn't listen to that litany. It isn't based on a scorecard. Grace happens.

Daily Cue, Reminder, Vow, Blessing

  • Catching a glimpse of some brightly colored wrapping paper or a piece of ribbon is my cue to practice recognizing grace.
  • When someone picks up the tab at a restaurant for me, or when a driver allows me into the lane on the highway, I am reminded of the many surprising graces in my life.
  • When I float on water, I vow to rest in God's grace.
  • Blessed is the Divine Guest whose presence through grace sustains us.