Sunday, November 6, 2011

Comfortable with My Nothingness

As a week full of rather unusual things closes and the prospect of a new week dawns, I'm drawn to the following by Brennan Manning (Reflections for Ragamuffins, November 4 entry). In a world where the self-made and self-righteous abound, these thoughts offer me a center, a grounding that reminds me once again of how much God has done for me and how I bring absolutely nothing to the table myself. That, friends, is the pure definition of Grace ...

"The gospel declares that no matter how dutiful or prayerful we are, we can't save ourselves ...

"Maybe this is the heart of our hang-up, the root of our dilemma. we fluctuate between castigating ourselves and congratulating ourselves because we are deluded into thinking we save ourselves. We develop a false sense of security from our good works and scrupulous observance of the law. Our halo gets too tight, and a carefully disguised attitude of moral superiority results. Or, we are appalled by our inconsistency, devastated that we haven't lived up to our lofty expectations of ourselves. The roller-coaster ride of elation and depression continues.

"Why? Because we never lay hold of our nothingness before God, and, consequently, we never enter into the deepest reality of our relationship with him. But when we accept ownership of our powerlessness and helplessness, when we acknowledge that we are paupers at the door of God's mercy, then God can make something beautiful out of us."

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