I am thinking more and more that God will not judge us either for the good or the evil that we have done, but simply whether we have been capable of accepting God’s love and transmitting it to other people…Yes, I must begin by thanks to God for everything, because really everything has been the grace of God. And above all for what final great grace that has been now ten years in a row of suffering, of struggles, of persecution, of anguish, of throbbing, of enthusiasm, of people, of church, of faith, of hope in this beloved Mato Grosso, this Amazonia, this church of Brazil, of Latin America.
Bishop Pedro Casaldaliga
My friend, Lisa R. and I share similar taste in books and quite often when she arrives at the library where I work, she has a number of books on hold. Earlier in the spring (2012), she came in to pick up a few books that were were waiting for her. As I checked each book out, my eyes immediately fell on Christian Mystics. I KNEW I had to own it. Once Lisa left with the book in her hand, I went directly to the phone and called our local bookstore across the street and ordered the book. I felt it would be a boon for my blog and it has been. I’ve been mining the book for quotes that stand out.
Interesting to see Bishop Pedro Casaldaliga, who was born in the late 1920s had the notion of an all loving God, a God who wasn’t vengeful, a God who wasn’t to be feared. Even in that era there were enlightened folks such as Bishop Casaldaliga. That’s one of the reasons I find reading so healthy. Had I not discovered this book I would never have come across this passage. It’s why I take such pleasure in reading. There is always something new to learn.
It sounds like Bishop Casaldaliga is expressing an early form of Universalism, much as Rob Bell wrote in his book Love Wins. I blogged about Rob Bell and Love Wins at Wisdom and life on several occasions.
And there’s that word Grace again. It’s another favorite of mine as we all incarnate with it. Grace only dissipates as we become adults.
Why do we lose grace?
Why do we anticipate God as vengeful?
Simple. It’s because as we leave childhood, we lose our innocence.
We become jaded.
We learn not to trust.
We must find our way back. Some of us are slowly discovering that life can be trustworthy, that life can be full of grace. Grace is such an important part of our lives and we have to find a way to return it to our daily existence.
There but for the Grace of God go I.
That’s one of my favorite quotes and I say it all the time. I’m fortunate to understand that quote and I’m fortunate to live that quote as well.
I completely agree with Bishop Casaldaliga and Rob Bell that God does not punish. God loves us all. As Rob Bell says in his book (And I’m paraphrasing here because I do not recall the exact quote) why would God create mankind in his own image only to save some of us? Does that sound like a loving God?
I don’t think so.
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive
Blessings to you.
And go find your grace!