Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Frederick Buechner on All Saints' Day

Tomorrow, Nov. 1, 2012, All Saints' Day - a time to remember; Buechner, in his inimitable fashion, says it well:

"On All Saints' Day, it is not just the saints of the church that we should remember in our prayers, but all the foolish ones and wise ones, the shy ones and overbearing ones, the broken ones and the whole ones, the despots and tosspots and crackpots of our lives, who, one way or another, have been our particular fathers and mothers and saints, and whom we loved without knowing we loved them and by whom we were helped to whatever little we have, or ever hope to have, of some kind of seedy sainthood of our own." 

Oct. 30 devotional reading, Listening to Your Life, p.290 - excerpted from The Sacred Journey.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frederick Buechner on Grace

No one has said it better than Buechner!

After centuries of handling and mishandling, most religious words have become so shopworn nobody’s much interested any more. Not so with grace, for some reason. Mysteriously, even derivatives like gracious and graceful still have some of the bloom left.

Grace is something you can never get but only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.

A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace. Loving somebody is grace. Have you ever tried to love somebody?

A crucial eccentricity of the Christian faith is the assertion that people are saved by grace. There’s nothing you have to do. There’s nothing you have to do. There’s nothing you have to do.

The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.

There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it.

Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.

Frederick Buechner, October 30 devotional reading, Listening to Your Life, p.288 - an except taken from his Wishful Thinking.