God’s Grace is Flowing Like a River


   When God gives himself to each of us in grace, i.e., as he calls us to our life-vocation and opens us to discern what he expects of us in our everyday life, we have Infinity/Eternity flowing into space/time.  Space/time can never completely receive and understanding the fullness of Infinity/Eternity.  Being space/time creatures, we receive God’s grace with all the incompleteness and limitations built into us.  Even in eternal heaven, we will forever keep wonderfully growing in our comprehension, appreciation and love of God.

   More particularly we are limited in our reception of and response to God by our personal aspects, e.g., age, gender, personality, language, culture, education, personal experiences and history, etc.  All these can enrich our experience of God and our response to him, but they can also obstruct our relationship with God, if we let them.  So, to fulfill ourselves in all the aspects of who we are, we have to keep ourselves continuously open to receiving and growing in God’s grace, which includes our reading the signs of the times to see God’s intentions in today’s ever changing world, and responding to him ever more fully and effectively.  Our life in Christ is a Waya continuous movement, like a river, of growing and flourishing in God’s living, ever flowing, loving grace.

   What is true of us as individuals is true of us as the community of faith that we are.  Through our leaders, we are all spiritually empowered and responsible to channel God’s flowing, living water of grace into the most effective means of working for the ongoing salvation of the world.  Our leaders, therefore, must keep themselves open to God’s living truth, doing nothing to obstruct it.  They must channel God’s living water so that it flows within us and from us (cf. Jn. 7:38) to bring ever flowering life to the world in all seasons.

   Unhappily, our leaders are failing in their responsibility.  In many areas they are stopping the truth from flowing.  They have dammed the flow of God’s grace, e.g., in the areas of sexuality, women, the freedom of the laity to discern God’s intentions and contribute their sense of the faith to the whole church, the work of many of our best theologians, and the forward-looking vision of American nuns.  They have also dammed up insights from today’s science, philosophy and psychology–all of which can lead to our ever evolving understanding and appreciation of human nature itself.

   I believe that God is responding to our leaders’ self-imposed theological and spiritual stagnation by inspiring many of the laity, theologians and nuns to speak and act prophetically and thereby open the way to new visions of the truth that God wants us to recognize and incorporate into our lives.  For our part, we must intensify our discernment of the gifts, talents, possibilities and opportunities that God is giving us.  And we must gather together with other discerning people.  Together we can test ourselves in the Spirit to ensure, as well as we can, that we are discerning correctly, so we can act in the fullest possible accord with God’s truth and intentions.

   To help ourselves we can look deeply inward to see, as openly and truthfully as possible, if our intended actions are alive and flowing with truth, justice, peace, humility, and most of all, with love–all for the building up of ourselves and our society and culture, in the saving grace of Christ.  Thus we will keep God’s grace flowing like a river of living water.

Anthony T. Massimini, Ph. D.

( Tony attended Vatican II as a priest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was assigned to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, the official seminary of the Archdiocese. I was a student there at that time and he taught me. He taught Latin and Theology at the seminary He was dispensed by Pope Paul VI in 1971 and returned to the laity and married in a Catholic ceremony, 1972 He is my mentor and a wonderful friend at the age of 93!)

Read more about Tony at his blog: http://the21stcenturyamericancatholic.blogspot.com/p/about_30.html

About Dr. Ernie Sherretta, D. Min.

Retired Director of Religious Education for the Catholic Church since 2014, granted a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Charles Seminary, an M.A. in Religious Studies from St. Charles Seminary, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Immaculata University, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Spiritual Well-Being Counselor
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