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Grace (Willingness to Receive)

“We do not yet have the eyes to see it, but our paths are ultimately the same as his [St. Paul’s]. No matter how sad, sick, frustrated, deprived, or conflicted we may be, the Lord still enables us to share in His life for the blessing and salvation of the world. We will not do that on as grand a scale as St. Paul, but that is beside the point. Like it or not, we have the lives in this world that we have. We cannot undo previous events, choices, and actions, including those that were and are well beyond our control. We cannot say a magic word and become someone else or change anything about the past. We can, however, repent by turning away from sin and reorienting our lives to Christ as best we have the strength to do today. That is how we will open ourselves to receive His grace. That is how we will receive the strength to convey Christ’s merciful compassion toward others as a sign of His great victory over death for the salvation of the world.” (Fr. Philp LeMasters)

“If you have done something bad and you feel and believe that you don’t deserve forgiveness from the person you wronged and from God, and your internal dialogue is ‘I don’t deserve the unconditional love and forgiveness being offered,’ I can tell you with great confidence you’re absolutely right. None of us deserve the forgiveness and unconditional love from God but it is not a question of deserving it. God does not love us and try to save us through His grace based on merit. The question we need to struggle with is ‘am I willing to receive it?’ Are we willing to receive God’s forgiveness and unconditional love, especially as manifested from another human being who is offering it to us despite what we may have done. There is such power and transformation in this reception and acceptance, and such torment in rejecting it due to hanging on to guilt because we are wrestling with the wrong question.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Without God’s grace, we can never know the true extent of our wickedness. We are far too adept at deceiving ourselves, and the weight of this knowledge would likely crush us. And yet God leads us toward repentance – and life. Christ Jesus came into the world to save each and every one of us chief sinners, offering us His complete forgiveness…we must remember that our life in Christ is never about getting what we deserve, but concerns entering by grace into the joy of the Savior’s victory over sin and death through His glorious resurrection.” (Dynamis 2/7/2021, Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“… while Paul sees himself as such a godly example for his flock, he also considers himself the “foremost” sinner. As the former chief persecutor of the Church, he also serves as a model. The Greek word he uses as “pattern” refers to a sketch or outline of an original design…This pattern showed the manner of God’s treatment of Paul, the sinner. Despite the apostle’s offenses against Christ and the Church, God displayed His longsuffering; that is, God treated him with patience and forbearance…The point is that the merciful restraint that God showed to Paul assures all who look to God for the gift of eternal life. The Lord’s lovingkindness of the apostle demonstrates that all who turn to the Lord will not receive the condemnation that they deserve but the grace that they have not earned.” (Fr. Basil)

“Grace is God's unlimited, unconditional, uncreated love, freely given to those who do not deserve it.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:3)


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