As a keen young servant of God, Paulís life was characterised by his devotion to every minute detail of the regulations encrusting the Law of Moses. The word ďencrustingĒ is apt because, over the centuries, thousands of regulations had been added and refined by generations of Rabbis.
Paul had been utterly convinced that the better his record in this rigorous conformance, the closer he was to God.
His dramatic conversion and the immediate years following, spent mainly in the company of Peter, left him convinced that we cannot EARN Godís favour. Salvation, he realized, is not based upon a points system.
It is, rather, based upon, what we call GRACE.
Grace is Godís self-communication that enables us to share in the relationship of the Blessed Trinity and to do so for Godís greater glory and the benefit of creation.
Disgrace, on the other hand relates to our failure to be open to and to act upon that Divine communication.
And so our role in the economy of salvation is to sensitize ourselves to the movement of the Spirit.
This takes practice. It demands attention to sacrament and prayer. Prayer in which we do less talking and more listening...allowing His will to be manifested in our thoughts...allowing Him to abide in us.
This imagery is an ever recurring theme in Jesusí exhortations. Every moment of every day, His grace, can, if we permit, be at work in and through us.