Grace, which is charity, contains in itself all virtues in a hidden and potential manner, like the leaves and the branches of the oak hidden in the meat of an acorn. To be an acorn is to have a taste for being an oak tree. Habitual grace brings with it all the Christian virtues in their seed. 23

“Grace, which is charity” or “love” is the power that drives the universe. It is the force of creation, the energy that generates the heat of the sun, makes the trees blossom and brings new life into being with every birth.

This “charity” is the profound reality I seek in life. It dwells within me deeper than my feelings, deeper than my thinking. It resides in a space that is beyond my changeable circumstances, or my genetic make-up.

As an acorn has a taste for the oak tree that is its destiny, I “have a taste” for this grace.

Paul described the fruit of this power saying,

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and inner strength. (Galatians 5:22,23)

I have glimpses of what it means to live as a person of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and inner strength.” There have been moments when I have seen myself turn towards gentleness, kindness, and generosity.

Tragically, I know that, all too often I fail to heed the “taste” of grace. I choose a life of self-interest, violence, grasping, and dishonesty.

The spiritual life is a journey towards honest and opening more deeply to that “Habitual grace” that “brings with it all the Christian virtues in their seed.” The Spirit calls me to taste the “meat of the acorn” of my true nature as a child created in the image of God who bears in my deep self a true nature that resembles the God by whom I was made.

I will not reach this exalted vision through self-effort or determination. I will only bear the fruit of God’s Spirit in my life by softening and opening to the work of grace in my being.

How have I “tasted” the habitual grace of God’s presence at work in my life?

What practices in my life encourage me to soften and open to that “habitual grace” that enables me to live more fully as the person I was created to be?

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