The GRACE of State

For the record, I did not intend the title the other way around, as in “state of grace”; I did in fact want it to be the grace of state.  Intrigued? I hope so.

Mike and I attended the Young Catholic Professionals (YCP) meeting last night in Dallas. (Side bar: If you are a young person in the workplace living in the Dallas area and looking for a lively group to do professional networking and a desire to grow in holiness, I highly recommend this active group – they do this well.)  We mingled over wine and cheese, made some new friends, met up with some old dear ones too, and then settled in for the evening talk.

While the speaker last night, Steve Scanlon, was extremely dynamic and very moving undoubtedly–what I felt reminded of in my morning prayer time to share here, was actually in the small talk before the speaker.  Fr. Rudy Garcia, the Pastor of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas (where the meetings are now held), had been asked to speak on St. Joseph – the patron of YCP.

He spoke sweetly about the man chosen to be the earthly Father to Christ, St. Joseph.  While there were many points throughout his brief talk that were noteworthy, I locked in on this concept of the Grace of state.

how-great-thou-art

As Fr. Rudy shared, “The Grace of state is the belief that when God chooses someone for a certain work, He gives him/her all the necessary graces to carry out that mission well in the world.”

This means that all obstacles can be overcome through God’s grace, when we are in accord with His will for us.  Whenever God chooses us for a specific mission, something important, God will also give us His Grace to carry it out in the state He has called us to. In this, we can accomplish great things for God, exactly where He has us, with exactly what He has us doing.

St. Joseph is remembered to this day for being a humble and just man.  Justice, not only in the sense of giving what was due, but in the Scriptures, he habitually fulfilled His duties and the Will of God for him.  How does this translate to us, here and now?

We can accomplish great things, YOU and I, for God, by HIS Grace in the state we are in right now.

Fr. Rudy reminded us to trust that God knows why. We like to ask that question, don’t we? Why do I have to do this? Why me? Why now? Why is this happening?

The answer is really quite simple to the WHY.  Because God wants you to become HOLY, and whatever He has brought you to is in His will for you.

“Never be afraid to take a risk for God,” said Father.

As one whose biggest strength is being strategic, I weigh all the options and then choose my course. In my process of analyzing in-depth the data at hand, it can be easy for the fear in me to begin to rise as I evaluate what each course that lies ahead will require of me. But that is if I rely on my human strength. These words are worth holding on to, certainly, especially from St. Paul in the scriptures, that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

The scriptures also reveal something of the humaness of St. Joseph as well, that he did in fact struggle in the very beginning—when Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. I get that — it’s never happened in human history before, or since, that God used the Holy Spirit to give flesh to His own son.  Joseph was going to divorce Mary, quietly, but then learned of God’s will for him through the message of a dream, and that was that. He undertook the mission that God had for him faithfully, daily, and did it for the love of God, loving Mary, and Jesus as his own son.

The GRACE of state, my friends. As we walk this road to becoming all that God has intended for us to be, may we find solace in knowing that HE most certainly has and will provide for all of our needs, including all the graces necessary to carry out our unique and particular callings in our own lives.

Questions, thoughts, ponderings? My blog is meant to be a place of dialog — I love to hear from readers, so please leave a comment!

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