Thursday, August 02, 2012

The painfulness of Grace

...what you seem actually to demand is that the Church put the kingdom of heaven on earth right here now, that the Holy Ghost be translated at once into all flesh.  The Holy Spirit rarely shows Himself on the surface of anything.  You are asking that man return at once to the state God created him in, you are leaving out the terrible radical human pride that causes death. Christ was crucified on earth and the Church is crucified in time...The Church is founded on Peter who denied Christ three times and who couldn't walk on the water by himself. You are expecting his successors to walk on the water.  All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful. Priests resist it as well as others.  To have the Church be what you want it to be would require the continuous miraculous meddling of God in human affairs...

quoted by Philip Yancey in The Jesus I Never Knew, pg 236.   Originally published in O'Connor's The Habit of Being, pg 307
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