The power of grace

Grace, the spiritual love that comes from God, is always available, ready to guide and bless us and those around us.

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Once, I had the responsibility of uncovering the misdeeds committed by someone in a public position of power. It was a difficult task, and throughout the process I prayed for God to show me what to do. Through prayer, I felt a God-sustained conviction that I’m loved of God, divine Love, and therefore capable of expressing and receiving God’s unwavering love in my interactions with others.

I also felt compelled to faithfully love each person involved as the child of God. This resulted in a blissful sense that no matter what happened, I could still be kind toward the man in question and the members of the community. Knowing that nothing could stop me from reflecting God’s love felt like the real triumph. And, the situation itself was also thoroughly resolved.

For me, this experience illustrated grace in action.

Though grace has been witnessed and valued throughout history, people have also grappled with defining exactly what grace is, if it’s merited, and when it may be expected.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of The Christian Science Monitor, saw in the life of Christ Jesus the promise that the grace of divine Spirit, God, is constantly embracing everyone, because each one of us is inherently worthy as God’s spiritual expression, boundlessly beloved of God. She wrote, “The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love.” On this basis, she explained how Jesus’ gracious healings of sin, disease, and death resulted from “the infinite ability of Spirit” being reflected in the natural harmony of God’s spiritual creation (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 494).

Therefore, as explained in Christian Science, grace isn’t the result of human effort, but it does operate as individuals watch, work, and pray in obedience to God. And as Mrs. Eddy wrote, “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds” (Science and Health, p. 4).

Grace, the spirit of love, is tenderly magnificent in all the simple and profound ways it flows naturally to us in our individual relationship to God, who is divine Love itself. Grace brings forth compassion, patient companionship, kind words, courteous deeds, and timely provision. It is especially potent in difficult times. It can soften hardened hearts, sustain hope, and make life more harmonious and joyful despite challenges.

The biblical account of Saul (who later became St. Paul) on the road to Damascus illustrates the transforming power of God’s grace (see Acts 9:1-20). An encounter with the Christ changed Saul’s purpose from violently persecuting those who disagreed with him, to healing people and preaching, with loving persuasion, how salvation and eternal life is available to everyone through Christ.

While my experience wasn’t as dramatic a transformation, I do breathe deep sighs of gratitude for the protection and guidance I received – and continue to receive through grace – as described in a well-known hymn:

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
(John Newton, “Christian Science Hymnal: Hymns 430-603,” No. 438, adapt.)

Knowing that God’s gracious love, guidance, and provision will forever continue, no matter the circumstances, is a profound blessing. May everyone feel the presence and strength of Love’s grace, refreshing and energizing each endeavor, and blessing one and all.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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