I’m sure I’m not alone in the struggle of not feeling grace.
Of course there are extraordinary moments when the veil between Heaven and earth seems to part and a divine answer comes that I instantly recognize. But there are often more days than not where I don’t feel grace. I struggle with my daily responsibilities, with my own attitude and woundedness, with trying to pray, without a noticeable balm to my feelings.
Grace doesn’t seem to appear and give me superpowers or a perennially sunny disposition.
Saint Paul experienced this too, to a much greater degree in fact. He was persecuted in most places he traveled, endured torture, and terrible burdens for the sake of sharing the Gospel and the Sacraments.
In today’s First Reading, Saint Paul acknowledges that even though we may feel affliction in every way, we are not crushed (see 2 Corinthians 4:7-15). Grace is at work even when we feel dejected and hurt, and also when we feel nothing special in particular, neither forsaken nor ecstatic.
Grace maintains us, shields us, carries us, no matter what our feelings may be today because we are united to Jesus.
We are united to Jesus not only in His life but also His death. Grace does not erase the difficult or the pain of life just as Christ’s life was not free from pain, but grace does give us the transcendent ability to live knowing our lives are meant for greater than what this world offers.
Grace, the very thing that allows us to live with God, is the treasure contained in the very normal, very earthen vessels of our ordinary lives.