Daily Word of Grace # 199 (December 18, 2020)
In his 2011 book Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, Richard Rohr, a Franciscan friar, insightfully and incisively writes: “We seem to be our own worst enemies, and we forget or deny things that are just too good to be true. The ego clearly prefers an economy of merit, where we can divide the world into winners and losers, to any economy of grace, where merit or worthiness loses all meaning. In the first case, at least a few of us good guys attain glory. In the second case, all the glory is to God” (104). Indeed, at times we are our own worst enemies (or at least I will admit that is true for me). We do live in a world that, like our ego, “prefers an economy of merit” and naturally divides itself into “winners and losers”—or as Bruce Springsteen puts it in his song “Atlantic City”, “Down here it’s just winners and losers, and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line.” The gospel does seem too good to be true—that God loves us more than we could ever imagine, that God’s love for us is all-knowing and all-forgiving, that God’s love defies any and all attempts to measure it, that God’s love is eternal, that God loves us so much he thought we were worth dying for. And yet all of this is true because thankfully God does not operate in “an economy of merit” but rather in “an economy of grace.” That is the good news of the gospel for all of us, winners and losers and everyone else. Only God can do all this and so Richard Rohr is exactly right when he observes, “all the glory is to God”, or as the psalmist wrote, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory” (Psalm 115:1).
Love and Prayers,