July 29, 2011

The Invincible and Victorious Grace of God

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"My Grace is sufficient for you" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The Lord did not even spare His apostles from temptations. That is why He gave them Grace! When Satan himself began to malign the Apostle Paul, Paul prayed to God that Satan depart from him. To that, the Lord replied: "My Grace is sufficient for you!" That is, if you need to withstand Satan, for your endurance "My Grace is sufficient for you!" If you need to struggle with Satan, again "My Grace is sufficient for you!" If you wish to defeat Satan, again "My Grace is sufficient for you!" Grace is an all-inclusive weapon. Grace is stronger than all opposition, than all assaults, than all the powers of darkness. Grace is invincible and victorious.

Brethren, that is why we should pray to the Lord to give us His All-powerful Grace. Grace is God within us. Grace is the kingdom of God within us. When the Grace of God is within us, then day is within our souls. And day signifies light, knowledge and fearlessness.

Brethren, we cannot here on earth implore a greater good from God than the Grace of God. If we were to receive the entire universe as a gift, that gift would be less than the Grace of God.

O most abundant Lord, the inexhaustible source of the omnipotent Grace, sprinkle our hardened hearts with Your Grace that we might weep before Your most great goodness and our horrendous ingratitude.

"That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His Grace" (Ephesians 2:7).

With the prophetic gift, the Apostle Paul prophesied about the riches of the Grace which, throughout the ages, will be poured out on the generations of mankind. We who live nearly twenty centuries separated from the apostle can attest to that which the apostle prophesied in ages past. Just as beehives are filled with valuable and honey-bearing bees, so all the centuries from Christ until today are filled with praiseworthy men, virgins and women.

O how abundantly the richness of the Grace of God manifested itself on countless souls who, at first, were sinful and later became holy!

O how abundantly the richness of the Grace of God manifested itself on men and women who were, at first, weak and fearful and after that heroically confessed Christ the Lord and joyfully suffered for Him!

O how abundantly the richness of the Grace of God manifested itself throughout the centuries on the simple and illiterate who, after that, became true wisemen and spiritual generals of the faithful armies of Christ!

Brethren, just think how much more hidden holiness, unrevealed sacrificing, unrecorded heroism, unsung virtues lay hidden in the depths of twenty centuries of Christianity! When all of that is made known, all that which was in the past centuries and in those centuries which will come until the end of time, then will the angels and men be astonished before the unspeakable riches of the Grace of God. Then the Apostle Paul himself will have to cry out: "Even though I was an apostle, nevertheless, my word was too weak to express all the immeasurable richness of the Grace of God which, out of love for man, was proclaimed in the world."

O Most Holy Trinity, our mankind-loving God, uplift our hearts that we continually glorify and praise the exceeding great richness of Your Grace.