For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16
“Do you, therefore, and My other servants, carry yourselves with true patience, with grief for your sins, and with love of virtue for the glory and praise of My Name. If you act thus, I will satisfy for your sins, and for those of My other servants, inasmuch as the pains which you will endure will be sufficient, through the virtue of love, for satisfaction and reward, both in you and in others. In yourself you will receive the fruit of life, when the stains of your ignorance are effaced, and I shall not remember that you ever offended Me.
In others I will satisfy through the love and affection which you have to Me, and I will give to them according to the disposition with which they will receive My gifts. In particular, to those who dispose themselves, humbly and with reverence, to receive the doctrine of My servants, will I remit both guilt and penalty, since they will thus come to true knowledge and contrition for their sins. So that, by means of prayer, and their desire of serving Me, they receive the fruit of grace.”
Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) in The Dialogue of Catherine of Siena, trans. by Algar Thorold (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1907) and ed. by Harry Plantinga (1994) 17.
Meet Grace St. Catherine. Collected her from the breeder in Montrose, Colorado, just yesterday. Just before picking her up, I read this section from St. Catherine’s classic work. Let me highlight four words from it.
Firstly, consider the ‘disposition’ with which you receive gifts from God. Do you consider blessings earned? Or do you with knowledge of your sins, humble yourself and give thanks for His mercy an anything He supplies?
Secondly, ponder His ‘gifts’ to you. One of those is doctrine. It’s a big word for right thinking in Jesus. Once you were lost; now you are found. God’s love was free to you and for everyone to be enjoyed and shared generously with others.
Thirdly, we get to ‘dispose’ ourselves with reverence. In plain terms, we receive gifts from God and we remit all we are and all we have in response to magnify Him on the earth. We become generous.
Fourthly, we receive ‘grace’ to serve by prayer. This fruit from God empowers us to do whatever task He sets before us with confidence and strength. He satisfies our every need and fills our every longing.
And today, we celebrate receiving “grace upon grace” from God. Grace from Him carries me through daily life. And this puppy, Grace St. Catherine, will aid us on our journey of living, giving, serving, and loving generously.
Grace will require us to walk a lot (which gives us exercise and space to pray). She will provide companionship. She will help provide food to eat (looking forward to hunting pheasant together) and so much more.
Father in heaven, we set our disposition to receive your gifts and dispose ourselves by your Spirit to remit them richly to others, ever mindful of your grace to us sinners. Hear our prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
And thanks for Grace St. Catherine. Teach us through her like you did with Joy St. Clare.