Grace is our gifted birth right to live within creation being fully alive. Creation’s history has never known a graceless time. The genuinely human is now at home in the divine – which is how our liturgy concludes prayer with through Jesus… This began with Creation and is completed through the Incarnation. It is often asked: What was God doing before Creation? Augustine answers by pointing out that time and space began with Creation – there was no before or after.
S Francis knew that if you accept that the finite can express the infinite [Jesus as a baby makes the all of God present] and the physical is the door into the spiritual – e.g. the Incarnation, then all that we need is now – when this is the way to that. Heaven includes earth, time leads to the timeless. There is no sacred and secular, only sacred and desecrated things which we desecrate by doing it my way. There is but one Creation.
The abstract doesn’t get us very far, yet sadly so much religion is ideology rather than a real awareness of presence. Yet we can only start from where we are. As Pope Francis said: all people all over the world are rejecting an ideological [from the top down] form of religion, to recapture the way of Jesus. But our lack of fascination turns us away from this. To be fascinated is to be taken out of oneself for a moment – to transcend self; which is permanent in God who is totally transcendent. To be fascinated is to taste something of God.
All being can speak with one voice – what Duns Scotus called the univocity of being. What I am, you are also: Creation is a symphony of mutual sympathy; which compelled Augustine to sum it up with: In the end there is only Christ loving himself. God is not out there until we first experience God in here. Francis sought to appreciate this with the heartfelt plea: Who are you, God and who am I? When created and uncreated are totally one this is the Grace of being fully alive. Everything being itself enjoys what happened in Jesus being fully himself – God is present.