Gracious Words

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"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

Proverbs 16:24


Grace. Grace is the Small Steps virtue for May.

Do you know how many definitions there are for the word "Grace?"



elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action.

a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment.

favor or good will.
–verb (used with object)


to lend or add grace to; adorn: Many fine paintings graced the rooms of the house.

to favor or honor: to grace an occasion with one's presence.


fall from grace,


Theology . to relapse into sin or disfavor.

to lose favor; be discredited: He fell from grace when the boss found out he had lied.

have the grace to, to be so kind as to: Would you  have the grace to help, please?

in someone's good / bad graces, regarded with favor (or disfavor) by someone: It is a wonder that I have managed to stay in her good graces this long.

And we haven't yet touched the uniquely Catholic definitions. I could write about grace every day for the rest of the month and not run out of definitions to explore. But this evening, I sit in a coffee shop and ask God about grace and the only thing that runs through my head is "All's grace."
It's a signature line, dear and familiar.
And I wonder, could it be a call to action?
This world--inside this screen, connected with the taps and touches on keyboards flung the worldwide--this world of Christian blogging?
It's getting a bad name.
But bloggers can't claim to be purveyors of clarity unless they do so with charity, she said.

"Charity is one of the biggest challenges we face," she said, because "freedom is both a gift and a source of temptation for our egos."

Elizabeth Scalia, quoted here.

It's becoming known far and wide for its vitriol.
Why, as people of a Holy God who instructed us to only use good words, is it so easy to fall into the patterns of this world? Grumbling. Spewing negativity. Finding fault with each other. Making nasty comments (all in the name of differing in opinion, of course). Why? What's the point of it? Are we not set apart to do good works? Are we not called to let our light shine before men? And what about that salt and light thing?

For its darkness.
And not for its light.
It's not just Catholics. It's not just Evangelicals. It's not just the Eastern Orthodox. It's all of us.
All. Of. Us.
Without discrimination. I could link and link and link to examples of words cast into cyberspace without grace.
But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.
[9] Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices
[10] and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
[11] Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scyth'ian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,

[13] forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
[14] And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
[15] And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
[16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
[17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

[23] Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men,
[24] knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ.
[25] For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
No partiality. He calls us all to the same standard. When we serve Him as we're called, all's grace.
Pick a definition. Which one would you like? There is no definition of grace that includes ugly words, no definition that exhorts us to eat our own. Last year, I struggled with the dark side of the internet. It was real and close and personal. I sought solace. I made peace. I was granted the grace of clarity and I found it remarkably easy to forgive.
All grace.
This spring, I watch in horror as I see graceless words, barbed and pointed, wound another. And another. I watch in wonder, from a distance this time. A safe distance?
There is no safe distance. We are the body of Christ and the body is abusing itself.
It is time to stop and think and ask ourselves before posting.
Is there Grace in what I say?
Does it bless?
Look at every definition, above and then, look at what the Church asks.
We are called to charity, yes, but we are called to more. We are called to be filled with grace. Filled with Grace. 
Actual Grace.

Temporary supernatural intervention by God to enlighten the mind or strengthen the will to perform supernatural actions that lead to heaven. Actual grace is therefore a transient divine assistance to enable man to obtain, retain, or grow in supernatural grace and the life of God.


Condition of a person who is free from mortal sin and pleasing to God. It is the state of being in God's friendship and the necessary condition of the soul at death in order to attain heaven.

 Fr. John Hardon

My question is so simple: Can we be in a state of grace while spewing or reading muck on the internet?
All's grace.
Or it should be.
To live a life of grace, we must grant each other grace.
We need to use the internet as tool to get to heaven.
It's a matter of life and death.
Would you share your thoughts with us, let us find you and walk with you? I'd be so grateful and so honored to have you as a companion. Please leave a link to your blog post below and then send your readers back here to see what others have said.You're welcome to post the Small Steps Together banner button also.