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From The Shaking of the Foundations by Paul Tillich.
Sometimes . . . it is as though a voice were saying: "You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. . .
In the light of this grace we perceive the power of grace in our relation to others and to ourselves. We experience the grace of being able to look frankly into the eyes of another, the miraculous grace of reunion of life with life. We experience the grace of understanding each other's words. We understand not merely the literal meaning of the words, but also that which lies behind them, even when they are harsh or angry . . . We experience the grace of being able to accept the life of another, even if it be hostile and harmful to us, for, through grace, we know that it belongs to the same Ground to which we belong, and by which we have been accepted. We experience the grace which is able to overcome the tragic separation of the sexes, of the generations, of the nations, of the races, and even the utter strangeness between humans and nature. Sometimes grace appears in all these separations to reunite us with those to whom we belong. For life belongs to life.
And in the light of this grace we perceive the power of grace in our relations to ourselves . . . because we feel that we have been accepted by that which is greater than we. . . We cannot force ourselves to accept ourselves. We cannot compel anyone to accept himself [sic]. But sometimes it happens that we receive the power to say "yes" to ourselves, that peace enters into us and makes us whole, that self-hate and self-contempt disappear, and that our self is reunited with itself. Then we can say that grace has come upon us.
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Last updated on Friday, July 20, 2012.
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