I didn’t know what grace was until just recently.
One reference that enlightened me was from Adyashanti in his brilliant book “The End of your World”.
Adya explains that grace isn’t about having things handed to you on a plate but that there is a thing that he calls “fierce grace”.
Fierce grace is what happens when life slaps you down for being inauthentic. Whenever we delude ourselves about anything, we create pain for ourselves. That pain is designed to force us to realise our delusions. When we realise them we can then allow ourselves to become authentic again. I can personally testify that this is absolutely a characteristic of life. There is nowhere to hide from reality. However we try to avoid it, through cosseting ourselves with luxuries or traveling or any other “lifestyle experience” the consequences of our refusal to accept life exactly as it is will cause us pain, sooner or later.
The other source of an understanding of grace came from a brilliant TED lecture by Father David Steindl-Rast which you can view here.
it is actually a talk on gratefulness but during it Father David explains that grace is inherent in every moment in our lives. The miracle of grace comes because each moment is an opportunity. An opportunity to experience the outcome of our choices (see fierce grace above) and if we make the wrong choice, we get another moment and the opportunity to make another choice.
Can you see how all of this works to simply make us more aware of the present moment and enable us to become enlightened?
That, is the miracle of grace.