I believe in grace.

On this difficult day, I found myself recalling the words of the late David Cohen as he spoke in the Mystical Rose Oratory at Chaminade University in 2014. Friend and mentor to many in the United States and around the globe, the man who has been described as  “the preeminent voice of public advocacy” made a point of speaking to people of every political and religious persuasion as he worked on a broad array of social justice issues. He believed in opening things up to allow many voices. He believed in talking back to institutions. A man of faith, he believed in challenging the Torah, teasing out its wisdom to arrive at what works for our times.

In revisiting his words from that day in the chapel, I encounter this, his favorite piece of wisdom, from the talmudic sage, Hillel:

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am for myself alone, who am I?”


Makahiku Falls, Maui

On this day, I believe more than ever in the grace that flows like water, making its way through inhospitable ground, circumventing boulders in its path, surprising us like magnificent waterfalls that one can only get to by pushing through forests and  perilous pathways through mud and dense undergrowth.

I believe in grace.

Grace informs the view Cohen offered, that we have “a covenantal relationship” with each other. “It’s our being responsible for one another; it’s recognizing that there is a public place for compassion and kindness, and how we treat one another; in how we distribute the resources of society so that there’s some sense of equity.”

I believe in grace.

But for it to flow, we have to be willing to welcome it and channel it where it is needed most. We have to be willing to let grace open our eyes so that we might see, our ears that we might hear, and our hands so that we might be able to lift others up.

I believe in grace.



Posted in Catholics and Culture, I BLOG, Justice, Politics and Religion, Uncategorized
2 comments on “I believe in grace.
  1. Ben Morais says:

    More than ever, as we all enter uncharted waters, I too believe in the power of grace.
    We need grace to steel us for the rough ride ahead.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: