Grace is a quality of life that is sometimes associated with elegance and poise, but goes beyond physical appearance. It is an inner quality that shines through our actions and words. For Christians, Jews, and Muslims, grace comes from God. Others of us aren’t sure of the return address, but it is more than good luck, it is undeserved good, recognition of our inherent worth, an internal sense that calls us to and aids in our transformation. The ancient Greeks personified this quality as the Graces.

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Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.

— Anne Lamott

The fundamentalists, in their struggle against the modernists, had identified the “Social Gospel” and the concern for social justice expressed in Charles Sheldon’s seminal work asking “What would Jesus do?” as a hallmark of heresy. Rice and other fundamentalists viewed the “Social Gospel” as tantamount to believing in salvation through “works” rather than faith. Salvation, they averred, was the result of God’s unearned grace rather than anything humans might do for themselves. They charged the modernists with imagining salvation might be achieved by working to improve society.

— Andrew Himes

Our own experiences of grace give an inchoate meaning to the stories of our lives. They hint at purposes which exist beyond ourselves.

— Andrew M. Greeley

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

— Anne Lamott

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.

— Aristotle

We’re all stumbling towards the light with varying degrees of grace at any given moment.

— Bo Lozoff

Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.

— Bradley Whitford

Grace is uncontrollable, arbitrary to our senses, apparently unmerited. It’s utterly free, ferociously strong, about about as mysterious a thing as you could imagine. First rule of grace: grace rules.

— Brian Doyle

The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent—strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering. It has the power to heal the psychic harm and injuries that lead to aggression and violence, abuse of power, mass incarceration.

— Bryan Stevenson

Grace is not looking for good men whom it may approve, for it is not grace but mere justice to approve goodness.

— C. I. Scofield

Grace is a power that comes in and transforms a moment into something better.

— Caroline Myss

Grant me the grace to dissolve my negative thoughts about myself today. I breathe the grace of kindness into my heart. And may the grace of healing flow abundantly to every one in need of help.

— Caroline Myss

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

— Denis Waitley

By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Life is full of awe and grace and truth, mystery and wonder. I live in that atmosphere.

— Dion DiMucci

For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.

— Elie Wiesel

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds.

— Elie Wiesel

Each of the Arts whose office is to refine, purify, adorn, embellish and grace life is under the patronage of a Muse, no god being found worthy to preside over them.

— Eliza Farnham

Courage is grace under pressure.

— Ernest Hemingway

All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.

— Flannery O’Connor

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them.

— Francis Bacon

Grace is something you can never get but only be given.

— Frederick Buechner

Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom.

— Friedrich Schiller

I believe in cultivating opposite, but complementary views of life, and I believe in meeting life’s challenges with contradictory strategies. I believe in reckoning with the ultimate meaninglessness of our existence, even as we fall in love with the miracle of being alive. I believe in working passionately to make our lives count while never losing sight of our insignificance. I believe in caring deeply and being beyond caring. It is by encompassing these opposites, by being involved and vulnerable, but simultaneously transcendent and detached, that our lives are graced by resilience and joy.

— Fritz Williams

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

— G. K. Chesterton

Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.

— George Santayana

Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.

— Germaine Greer

Learn to limit yourself; to content yourself with some definite work; dare to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not; and to believe in your own individuality.

— Henri Frederic Amiel

Do you know that the ready concession of minor points is a part of the grace of life?

— Henry Harland

For his heart was in his work, and the heart giveth grace unto every art.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.

— Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

I don’t know everything about how joy works. But I have some guesses. As this week begins, I’m thinking about how joy has a way of meeting us in the most complicated places — how it comes as a strange grace that enables us to stand in the midst of sorrow or pain or chaos, to acknowledge and name them while refusing to let them have the final word. Joy asks us to trust that something is at work in a way we cannot see clearly but in which we are asked to participate, that we might be part of how it arrives. So this blessing is for you, for this day, with such gratitude and hope.

— Jan Richardson

I’m becoming more and more myself with time. I guess that’s what grace is. The refinement of your soul through time.

— Jewel

Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world.

— Joanna Macy

Let grace and goodness be the principal loadstone of thy affections.

— John Dryden

Though a quarrel in the streets is a thing to be hated, the energies displayed in it are fine; the commonest man shows a grace in his quarrel.

— John Keats

Grace is the kindling of the heart and the illuminating of the mind.

— John S. Dunne

Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.

— John Stott

Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.

— John Updike

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Few people have ever seriously wished to be exclusively rational. The good life which most desire is a life warmed by passions and touched with that ceremonial grace which is impossible without some affectionate loyalty to traditional form and ceremonies.

— Joseph Wood Krutch

Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace.

— Karl Barth

For us, booting up might correspond to the Celtic woman kindling the embers of the fire or stirring the oatmeal to start the day. Pausing to reflect on the computer’s potential, being grateful for its powers, using its capabilities to serve others — can these actions not be filled with grace?

— Kathy Coffey

Grace overcomes shame, not by uncovering an overlooked cache of excellence in ourselves but simply by accepting us, the whole of us, with no regard to our beauty or our ugliness, our virtue or our vices. We are accepted wholesale. Accepted with no possibility of being rejected. Accepted once and accepted forever. Accepted at the ultimate depth of our being.

— Lewis B. Smedes

Grace happens to me when I feel a surge of honest joy that makes me glad to be alive in spite of valid reasons for feeling terrible. Grace happens when I accept my wife’s offer to begin again with me in love after I have hurt her. It happens when I feel powerfully free to follow my own conscience in spite of those who think I am either crazy or wicked. Grace is the gift of feeling sure that our future, even our dying, is going to turn out more splendidly than we dare imagine. Grace is the feeling of hope.

— Lewis B. Smedes

We frail humans are at one time capable of the greatest good and, at the same time, capable of the greatest evil. Change will only come about when each of us takes up the daily struggle ourselves to be more forgiving, compassionate, loving, and above all joyful in the knowledge that, by some miracle of grace, we can change as those around us can change too.

— Mairead Maguire

The paradoxes of today are the prejudices of tomorrow, since the most benighted and the most deplorable prejudices have had their moment of novelty when fashion lent them its fragile grace.

— Marcel Proust

Grace is the outcome of inward harmony.

— Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Love is holy because it is like grace–the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.

— Marilynne Robinson
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