Our summer issue is out now! The theme is Grace. Our wonderful readers share what grace means to them— Dive on in!
Spirituality & The City
A Moment of Grace
Marlon & John
Hello, we are Marlon and John. We have been together for nearly 18 years. Like any other long-standing relationship, we have experienced different stages that have defined our union overall. Some of them have been good, great actually, and some of them have been challenging, too. Ultimately, some of them have been full of grace. It is important to say that all of them have been conditioned by love. A moment of grace can be described as “the freely given, unmerited favour and love of God”.
We bow to differ on the “unmerited” because when a union is powerfully sealed by the wonders of love, a moment of grace is not “unmerited”, it is absolutely earthly deserved. For us, that moment of grace became a loving reality when we got married on March 18th, 2016, after the same-sex marriage referendum passed. At that stage, we had been civil partners for five years, and we decided to avail of the legislation that fully, legally consolidated our union. That moment of grace brought us much closer together, which is why that moment of grace is always echoed every time we say “we are married”. And it is even further echoed every time we hold hands as a symbol of the beauty that is getting old together to the end of time.
Aidan & Lexi
It was probably the shooting star that flew over our heads from the heavens when I said, ‘I love you’ for the first time. Or maybe it was when we did a ceremony under the moon on our ‘first date’ and a seal start singing. It could’ve been when she told me she was pregnant, and there was joy in our hearts and the sound of laughter in the air. There are many magical moments but for me there are moments of grace every night when we express gratitude and pray in each other’s arms.
For me, Grace is about tranquillity of the mind and spirit. However, it’s not always easy for me to find! One of the ways I try to do this is on my train commute. I really enjoy the train, especially as it passes through the countryside. Summer is such a beautiful season in Ireland, where everything is a lush green. The best trip is any trip where you get the window seat! I love watching the houses, farms, rivers, towns pass by… Often the train is rushing so quickly towards its destination you might think, how can you savour something when its passing by so quickly? Life is like that, sometimes we are so busy or wrapped up in things we don’t notice it flying by, so that’s why it’s important to take little moments when you can.
I have experienced Grace as a long-running thread of little moments, weaving its way into my life and imparting its lessons whenever my heart has been ready to receive them. The presence of Grace is as subtle and unobtrusive as a tiny spring flower rising above a blanket of snow: difficult to perceive at times, yet no less powerful for its gentle beauty. My upbringing leads me to recall the religious connotations of the word (’Hail Mary, full of grace’). In this tradition, Grace is characterised as forgiveness. The peace that surpasseth all understanding. I experience Grace as a call to relax into life. To let go of tensions within my body and mind. To jettison ideas of how things ought to be. Grace is nothing dramatic, nothing sudden. It is a quiet voice that says, breathe. You are still here.