The Sixteenth Century philosopher, Giordano Bruno, said that the human soul has windows, and that even though the sun outside is shining, those windows can be shut. If the windows are opened, the light of God shines in and the soul is illumined. The light is unchanging; it is we who change whenever we choose to open to God.
Grace is the outpouring of the Light, Life, and Love of God. It surrounds us; it continually presses in upon the shell of our receptivity, wanting to come in. But unless we open up to receive the influx, it will be as sunlight on the roof, unable to light the interior of the house save through tiny openings, streaming in in brilliant shafts that search across the floor in careful paths. But they are mere messengers of the ocean of light gleaming just above the ceiling.
Faith has nothing to do with knowledge, except that when we comprehend a glimmer of truth, we are then willing to receive more. It is this willingness that we call faith. It is the receptive pole of the outpouring of the Light, Life, and Love from God. We do not will that it be done; we will that we be open so that it can be done.
Every great act of creativity is born of a receptive mind. Greatness abounds; it streams down upon us in abundance, in a never-ending river of opportunity. The mind that relies upon its own knowledge can never be great; we cannot inspire ourselves. But the mind that knows that greatness comes from that which is greater than itself is the mind that shines most brightly. Like the moon, it is the reflected light that illumines. The moon has no light of its own, save that which is given to it by God.
And yet, the light we see reflected from the moon does not look like the Sun – it looks like the Moon. Thus it is easy to get confused about the source of our greatness. We open to the influx from God, and God shines through us, but we are tempted to think that we are the author of the light and not its mirror. Then, by turning our face away from God, darkness creeps in, and the light we thought we were creating fades and shines no more.
Faith and Grace. They are the active poles of life. They are the act of giving and the act of receiving. And the act is born of will. We will to be receptive; that is our doing. But it is our faith that allows us to receive. Faith is the act of receiving from the Mind of God.