May 11, 2009

My Friend Grace

By Rusty Montgomery *


“My grace is sufficient for you…” 2 Corinthians 12: 9

May the Lord give you His peace!

Check it out. My brother took religious vows a few months ago. My sister got married two weeks ago. My other brother and his wife are going to have a baby within days. My parents moved out of our childhood home last week, and yesterday I graduated from the pre-theology program at St. Gregory the Great Seminary. So you could say a few things have happened over the past few months! May God be praised for all of it.

I sit here tonight in awe of God. The joy that I have experienced in the last year of my life has been a true gift. As I reflect, I couldn’t help but think that I could never have planned any of the great and even challenging things that happened over the past year. It is funny sometimes when I talk to young people who have a plan for their life, everything seems to been planned out in great detail and if anything does not fit in with the plan or gets in the way of it, life seems to be over. As of late, I like to encourage myself and others to learn how not to be a life planner, but a life receiver. So often, we work so hard at planning, calculating, measuring, and executing a plan for the future and we might miss life right in front of us.

Just to be clear, I am in no way against the necessity of organization or preparation! Just talk to my friends, I get accused of being excessively scheduled and organized all the time!

I guess here is my point: if my life and all of its outcomes were up to me, my whole life would have to be different. If life were truly like this, life would be a game of every man for himself. Detail by detail life would be measured and calculated to get ahead and position oneself to achieve whatever one wants. How life giving does that sound?

The gift of this past year for me has been to realize that life is indeed a gift and that every moment of our life is to be received as grace from the Lord. How often I found myself working so hard to make everything right, or to achieve or posses what I wanted, and the moment I stopped and put everything in the Lord’s hands once again, what I received was so much great then what I was going after in the first place. Again, life is not a game of planning, but of receiving. Every moment there is a grace to be received. Every interaction with a friend or stranger, every conversation, every breath of fresh air, every smile, every class, every task, every moment of silence, and rest, all are a gift to be received. Just imagine living a life with your arms opened wide to receive the gift of grace from the one who wants you to be happy and fulfill every one of your plans and dreams. The only problem is, if we plan them and go on our way alone, receiving his gifts of grace could be awfully difficult. He knows best, and His way, while not our way sometimes, is the best way.

My friends, I have found a true gift this year that is shared by many people of faith. True life is a gift to be received. It is not a game or a competition that separates us all from one another, but it is a common work among all people to open our hearts and souls to receive the one who is indeed true life Himself.

It makes me feel a lot better knowing that my life is not in my hands, and looking back over the past year, I am thankful every for the grace and the gifts that have been given to me. May we all look to be good receivers rather than planners.

Because in the end, His grace is enough for me and for you…

God Bless You,






Rusty is a seminarian at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Nebraska and is the co-founder of Live Greater Ministries. The ministry's aim is to invite the youth of the Church into a dialogue about the present culture and how Jesus invites us to a relationship with him, finding true happiness and greater purpose.  More information can be found on their website at

* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.


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