advent 11 – Graciousness

Graciousness is a quality of mind that does not separate truth and beauty. Talk of truth always makes it sound as if truth were the cardinal virtue. yet without beauty, truth becomes blind and can be turned into a blunt and heartless imperative. When we hold beauty and truth together, truth will always have a sense of compassion and gentleness. Sometimes the so-called facts of a situation actually tell us little or nothing about the heart of an experience. Only in the light of beauty can we come to see what is really present. This is true also of the way in which we view our own life. If we were to describe our life strictly in terms of its factual truth, most of its interesting, complex, and surprising dimensions would remain unmentioned. The gracious eye can find the corners where growth and healing are at work even when we feel weak and limited. It is no wonder that Jesus said; the gentle shall inherit the earth.

From Divine Beauty, The Invisible Embrace, by John O’Donohue.