Black Grace and White Grace

   There are two great moments in the life of every soul as it advances to the Christ-centered level. The first is negative and passive and the second is active and Divine. The first crisis is an overwhelming sense of emptiness, which is actually "Black Grace and the second is a sense of the Divine Presence, or "White Grace." The first experience involves a discontent, a disgust, a fed-upness with life and the second awakening is the consciousness that God is making an impact on the soul. The first condition is a result of Godless living, it might be called the negative presence of God in the soul, as God's actual grace is His positive presence. The first feeling of tension is the product of man's desire for an Infinite, and all the ennui and boredom results from the realization, sometimes very sharp, that he has not realized his desire. We may not know what it is that we are seeking, but in all of us there is a longing for something unattained and a restlessness with everything else for lack of it. We feel deprived of something that ought to be ours. We se ourselves moving through the world not so much as peasants, who never had anything, but as royalty in exile, ever conscious of our original dignity. We are searching and looking-not so much because we hope to hit on a new treasure, but to recover one we have already had and lost.

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