Do you know what it means to be struck by grace?
We cannot transform our lives, unless we allow them to be transformed by the stroke of grace. It happens or it does not happen. And certainly it does not happen when we try to force it upon ourselves, just as it shall not happen so long as we think, in our self-complacency, that we have no need of it.
Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restless. It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.
Sometimes at that moment a shaft of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: "You are accepted. You are accepted," accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know.
Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything. Do not perform anything. Do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted. If that happens to us we experience grace.
---from Paul Tillich's reflection on Romans 5:20
"God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant."