A spiritual grandfather that saw me through difficult times is Brennan Manning. I read “The Ragamuffin Gospel” about thirteen years ago and it rocked my world.
All of his books reiterate his basic theme: the grace of God is overwhelming. I read a bit of “The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus” this morning and thought a quote would be appropriate to pass onto you this fine Sunday.
“Poverty brings us to the awareness of the sovereignty of God and our absolute insufficiency. We simply cannot do anything alone. Any growth or progress in the spiritual life cannot be traced to our paltry efforts. All the work is grace. We cannot even acknowledge that Jesus is Lord except through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Life is lagniappe. (This is a southern term meaning “gift” that he unpacked earlier in the chapter.) We are faced with the possibility of genuine humility. I am convinced that without a gut-level experience of our profound spiritual emptiness, it is not possible to encounter the living God.– Brennan Manning (The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, page 65)