Gratia Plena

It’s ‘Five minute Friday’ time, joining with Lisa-Jo Baker.

She gives us 1 word,

we write for 5 minutes flat – no backtracking or editing, throwing caution to the wind.

Check out others’ five-minute offerings by clicking on the button below.

This is my best five minutes on “Graceful”.

I hate watching home movies of myself, especially those of myself as a child.

My sister, a gymnast, dancer and natural mover, always carried herself with a fluidity and grace. She was at once poised and energetic – everything flowed with her – her movements and voice were all natural.

I moved with all the grace of a stumbling baby giraffe. I was too skinny, bones sticking out and limbs flailing. I moved quickly and awkwardly, like a badly-programmed robot.

These things are easily solved: I just had a photographer instead of a videographer at my wedding. Ignorance (by which I mean Ignore-ance) is bliss. I can imagine my wedding day in my mind’s eye as one where I floated effortlessly down the aisle – I have got rid of all photo evidence which may have indicated otherwise.

I am not a dancer. But I am a singer. And one of my favourite songs to sing was Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’. It slows you down, singing. Aaaaaaaa-veeeeee Mar-eeeeeeeee-eee-aaaa. You have to pause on the words.

And one of the phrases is Gratia Plena – full of grace. Graaaaaa-tia, Ple-naaaa. Maria, Gratia Plena; Maria, Gratia Plena. Hail Mary, full of Grace.

I’ve always wondered a little what that means. Was she already full of grace? Or was it prophetic, the foretelling of the Gift of God that would be poured into her womb, filling it for nine months?

I am not graceful, but like Mary, I am full of grace. I have had grace poured into my clay jar of a life; the gifts of God in my family and friends and creation around me, the Saviour in my heart, his strength at work in me, my identity hidden in Him. Sometimes I am so aware of His grace and goodness that my soul just feels full and I want to sing like the birds.

Over to you:

  • How graceful or grace-full do you feel today?

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11 Responses to Gratia Plena

  1. Joanna 8th September, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    By grace, I presume, I came here just after reading four beautiful sonnets about Mary on Malcolm Guite’s site. Do you know his work? It is amazing. malcolmguiteDOTwordpressDOTcom. There is much that I love in this post – I too was (am) someone who moves without grace and when I was a teenager in particular that made me feel so unhappy. It might sound a bit trivial, but things like realising that God sees me as graceful (not to mention grace-full) have been a profound part of the healing I have found in him.

  2. Nikki 7th September, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Oh I love the perspective you took on today’s prompt!
    I read Daniel’s comment above and see what I was going to share a bit of…because I went to bed last night thinking about this…how some say full of grace and how some say highly favored. As I’m realizing… Him, they mean the same. So I will strive to let Him fill me with His grace like He so desperately wants to gift me with each morning and find peace in the thought that He thinks I’m pretty great. …

    Hugs to you, friend! Loved your 5 minute write as usual!

    • Tanya 9th September, 2012 at 11:56 am #

      So lovely to see you here again – I like the fact that we so often seem to be thinking similar things! Much love x

  3. Shelly Miller 7th September, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Ave Maria was one of my grandfather’s favorites. A request at his funeral. And I love that you pulled out those words of the song, because they describe his life well, full of grace that taught me how to live. Thanks for this Tanya and happy friday to you my sweet friend.

    • Tanya 9th September, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      Your grandfather sounds amazing – I would love for my life to be full of grace. Happy Friday to you too! Much love.

  4. ro elliott 7th September, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    When God’s live fills our souls…His Grace fills us too…for me there was a work that had to be done in my heart…to live and know in the reality of how much He loved me…not head knowledge…but that knowing that transcends the mind…and once I rested there…His Grace became so evident to me. blessings~

    • Tanya 9th September, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      Love and grace so often go together – thank you.

  5. Daniel 7th September, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    I think ‘gratia plena’ (with a ‘t’, no?) is just a bad translation – most English translations go for ‘highly favoured’, rather than full of grace. In fact, the difference between ‘highly favoured’ and ‘full of grace’ is arguably the difference between Protestant and Roman Catholic theology. That isn’t really the point of your post, but…

    I guess I rarely (never?) feel ‘full of grace’, but I often feel as if I am being shown a lot of grace. And perhaps the difference is that the latter happens to me, in all my inherent grace-less-ness.

    • Tanya 7th September, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      Oh. Yes. With a ‘t’, not a ‘C’. Of course it is. *sheepish face*
      Have corrected my Latin above…

      Re: the difference between Protestant and RC theology – love that thought! You should blog on it…

      ‘Grace happens to me.’ I like your theology, Daniel. Thank you for the encouragement.

  6. Mia 7th September, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    Oh Tanya, today that cute baby giraffe is more graceful than I am. I only went to sleep at 2am trying to finish my blogpost for the week. Needless to say that not only is my post finished, but I am to! LoL


    • Tanya 7th September, 2012 at 11:48 am #

      Argh! I hate the dungeon-ball of tiredness! Hoping there is grace enough today for you xx

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