“The child of God knows that the graced life calls him or her to live on a cold and windy mountain, not on the flattened plain of reasonable, middle-of-the-road religion.
“For at the heart of the gospel of grace, the sky darkens, the wind howls, a young man walks up another Moriah in obedience to God who demands everything and stops at nothing. Unlike Abraham, he carries a cross on his back rather than sticks for the fire…like Abraham, listening to a wild and restless God who will have His way with us, no matter what the cost.
“This is the God of the gospel of grace. A God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son He ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness on us all….
“Grazie, Signore, for Your lips twisted in love to accommodate my sinful self; for judging me not by my shabby good deeds but by Your love that is Your gift to me; for Your unbearable forgiveness and infinite patience with me; for other people who have greater gifts than mine; and for the honesty to acknowledge that I am a ragamuffin. When the final curtain falls and You summon me home, may my last whispered word on earth be the wholehearted cry, ‘Grazie, Signore.'”
-Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, “Magnificent Monotony” and “Grazie, Signore”