greater grace

I think some of the best advice I’ve learned to give myself spiritually is no matter how much I sin or fall, no matter how many times, no matter how guilty or ashamed I feel, never stop coming to Jesus. Never let it hold you back or keep you away from drawing close to Him and trying to grow. Never tire of repenting, even if it feels like you repeatedly repent for many of the same things. Sin is inward and it takes more than a one time conviction for the behaviors to fully follow and get out of habits or the depths of our depravity. Accept the truth you’re forgiven and free when you come to Christ and genuinely want Him to continue to change your heart to be more like His, and move forward. If I stop moving toward Him because I am letting my sin become greater than his grace and mercy, I am doubting the power of His redeeming work to the power of my flesh. Paul reassures us in Romans nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. If that is our reality, then we shouldn’t let anything, no matter how bad, how frequent, how difficult it is to overcome, how long it takes to get past- none of that should ever stop us from still coming to Him and seeking to become more like Him. Don’t give up because of your sin or fallings. Look to Christ. The whole point of the cross was not only that Christ paid the price to remove our condemnation, but He triumphed victoriously over all sin and death. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us, and we can overcome. Believe that. Don’t let discouragement drag you down or get stuck at “I obviously can’t be holy.” Of course you can’t, we’re sinful by nature, which is why we desperately need Jesus- but there is bright hope in knowing we have Him, and He is able.

anonymous asked:

I got a question for you jungkook!!! How do you find our author nim to be? ;)

Jungkook’s fingers halt on the keyboard as he rethinks everything bad that has ever happened in his life. He begins writing an honest answer to this ask addressed to him, somehwere along the lines of: “I HATE HER, SHE ALWAYS LOOKS FOR NEW WAYS TO RUIN MY LIFE. SHE IS A NASTY ASS BI-”

But he freezes when he feels a figure hovering over him from the backside reading his answers. He gulps as he nervously turns to look at author-nim only to find her smiling sweetly at him. He releases the breath he was holding thinking maybe she isn’t mad at me. Author-nim pats his head twice without losing her smile and then turns around to leave. 

Jungkook sighs and turns to the laptop the answer the question only to be stopped by author nim’s voice. 

“Hey Jungkook?” 

“Yeah?” He looks at her. 

“There’s still two chapters left, you little shit. Don’t mess with me.” She smiles and then finally walks away. 

Jungkook just sits there looking at author nim’s retreating figure with his mouth open. Recovering from his shock two minutes later, he turns around and hurriedly types out his reply. 

“No one greater has ever graced my life with their presence. She is a goddess. I worship her. :) ”  

If souls would put themselves completely in My care, I Myself would undertake the task of sanctifying them, and I would lavish even greater graces on them. There are souls who thwart My efforts, but I have not given up on them; as often as they turn to Me, I hurry to their aid, shielding them with My mercy, and I give them the first place in My compassionate Heart.
—  Jesus to St Faustina, Diary 1682
God will never leave you empty. If something is taken away, He will replace it with something better. If He denies your request in a certain area, it is because He wishes to give you what is best. If He asks you to put something down, it is so you can pick up something greater.
Essays in Existentialism: Comfort

Clarke shows up at Lexa’s door in the middle of the night, tears streaming down her face, sobs in the back of her throat. They had just broken up a couple of weeks prior.

She debated it for longer than she would readily admit, but when Lexa saw the red around Clarke’s eyes, she opened the door. She wasn’t sure why she would appear in the middle of the night, nor was she quite certain why it’d be at her apartment, of all places, especially following the break-up, but as cold as she wanted to be, Lexa could never deny the warm, deep feeling that she had when the blonde appeared. 

“It’s late, Clarke,” She said, monotone and dismissive as she opened the door. 

“I know,” the blonde nodded, wrapping her arms around herself, as if that was all that kept her standing there. “I didn’t know where else to go.” 

“You broke up with me. So… anywhere else.” 

Keep reading

Try to keep your soul always in peace and quiet, always ready for whatever our Lord may wish to work in you. It is certainly a higher virtue of the soul, and a greater grace, to be able to enjoy the Lord in different times and different places than in only one.
—  Saint Ignatius
Appearance & Likeness

“By the time of her coronation in 1533, one hostile observer would be reporting to the court at Brussels that Anne’s crown did not fit, and she was badly disfigured by a wart, and that she wore a violet velvet mantle with a high ruff to conceal a swelling in the neck, possibly a goitre. Some writers have taken this seriously, although much of it is wilful misrepresentation. The crown was quickly taken off her after the actual crowning, but this was because it weighed seven pounds. For the rest of the ceremonies Anne wore a crown specifically made and weighing only three…As for the high collar, Anne wore the required coronation surcoat with a mantle of ermine, although the material seems to have been purple velvet and not white cloth of gold. If the style was the same as the surcoat and mantle her daughter wore at her coronation in 1559, then the neck was high. The need to conceal a goitre is malevolent embroidery.

“George Wyatt, writing at the end of the century to contradict Sander, and having access to some genuine family traditions of his own about Anne, was compelled not only to accept her ‘beauty not so whitely as clear and fresh, above all we may esteem’, but to admit that

…there was found, indeed, upon the side of her nail, upon one of her fingers, some little show of a nail, which yet was so small, by the report of those that have seen her, as the work master seemed to leave it on occasion of greater grace to her hand, which, with the tip of one of her other fingers might be, and and was usually hidden without any blemish to it. Likewise there were said to be upon some parts of her body, certain moles incident to the clearest complexions.

A minor malformation of one fingertip thus seems very probably, and so too one or two moles, possibly on the chin…”

…not that she was ever a ravishing beauty. Lancelot de Carles did call her ‘beautiful and with an elegant figure’, and a Venetian reporting what was known of her in Paris in 1928 described her as ‘very beautiful’. Yet John Barlow, one of her favorite clerics, when asked to compare Anne to Elizabeth Blount…replied that Elizabeth ‘was more beautiful’, although Anne ‘was very eloquent and gracious and reasonably good looking’. Simon Grynee, a professor of Greek at Basle whom Henry VIII employed to canvass Swiss opinion as to the validity of his marriage to Katherine, was similarly cautious (and also not entirely persuaded to her morals): ‘young and good-looking’ was his verdict. The Venetian diplomat, Francesco Sanuto, was even less certain, though he clearly knew of no goitres or ‘large wens’: ‘Not one of the handsomest women in the world; she is of middling stature, swarthy complexion, long neck, wide mouth, a bosom not much raised and eyes which are black and beautiful’. Henry, as we shall see, saw nothing wrong with Anne’s breasts, but the overall evidence of these less prejudiced observers hardly suggests compelling physical attractiveness. All reports agree that Anne was dark…when her daughter Elizabeth was born it was remarked how fair she was, taking after her father rather than her mother. A feature of which Anne herself was clearly proud of was her hair. A good deal of comment was caused by her wearing her hair down for the coronation procession through London, but again this was simply in accordance with established etiquette. Anne, however, had also worn her hair down for the entirely unprecedented ceremony where she was created marchioness of Pembroke.

“Looks only tolerable, but a splendid head of dark hair and fine eyes – this was the impression Anne Boleyn made on her contemporaries, but it would be good to have some pictorial evidence. Here the past has not been kind. The painter coming into prominence at the English court was, of course, Hans Holbein the younger, but no painting of Anne by Holbein is known to have been made, and certainly none has survived. Two of his drawings are alleged to be of her: one in the set of his drawings in the royal collection at Windsor and the other formerly at Weston Park and now in the British Museum. The Windsor drawing carries the legend ‘Anna Bollein Queen’ in eighteenth-century lettering; the Weston Park drawing, in a hand dating from the first half of the seventeenth century, has the Latin legend: ‘Anne Bullen was beheaded, London 19 May, 1536′. The names on the Holbein drawings at Windsor are said to have derived originally from Sir John Cheke, Edward VI’s tutor, and since Cheke had known Anne, the identification might appear to have authority. However, the Cheke story is suspect – several of his supposed identifications are demonstrably incorrect – and there is evidence on the ‘Anna Bollein’ to link it with the Wyatt family. Moreover, the sitter is in evident deshabille, and why should any such likeness of the queen be commissioned? It is also the case that when both Holbeins were in the collection of the earl of Arundel int he late 1630s, the Czech artist, Wenceslaus Hollar, chose to engrave the British Museum drawing in preference to the one now at Windsor. Why Hollar selected that as likeness of Anne it is impossible to say; either he had advice or the Windsor drawing had not yet been claimed as ‘Anne’.

“One firm contemporary likeness of Anne Boleyn is a single specimen of the portrait medal struck in 1534; it carries her motto, ‘The Moost Happi’ and the initials ‘AR’ – Anna Regina. Such a piece can only have been prepared on royal authority. The common assumption is that the medal was struck to mark Anne’s coronation, but the date makes that improbable. Between Anne’s coronation and a 25 March start to 1534 was ten months. The more likely occasion is the expected birth of Anne’s second child in the Autumn of 1534, and her miscarrying would explain why multiple copies do not survive. Unfortunately the nose has been badly damaged, perhaps deliberately, so that its value as a likeness is impaired. Nevertheless, the shake of the face is clear – long and oval with high cheekbones, much the sort of face that her daughter Elizabeth was to have, according to some painters. Given the condition of the medal, it is impossible to go further than that, but it cannot be said to inspire confidence in the British Museum likeness endorsed by Holler and still less the Windsor example. Judged by the medal, Anne sat for neither of the Holbein drawings. 

“A number of paintings from the later sixteenth century are claimed to be of Anne. They survive from sets of ‘Kings and Queens of England’ which Elizabethan and Jacobean gentry liked to have in their houses to demonstrate loyalty. There are two patterns which clearly represent separate traditions. The one best known at the time…depicts Anne in a gable hood with a single necklace of pearls and a cross decorated with rectangular stones. In a painting in this pattern…Anne wears a brooch in the form of a single drop pearl hanging from the monogram ‘AB’ in gold. The alternative pattern – and the one commonly reproduced today – has Anne in a French hood with a gold letter ‘B’ hanging from a pearl necklace. Several examples survive…Neither pattern, however, can be regarded as authoritative since neither is earlier than fifty or sixty years after Anne’s death or linked to the portrait medal, either directly or via a common ancestor. 

“There is, however, a resolution of this pictorial game of ‘find the lady’. The key is an Elizabethan ring belonging to the Trustees of Chequers…the ring itself is mother-of-pearl, the shank is set with rubies and the bezel carries the monogram ‘E’ in diamonds. It was previously in the posession of the Home family, having, it is said, been given from the English royal treasures by James I to the then Lord Horne. The head of the ring is hinged and opens to reveal two enamel portraits, one of Elizabeth circa 1575 and one of a woman in the costume of Henry VIII’s reign, wearing a French hood. The portrait is minute…but not only is Anne by far the most likely woman of the previous generation to be thus matched with Elizabeth, the face mask is quite clearly the sitter in the Hever and National Portrait Gallery printings. Two important conclusions follow. First, the late Elizabethan ‘Kings and Queens’ image of Anne is pushed back some twenty years. Even more significant, that image must have been accepted in Elizabeth’s court as a likeness of the queen’s mother. Elizabeth herself could obviously have had no clear recollection of Anne’s face, but others around her had known Henry’s second wife well. 

“How does the Chequers enamel compare with the 1534 medal? There is a forty-year interval between them and the head-dresses are different, but the sitter is evidently the same - long, oval face, high cheekbones, strong nose, and a decided chin: a face of character, not beauty. There is thus an authenticated sequence for Anne Boleyn, comprising the medal, the Chequers enamel, and the Hever/NPG pattern.

“With such a tiny ring it is hard to be certain, but between it and particularly the National Portrait Gallery example there seems to have been a prettying up and a loss of spirit. Fortunately, the sequence also has the effect of corroborating a seventeenth-century miniature in the collection of the Duke of Bucceleuch and Queensberry. Charles I had this copied as ‘Anne Boleyn’ by John Hoskins the elder…and it is now endorsed ‘from an ancient original’. How ‘ancient’ it is impossible to say. Although the relationship to the examples in the NPG pattern is evident, these were only thirty years old or perhaps less. It is more likely that Hoskins had access to an earlier image of the kind from which the NPG image originated. A full-length portrait of Anne was owned by Lord Lumley in 1590 and existed as late as 1773. Could it even be that Hoskins’ source was or was derived from a Holbein painting now lost? Speculation apart, the Hoskins is important because it preserves what a highly talented seventeenth-century miniaturist made of the image, and though again further softened, it is the best depiction of Anne we are likely ever to have, failing the discovery of new material. Portrait medal – Chequers ring – Hever/NPG pattern – Hoskins miniature: the chain is complete. We have the real Anne Boleyn.

“…Establishing a reliable image for Anne Boleyn only accentuates the evidence of contemporaries that her attraction was not outstanding natural beauty. What, then, explains her power? In the first place she radiated sex. The heir of Northumberland would try to break a six-year-old engagement for her; Sir Thomas would become passionately involved; and it was the inability of a Flemish musician to stand the heady atmosphere around her that would help bring Anne to destruction. As for Henry, the king’s own letters show how explicit was his desire…”

“That Anne was aware of her attractiveness to men seems obvious. While in France her place beside the retiring queen would have kept her away from most of the notorious licentiousness which flourished in Francis I’s own household. Nevertheless, Anne cannot have been made aware of her power during such visits as Claude did make to a court which was much more explicitly erotic than those at London or Brussels…days after her death de Carles waxed lyrical about her expressive eyes…

“Yet sexuality was only part of Anne Boleyn’s attraction. What made her stand out was sophistication, elegance, and independence, in fact the continental experience and upbringing which we have explored…

“France and Queen Claude, and, one might add, Margaret of Austria: these had made the difference. There were other foreign ladies at the English court. Some, now aging, had come over with Katherine of Aragon, but among the English there was nobody with a tithe of the continental polish of Anne Boleyn. One of Wolsey’s servants who had known her remembered how she stood out among the other women at court for ‘her excellent grace and behavior’. A less than enthusiastic Protestant writer of the next generation told how’ albeit in beauty she was to many inferior, but for behavior, manners, attire, and tongue she excelled them all, for she had been brought up in France.’ A Catholic account of the same period stressed that ‘she was in the prime of her youth’, and as well as her musical abilities ‘had her Latin and French tongue’…Even the recusant tradition remembered her elegance and gave her credit for it, if for nothing else: ‘She was the model and the mirror of those who were at court, for she was always well dressed, and every day made some change in the fashion of her garments. But as to the disposition of her mind…’

“Anne Boleyn had style, and continental style at that. George Wyatt might look back and write of ‘the graces of nature graced by gracious education’, but Carles declared at the time: ‘no one would ever have taken her to be English by her manners, but a native-born Frenchwoman’.”

8

Tell me, what do you feel for my kingly nephew?” “I love him with all my heart,” Sansa said at once. “Truly?” He did not sound convinced. “Even now?” “My love for His Grace is greater than it has ever been.” The Imp laughed aloud. “Well, someone has taught you to lie well. You may be grateful for that one day, child.

        Tyrion admiring Sansa (and her survivng skills) - for Anonymous

3

“A light, honest scent. Natural and unforced. Some of the roses, however, seem faded and overblown.”
“That fate awaits all roses, Sire. All roses are open to the elements, Your Majesty. They bud, bloom and fade. The rose grows entirely unaware, changing naturally from one state to another, and although the elements may treat her cruelly, she knows nothing of it and continues to her end without judgment on her beauty. Alas, it is not the same for us. If such a rose could speak, she would say: “Yes, I am here, and gave service under nature’s eye. And after me my children will be. Is there any greater contribution or more graceful end? The protection that the gardener can afford this rose from the harsh elements of change is patience, care and a little warmth from the sun”

*