Patheos generously sent me a copy of The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living, written by Lisa M. Hendey (founder and editor of CatholicMom.com), to read and review in this space. While appearing to lack an analysis of race and class, Hendey offers truly useful tools for living a faithful life in this accessible book.
As a Unitarian Universalist minister and community organizer, I found that I had to translate a bit of Hendey’s theology and assumed common white cultural values in order to engage in the text. The eight virtues she lifts up, however, are priceless gifts for living into this world as faithful, generous people. I am grateful that she has named them so clearly:
the Grace of: Belief, Generativity, Creativity, Integrity, Humility, Vulnerability, No, Rebirth.
Last night I attended a mass moral Monday gathering in New Orleans called by the coalition Justice and Beyond and hosted by Christian Unity Baptist Church. It was there that I joyfully bore witness the Grace of Generativity described by Hendey in The Grace of Yes.
She writes, “In the 1950s, psychoanalyst Erik Erikson coined the term generativity and defined it as ‘the concern in establishing and guiding the next generation.” … Erickson believed that functioning adults in the middle phases of life look to create a lasting legacy by creating or nurturing things or people that would outlast themselves.”
I watched the established co-conveners of the coalition introduce two young adult community leaders to the gathering and give them the role of facilitating the meeting. And then they stayed beside them, lending their respected presence and their skillful reading of the room to the young leaders, “establishing and guiding the next generation.” I am grateful to Hendey for naming the virtue of generativity so clearly that I could know it when I saw it and appreciate it for the true gift of grace and generous living that is.