The most common translation for the Spanish word “gracias” is “thank you,” but gracias is also translated as “grace.” So when we wish to express gratitude and appreciation, we are, in reality, sending wishes for God’s grace to those who have been mindful or kind to us. Whatever your (or Webster’s) translation of “grace,” the term speaks of an unearthly sort of strength, inspiration or health. Those who have responded to our request or need have favored us with their ability to help or serve us. Hence, we send them a wish for grace: a term not easily translated yet an expression of deep respect for their skill, goodness, and faithfulness to duty. Grace is a sharing in the unending quality of letting others depend on you. A grace-filled or graceful person then becomes a person of profound goodness. We admire and strengthen that person’s way of life by wishing strength and grace to them. Gracias, may grace be with you!
By Judy Kramer, OSB