I love this simple definition of grace from Dom Augustin Guillerand, O. Cart, a French Carthusian.
This is the secret of peace, after committing a fault. What is past is past. And if we accept the consequences, while bracing our will, we can be sure that God will know how to draw glory even from our faults. Not to be downcast after committing a fault is one of the marks of true sanctity, for the saint knows how to find God in everything, in spite of human appearances. Once your will is sincerely “good,” then don’t worry…
In all that we do, and at every moment, God has ordained an exact balance between what we have to do and the necessary strength to do it; and this we call grace. Our part is to bring ourselves into line with grace.
God uses all the horrors of this world for an infinitely perfect end, and always with an infinite calm. It is part of his plan that we should feel the blows and experience the wounds of life: but more than anything else he wants us to dominate them by virtues of faith, hope and charity, and so live on his level. It is these latter which will raise us up to him, and then we shall share in his calm, and in the highest part of our being.
If anyone in my family reads this, a copy of Dom Guillerand's book (link above) would be wonderful Father's Day or birthday present!