Silence As Discovery

MP05SIN042 sunrise over Monastery


Silence is never merely the cessation of words…. Rather it is the pause that holds together— indeed, it makes sense of— all the words , both spoken and unspoken. Silence is the glue that connects our attitudes and our actions. Silence is the fullness, not emptiness; it is not absence, but the awareness of a presence.

—JOHN CHRYSSAVGIS


The writer of the Book of Romans says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. “(Romans 8:26) These words of scripture have been heavily debated and interpreted in many ways. In the Charismatic movement, they are generally interpreted as a “prayer language” that is bestowed upon someone in an ecstatic state. In 1 Samuel 1:13 we have this example, “Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard.” The link that is consistent is silence or the lack of words.

Theologian and scholar, John Chryssavgis, tells us that silence is so much more than a lack of words. It is indeed a joining of our spirit with the spirit of God. All of us want to find a way to God’s front door. We want to talk to him and hear from him. Sometimes the only way to do that is to embrace a “holy silence.”

The” holy silence” calls on us to pause. The purpose of the pause is to give us time to allow God’s words to surface in our crowded mind. Our minds and hearts are so jammed with the cares of life that God is never heard amid the cacophony of sounds and experiences that make up a single day. Somehow, we must find the glue of silence that binds our souls to our Creator. In doing so we begin to connect our attitudes to our actions.

As we connect our attitudes to our actions, we discover our true selves. Many of us spend a great deal of our life attempting to be what we think we ought to be instead of slowing down and silently listening to the message of God. When we do, he gives us things that are beyond words and vision that navigate our spiritual lives. We no longer need an abundance of words, because we possess an abundance of Spirit. That Spirit will enliven us with spiritual groanings that will be perceived by all that we encounter.

The concept of silence as fullness cuts against the grain of conventional thinking. Most of us would consider fullness as being active and involved in all ways with the church and the world. The Contemplative path takes us into a world of silence where we are not retreating but find a fuller way to be involved. Such a fullness allows our God to speak to us in ways that words fail. Through silent involvement we become fully aware of the presence of God in all things. We no longer limit God to a church, a class or a ritual that is prescribed by man. We find full awareness of him as we sit in the practice of a silence that is an invitation to his presence.

We should all carve out some time of silence and isolation so that we hear the voice of God and receive “words” from him.



Prayer

Lord, Allow me the courage to come to you without words and receive the words that you have hidden in my heart when you created me. I acknowledge that you have created me in your image. I confess that I have sorely neglected to develop your image, because I have been so busy making my own image. Let me take a pause so that I might allow your image to take root in me.

Amen

Leave a comment

Filed under Midweek Thought

This Week–INSPIRATION



Inspiration – The prompting of the mind to exalted thoughts, to creative activity, also , a quality of a thing that shows creative activity.

(Oxford Dictionary)





Inspiration is the beginning of all the work that we do. Without inspiration we will wander aimlessly through life and never fulfill the intent of God. He created us with meaning and purpose. We all have trouble finding that meaning and purpose, but when we do we are motivated beyond our imagination. Let me share a story that I adapted from sermons.com.

During World War II, Winston Churchill as Prime Minister was traveling around his country. He was trying to motivate and inspire his fellow citizens. He was willing to go almost anywhere to encourage people in the war effort. He would, of course, always visit the troops. But he also visited those who worked on the farms and in the factories. He knew that the odds against them were great, and that he must continue to help keep the morale high.

There was one group he had not yet seen. It was the coal miners. Someone asked him if he would be willing to see these men, who spent most of their time below the ground in such dangerous conditions. One man told Churchill that the miners did not feel that they were doing very much in the war effort. He said that no one ever gave them any credit for the work that they did. Would he visit them, he asked. The Prime Minister told the man that he would be pleased to visit these men.

When Churchill visited the coal miners they were absolutely amazed that he was there. They could not believe that he would come to see them. All they could do was to stare with their dirty faces at the man who would lead Britain to victory. His words will never be forgotten by those who heard him on that day. “We will be victorious!” he said. “We will preserve our freedom. And years from now when our freedom is secure and peace reigns, your children and your children’s children will come and they will say to you, ‘What did you do to win our freedom in that great war?’ And one will say, ‘I marched with the Eighth Army!’ Someone else will proudly say, ‘I manned a submarine.’ And another will say, ‘I guided the ships that moved the troops and the supplies.’ And still another will say, ‘I doctored the wounds!’ ” The men sat with rapt attention wondering what he might say about them. “They will come to you,” he shouted, “and you will say with equal right and equal pride, ‘I cut the coal! I cut the coal that fueled the ships that moved the supplies! That’s what I did. I cut the coal!”

What are you cutting in your life?

Quotes Banner

Inspirations never go in for long engagements; they demand immediate marriage to action.

~~~Brendan Francis

Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic energy striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly and all the time.

~~~Brenda Ueland

Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.

~~~Brad Henry

Inspiration does not come like a blot, nor is it kinetic energy striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly all the time.

~~~Brenda Euland

We are all motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is, the more he is inspired by glory.

~~~Marcus Tullius Cicero

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.

~~~Bertrand Russell

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.

~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Confidence imparts a wonderful inspiration to its possessor.

~~~John Milton

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

~~~John Quincy Adams

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.

~~~Plato

Selfishness is one of the qualities apt to inspire love.

~~~Nathaniel Hawthorne





Scripture Banner

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

~~~ Isaiah 40:31

Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’

~~~Mark 10:27

But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’

~~~Matthew 19:26

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, knowing that in the LORD your labor is not in vain.

~~~1 Corinthians 15:58

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

~~~Proverbs 3:3-6

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

~~~1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Give thanks to the LORD for He is good: His love endures forever.

~~~Psalm 107:1

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~~~Jeremiah 29:11

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

~~~Psalm 34:8

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

~~~Romans 8:2Prayer Banner

Lord, Allow me to receive inspiration from the scripture I read, the people I meet, the life I experience and to know that it is all from you. For in this knowing, I can live in a way that spreads your wisdom and goodness to a world that so desperately needs it. Let this and every day be a day of divine inspiration.

Amen

Leave a comment

Filed under Monday Musings

Inspiration

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Person of Faith



Doubt



You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt. You cannot believe in God unless you are capable of questioning the authority of prejudice, even though that prejudice may seem to be religious. Faith is not blind conformity to prejudice – “ a pre-judgment.” It is a decision, a judgment that is fully and deliberately taken in the light of a truth that cannot be proven. It is not merely the acceptance of a decision that has been made by somebody else.

~~~Thomas Merton



Merton has a fascinating premise when he says,”You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt.” Most of us have been brought up to think very differently, and that statement will require some thinking. Doubt is a bad word in most church cultures. Church people are taught to believe and leave the rest to God. If we are to accept doubt as an essential part of faith, then there are some things we need to consider.

We must first question the prejudice of following stagnate authority. Merton calls it the authority of prejudice. Things never change and ,quite honestly, that makes it easy. This authority assumes that we will walk in lock step with tradition, no matter how strange or harsh it may seem. We are trained to accept the thinking that comes from the authority, because it is just what we do. Why rock the boat?

Boat rocking begins with thinking for yourself. Maybe, just maybe, things have changed. That rule or practice was designed for people who used a horse and buggy to get around town. Perhaps that practice was started out of the prejudicial thinking of someone who never really learned to think for themselves. If we are to be independent thinkers, we must be people of prayer and study.

Prayer is simply talking to God and waiting for an answer. All of us need to develop a prayer life that will make us feel like God is listening to us and is concerned about our lives. The longer we know someone, and the more we talk with them, the more comfortable we will be. We are comfortable because we know and understand them. This concept is no different when it it comes to our relationship with God.

There still remains a rough spot. No matter how well you know someone there will always be things you do not know or understand. God is God, and we can never understand everything about him. God’s existence is a fact that cannot be proven. We can try, but we will always fail. He ,therefore, remains a mystery. It is in the acceptance of that mystery that true faith begins. When we get to know God and accept the ambiguity of his actions and existence then true faith begins to flourish in our souls.

A Prayer Banner 2

Lord, Give me the courage to examine the cookie cutter answers that I was taught about you. Give me the determination to begin to know you for myself. Give me the wisdom to ask the hard questions that will refine my faith. Give me the drive to move forward in the mystery of being a person of faith.Give me the strength to move forward this and every day as a seeker of truth.

Amen

Leave a comment

Filed under Midweek Thought

THIS WEEK -Compassion

CompassionThe participation in another’s suffering; fellow-feeling, sympathy and pity inclining one to show mercy or give aid.

(Oxford Dictionary and Bible)





Monk and mystic Thomas Merton said, “Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.” Compassion is the ability to show mercy, forgiveness, make peace and continue to live life amid the confusion that comes in this world. Without the attribute of compassion, sickness and disease would run rampant and war would never cease. As God shows his compassion to us and we share it with others, our lives are forever changed and our world becomes a better place. It would be difficult for me to see our existence without compassion.

Compassion is the life-giving force that God has planted in us. It gives life when we touch the broken hearted with the love of God and man. Compassion allows us to understand in ways that only God could give to us. Compassion is the God force in us that makes us the salt and light of the world. Without compassion the world is a dark and tasteless void.

Compassion is the desire to see others rise up out of despair. God saw us through a lens of compassion. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36) Sheep without are shepherd are confused, lost and in despair. Jesus saw this and had compassion on all of us. He made things right for us, and we can help others by sharing in the heart of compassion that God bestowed upon us.

Compassion is a life-giving force that we possess. When God touched us and gave us the gift of His Spirit, we were forever changed. We now have understanding and insight that eluded us in past times. We have knowledge that can only comes to those who trust in God. This life-giving force gives us the responsibility and the ability to show compassion to those around us. Compassion is the visceral participation in and the alleviation of the suffering of another. It is a life-giving part of God that he has shared with us through grace.

Let us use this, our time, to seek out and be compassionate to one another. If we live such a life, we will be blessed internally and externally. Let us appropriate compassion in our home, work and world that God has entrusted to us as caretakers.

Quotes BannerA kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.

~~ Steve Maraboli

Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.

~~Dalai Lama

There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.

~~John Connolly

Compassion is about giving all the love that you’ve got.

~~Cheryl Strayed

If you want to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

~~Dalai Lama

Until you have real compassion, you can not recognize love.

~~Bob Thurman

Look for a way to lift someone up. And if that’s all you do, that’s enough.

~~Elizabeth Lesser

Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love.

~~Anonymous

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.

~~ Dalai Lama

Instead of putting others in their place, put yourself in their place.

~~~ Amish Proverb

Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.

~~ Thomas Merton





Scripture BannerBe kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

~~~Ephesians 4:32

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

   for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

   great is your faithfulness.

~~~Lamentations 3:22-23

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

~~~1 Peter 3:8

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

~~~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

~~~Colossians 3:12

“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

~~~Zechariah 7:9-10

As a father has compassion on his children,

   so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

~~~Psalm 103:13

“I will strengthen Judah

   and save the tribes of Joseph.

I will restore them

   because I have compassion on them.

They will be as though

   I had not rejected them,

for I am the Lord their God

   and I will answer them.

~~~ Zechariah 10:6

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;

   therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.

For the Lord is a God of justice.

   Blessed are all who wait for him!

~~~Isaiah 30:18

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

~~~ 1 John 3:17

Prayer BannerLord, One of the most needed things in our world today is compassion. We all need to receive it and know how to give it. We know that you are a God of great compassion and mercy and ask that you will instill in us the qualities that you possess. A very small amount of compassion can make great things happen. Please bestow upon me this gift of being able to show compassion to all who are in need.

Amen

Leave a comment

Filed under Monday Musings

Watch “Musing 22 Compassion” on YouTube

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Living

Refuge – Prayer and Contemplation



It was said of him (Abba John the Dwarf) that one day he was weaving rope for two baskets, but he made it into one without noticing, until it had reached the wall, because his spirit was occupied in contemplation.

Abba John said, ‘I am like a man sitting under a great tree, who sees wild beasts and snakes coming against him in great numbers. When he cannot withstand them any longer, he runs to climb the tree and is saved. It is just the same with me; I sit in my cell and I am aware of evil thoughts coming against me, and when I have no more strength against them, I take refuge in God by prayer and I am saved from the enemy.’

— Abba John the Dwarf



At various times people are in need of refuge from the troubles they face in life. The word refuge means: a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble. We all need refuge because danger lurks, and safety is a primary need of all. As followers of Christ, we need refuge from the problems of this world. Life is so trying and difficult that we just want to say that this “Christian thing” just isn’t working. Our culture does not readily respond to the idea of committing to a power greater than ourselves. Many times we feel that we are the first people to experience this. Not so, the men and women of the desert faced this long ago. These Monks were occupied in contemplation and took refuge in prayer. Maybe we can, too.

A few questions:

  • Who or what do you turn to when you feel tired or oppressed?
  • Is there any time in your schedule to just “get away” while you are in the middle of the crowd?
  • Does the concept of contemplation seem workable to you?
  • How and where do you pray?

First, it is essential to know that you have a refuge when you feel tired or oppressed. The psalmist said: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” In this lifting up our help comes. There are not enough self-help books and webinars to save us from those times of spiritual tiredness and oppression. These battles are not limited to our spirit because they effect everything. We have all experienced times when could not lift our eyes to God or anyone else. In those times we must turn to our inner selves. The spirit of God dwells in all of us and is readily available in our times of need. The best way to tap into our inner spirit is to be still and let the spirit touch us. Contemplation is a tool by which we hear the voice of the spirit. We are carried away to a place that is spirit chosen. When there, the world seems far away. This journey could be short or long, alone or in a crowd, in stillness or motion.

Second, we must learn to get away while we are still in the crowd. Very few people can escape to the literal desert to find God. We must find Him where we are. All of us have likes and dislikes, things that energize us and things that drain us. The key is allowing our times of energy to be times that we can be in touch with God. Find a place to get away. Maybe it is by taking a walk in a crowded park. My favorite place is a coffee shop. Things have changed since Covid 19 but here are my thoughts anyway. The roar of the grinder, the rumble of the conversations, and even the distinct voice that is coming from the table next to me are like the bells of the monastery calling me to prayer. My coffee shop time is a “get away” time. There is me, God and the 30(now 10)other people in the shop, but I have gotten away. Find your place in the middle of the crowd and just get away.

Please don’t take my ideas as being negative towards real silence and isolation. We are all better people for taking times of literal silence, but our challenge is to be a monk in the world.

Third, contemplation is a scary and elusive word. A fellow monk once said of the Thomas Merton, “Merton told us we weren’t contemplatives; we were just introverts!” You can imagine that did not go over too well with men who had lived in community for ten, twenty and even fifty years. What Merton was saying is that contemplation is not isolation but involvement with God and man. Through our times of contemplation and prayer we find energy to engage the world as radically different people. The concept of isolating ourselves in some type of cloister to find God is a type of contemplation that just will not work for the bulk of us. Unfortunately, that is the picture we see when we envision contemplation. If we take the time to rethink contemplation, I believe we can all be contemplatives and monks in the world. That leads us to the how and where?

Fourth, how and where do we engage to take our refuge. The “how” is that we clear our minds and begin to focus on God. Silence, walking, writing, reading, Lectio, are all excellent “hows.” Primarily, all of us need to have a desire to encounter God at all times. Not many people fail to encounter God if they engage in silent meditation and focus attention on our breathing and God’s role in giving us life. Sacred reading is a fine way of turning our attention to the one who is sacred. The very way we are given the words we write causes us to look to God who gives us that gift of language and expression. Sometimes taking a walk and seeing the majestic creation, not just in the big mountains and blue sky, but in the small flower that grows in the crack of the city sidewalk helps us realize that God created it all. Such a walk is not a walk with a destination but a journey to discover the divine. Now the where. Quite simply it is the places God has given you -your home, a church, a sidewalk, anywhere that is available. I waited a great portion of my life to find the monastery, only to find that it was everywhere. There are cloistered monks who never find their monastery.

Find your refuge, its right in front of you.



Prayer

Lord, Help me to discover that special treasure that you have given me. May I experience the warmth of your spirit today and every day. Let me not spend so much time searching for the perfect place that I miss the refuge you have given me. Thanks for being there in all those unexpected places and remind me that I simply must still myself enough to see you. Amen

Leave a comment

Filed under Midweek Thought

HUMILITY

Humility Definition

Humility should be the goal of all who seek to follow Christ. Our culture refuses to acknowledge godly humility as a virtue. The culture pushes to make humility a scourge of the weak and downtrodden. That is because we see humility as a destination. Humility is a lifelong quest that probably never has a destination, but it can find a resting place. We can rest in humility along the journey that is before us. We need not always be in building mode. In our humility we can allow others to thrive and prosper.

The prophet Micah says, “He (God)has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” A life that is well lived involves more than being just and kind. We are to learn to walk humbly with God. Walking humbly with God means several things:

  • Understand that God is our creator.
  • See him as the source of all blessings that come our way.
  • Never try to take his place.
  • Live a life of love and not judgement.
  • Always think of the needs of the other.

As we strive to reach those goals, we find ourselves moving further away from the world and closer to that humble walk with God. God has sought for you and me to walk humbly with him ever since the fall of Adam. Remember, God walked with Adam in the cool of the evening in the garden. When Adam chose knowledge over walking with God, he was cast out of the Garden. Since that day God has worked on restoring his walks with us.

To walk humbly with God means to walk with him as our God and creator. Humility is a place of rest in the presence of God.

Quotes Banner

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

― Rick Warren

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.

― C.S. Lewis

Talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.

― Patrick Süskind

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

― Ernest Hemingway

In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.

― Winston Spencer Churchill

Every person that you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.

― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Life is a long lesson in humility.

― J.M. Barrie

True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue.

― Martin Luther

The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

Until you have suffered much in your heart, you cannot learn humility.

― Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

The more humble and obedient to God a man is, the more wise and at peace he will be in all that he does.”

― Thomas à Kempis

There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.

― Robert Louis Stevenson



Scripture Banner

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord

   is riches and honor and life.

~~~Proverbs 22:4

In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for

‘God opposes the proud,

   but gives grace to the humble.’

~~~1 Peter 5:5

When pride comes, then comes disgrace;

   but wisdom is with the humble.

~~~Proverbs 11:2

But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says,

‘God opposes the proud,

   but gives grace to the humble.’

~~~James 4:6

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;

   and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

   and to walk humbly with your God?

~~~Micah 6:8

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

~~~ 2 Chronicles 7:14

For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

~~~ Luke 14:11

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.

~~~Philippians 2:3

Towards the scorners he is scornful,

   but to the humble he shows favor.

~~~Proverbs 3:34

He leads the humble in what is right,

   and teaches the humble his way.

~~~Psalm 25:9

For thus says the high and lofty one

   who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

I dwell in the high and holy place,

   and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,

to revive the spirit of the humble,

   and to revive the heart of the contrite.

~~~Isaiah 57:15Prayer Banner

Lord, Humility allows us to accomplish so much more than we can when we are stuffed to overflowing with pride. As we surrender to the humility of knowing that we are your creation, we can see clearly your love for us. Help me, Lord, to discover my true worth so I may discard my false worth. My false worth is of my own creation and must be laid aside and replaced by my God created worth as shown by the God who walks with me.

Amen

Leave a comment

Filed under Monday Musings

Humility

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Living

Discovering the Sacred

The Christian must show every care and concern for the sick, children, guests and the poor, knowing for certain that he will be held accountable for all of them on the day of judgment. The Christian will regard all utensils and goods of the their home as sacred vessels of the altar, aware that nothing is to be neglected.  The Christian should not be prone to greed, nor be wasteful and extravagant with the goods that we are given but should do everything with moderation and according to the leading of the Spirit.

~~~ The Rule of St. Benedict (paraphrased to apply to all)



Most of us, who are followers of Christ, desire to discover the sacred aspect of life. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to pay a visit to the National Cathedral in Washington DC. It is a magnificent and majestic building. The beauty and care of the building is most impressive. Massive stain glass windows, all with some meaning or purpose, adorn the Cathedral. While there I had the privilege of attending an intimate worship time in the basement Chapel. In such a place you can get a feeling of being surrounded by the sacred. Sadly, not all the things we do or the places we visit have such a outpouring of sacredness. Does that mean they are not sacred?

Perhaps we have let the world define what is sacred. We look at sacred as being something we cannot come near or touch. I beg to differ on that point. St. Benedict says, “He will regard all utensils and goods of the home as sacred vessels of the altar, aware that nothing is to be neglected.” Wow, the shovel, the hoe, the pots and pans are all to be considered as sacred as the chalice of consecration. I believe that is so. The simplest objects in our lives are sacred. The pen is a sacred object when we write the things that God has planted in us.  The pot and spoon are sacred as we provide food for ourselves and those we love. The tools we tend our garden with are the objects that bring forth the fruit of God’s good earth.

Quite honestly, everything is sacred. We do not have to retreat to a majestic cathedral to find sacred objects because we are surrounded by them.

Allow yourself to be present with God as you go through your day. Look down at the pen, mop, lawn mower and know it is your sacred object as you carry out the work of your day. All things are objects of sacred creativity. We miss so much of God because we have confined him to a secularly designed box. Our God is everywhere and in everything. Take the time to encounter him and cherish every moment of your life.

All of our lives would be so different if we could discover the sacred in the ordinary. Work would no longer be a drudgery but a tool of blessing. Cleaning up after our toil would be a way of experiencing God as we wash dishes and clean our cars or bicycles. Everywhere we are and everything we do would become an altar of worship.

I know that this type of thinking requires us to rethink our lives, but it can bring great blessings. Let us pray that we can give it a try this week and perhaps we can of discover the sacred in our everyday life.



Prayer

Lord, Let me discover the sacred in the life and place that you have chosen for me. Slow me down enough to take note of my surroundings. Allow me to see you in the simplest of things that fill my day. Fill me with the joy of holding the sacred objects of life in my hands. May I see you in everything that comes my way and learn that you are everywhere. You are not confined to churches, monasteries, and blessed objects, but you are just with me in all I touch and do. Make today the day I discover the sacred.

Amen

1 Comment

Filed under Midweek Thought