Category Archives: Midweek Thought

The Hub

In my home country, the Netherlands, you still see many large wagon wheels, not on wagons, but as decorations at the entrances of farms or on the walls of restaurants. I have always been fascinated by these wagon wheels: with their wide rims, strong wooden spokes, and big hubs. These wheels help me to understand the importance of a life lived from the center. When I move along the rim, I can reach one spoke after the other, but when I stay at the hub, I am in touch with all the spokes at once.

~~~Henri Nouwen

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

~~~John 14:6



When I think of the word hub, I think of the binding center of an object or business. A hub is a focal point or center from which other things evolve. We often hear of airline hubs which are places where airlines concentrate passenger traffic and flight operations at a given airport. It means that you can go to a hub airport and literally go anywhere in the world, often nonstop. Nouwen images the wagon wheel hub as a place where you can be in touch with the entire wheel. It goes without saying that our relationship to Jesus as Lord is the hub of our faith. As Christ followers we need a hub of practice.

Let me suggest that the hub of our relationship is communication with God, and that communication is prayer. Without communication there is no understanding or action. We can learn all we can about a famous person, but until we communicate with them, we do not know them. The hub of being a follower of Christ is our commitment to study and service to the world, but these are meaningless without a personal relationship that is established with regular prayer. Prayer is not a luxury or an option, but the “hub center” from which all else in our relationship evolves. How should we pray?

We pray by setting aside time to communicate with God on a regular basis. This could be regularly attending a time of worship. In worship we are taken away from the distractions of the world and committed to a time to be with God. While we are in worship, we have the perfect opportunity to communicate with God. Worship is truly a time of other worldliness. In worship we are inspired by the mere fact that in worship we are not alone and gain strength from the communion of the saints, both past and present. In worship we are given specific times and ways to pray, and we are strengthened by the community that surrounds us. Worship is a time for prayer.

Prayer can also be a time of silence and reflection. This is a time that we can individually set aside to be in communication with God. Try to take just five minutes a day to listen to God and invite his peace into your spirit. You can start this with a simple repetitive prayer, such as the Jesus Prayer. Repeating the words can bring us into focus with God, and he will then he acts within our spirit. This works best when a time and /or a place is set aside. A room, a chair, a tree, anywhere you can be silent and focused..

Prayer can also be highly active. The use of written prayers, prayer beads of some sort or Christian icons can allow you to get in touch with God. Let me urge you to make prayer the hub of your practice as a Christian. The more you communicate, the better you will understand him and the fuller your life will become.

The scripture reminds us that all communication begins with our relationship with Jesus from whom all else comes. (John 14:6)

Prayer BannerLord, I want to communicate with you. May I come to know that prayer is the way that is accomplished. I implore you to help me to learn to pray regularly and effectively. May I see that prayer is the true hub of my relationship with you. Let my prayers be the center of my life and work as one of your followers. This I faithfully and humbly ask of you.

Amen

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Present in the Moment



It is hard to live in the present. The past and the future keep harassing us. The past with guilt, the future with worries. So many things have happened in our lives about which we feel uneasy, regretful, angry, confused, or, at least, ambivalent. And all these feelings are often colored by guilt. Guilt that says: “You ought to have done something other than what you did; you ought to have said something other than what you said.” These “oughts” keep us feeling guilty about the past and prevent us from being fully present to the moment.

~~~Henri Nouwen

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

~~~2 Corinthians 5:17



We all live with a certain level of guilt for our past failures and fear of what we may face in the future. A recent article in Psychology Today points out that guilt is a natural reaction to harming another physically or emotionally. We can not avoid all guilt. but we can keep it from being the guiding force of our lives. Nouwen reminds us that guilt of the past can make us absent from the present. Guilty people become angry and lash out at the nearest target. They become paralyzed with fear and usually overreact to situations.

Guilt also taints our future actions and causes us to have a fear of fully living our present day. We are so afraid that we will repeat our mistakes that we do just that. How many times have you sat dazed by something that you have done in the past and missed an opportunity in the present? Our unresolved guilts are like a “snoozing alarm,”and they are just waiting for a chance to go off again.

Our task is to resolve those guilts and live the present moment to the fullest. Paul told the Corinthian church that being in Christ was being a new creation. Such a new creation is blessed with the renewal of life. We cannot erase the past, but we can renew ourselves through the grace of God. As we trust in the grace of God to redeem us, we can be assured that the same grace will relieve us of the burden of guilt and allow us to live to the fullest. Nouwen speaks of the “oughts” of life that keep us guilty and frozen in the present and the future. Because Christ has redeemed us we need not be burdened with the “oughts” of life but to simply live the day, and the “oughts” will take care of themselves.

Going boldly and unreservedly into the future is a daunting task. We all carry our guilt to some degree like a weight upon our shoulders. Let me say again that we have the grace of God to solve this problem. He has promised us that as we live for him, he will make our lives grand. Today I ask you to put the past to bed with the soothing grace of a God who loves us so dearly. It is like an ointment that heals a wound.

Prayer

Lord, The biggest challenge I face is to be present in the moment. My mind loads me down with guilt of past failures and fear of future failures. Make it possible for me to be present in this moment that you have given me, and know that you will continue to give me what I need to move forward. I ask you to bestow upon me the joy of this day so that I may journey victoriously into tomorrow.

Amen

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Full of Promise

A new beginning! We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promise. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always listening to a voice saying to us: “I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it!” Imagine.

~~~Henri Nouwen

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope

~~~Jeremiah 29:11



I believe that we were all created in the image of God. That means we are full of promise. Henri Nouwen said of God’s intentions ,” I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it!” These words resonate in my soul and create a new vision for life. The world would be so different if we viewed ourselves and all we encounter through such a perspective.

A life full of promise has self worth and strives to live life to the fullest. People who lack self worth are abused and many times become abusers. A healthy self worth brings us closer to God and each other. A person with a positive self image is more likely to help raise the status of others. Positive self worth makes the world a better place.

Being full of promise means that we believe that God is at work in the world. That makes all the difference! So many people live bleak and desperate lives because they believe that everything that happens is their doing. God wants to help us. He wants to make us more fully whole. We are the crown jewel of his creation, and we are special to him. God never stops creating and recreating, and we are the beneficiaries of his work.

Being full of promise just means that each day brings a new challenge and a new blessing, and both are part of God’s word within us. Face the day, and claim the promise everyday.

Prayer

Lord, It is good to know that you give us a promise of a future that is ripe with possibility. Strengthen us when we fall into negative thinking. Uplift us when we feel defeated. Give us the vision of a life of promise. We know that is the life you created for us.

Amen

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Edifying Words

It was said of Abba Ammoes that when he went to church, he did not allow his disciple to walk beside him but only at a certain distance; and if the latter came to ask him about his thoughts, he would move away from him as soon as he had replied, saying to him, ‘It is for fear that, after edifying words, irrelevant conversation should slip in, that I do not keep you with me.’

—-Sayings of the Desert

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient.

~~~Ephesians 5:6



One of the more important aspects of being a follower of Christ is focus. It is so easy to lose our focus or way when we are on the journey. All direction toward God is given by edifying words or experiences. More than once in my years as a pastor have I felt truly blessed by a worship experience only to have it ruined by the words of someone that I spoke with after the service. I know that we cannot always take the advice of the monk to keep our distance, but distance is something to consider.

Perhaps we should consider the possibility of departing more reverently from worship. It is the irrelevant conversation that occurs after worship that takes away from the blessings that God has given us. Sunday morning after worship is not a good time for calendar planning or financial decisions of the church. We must take time to absorb the words that God has given us through a worship experience. Worship is a time to get things “straight” with God and not with each other.

I know that the advice of the old monk from another time and another place may seem useless to you, but the whole idea of dwelling on edifying words is something that no one can oppose. Let us hold on to those edifying words and not spoil them with idle chatter. Paul calls on us to not be deceived by empty words, because they can harm your soul.

The call from the ancient desert monk is to take time to savor and digest the words of edification we are given each day. We need room for this to occur. We need time for this to occur. We need discipline for this to occur. Let us give each other room and time to allow God’s words and revelation to take root in our lives.

Let us live in the shadow of “Edifying Words.”



Prayer

Lord, Words of edification are given to us from many sources. Let us take heed to the words we are given and not waste them with idle conversation, but allow these precious to seep into our souls. We are so tempted to pressured to be sociable that we miss the real revelation that you have in store for us. May I stop long enough for your word to become real, and refrain from polluting your words with my chatter.

Amen

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Empty Words

A brother went to find Abba Serapion. According to his custom, the old man invited him to say a prayer. But the other, calling himself a sinner and unworthy of the monastic habit, did not obey. Next Abba Serapion wanted to wash his feet, but using the same words again, the visitor prevented him.

Then Abba Serapion made him eat, and he began to eat with him. Then he admonished him saying, ‘My son, if you want to make progress stay in your cell and pay attention to yourself and your manual work; going out is not so profitable for you as remaining at home.’ When he heard these words the visitor was offended and his expression changed so much that the old man could not but notice it. So he said to him, ‘up to now you have called yourself a sinner and accused yourself of being unworthy to live, but when I admonished you lovingly, you were extremely put out. If you want to be humble, learn to bear generously what others unfairly inflict upon you and do not harbor empty words in your heart.’ Hearing this, the brother asked the old man s forgiveness and went away greatly edified.

—-Sayings of the Desert



These empty words and feelings are bitterness, anger, jealousy, strife, and others too numerous to mention. Abba Serapion calls on us to bear unfairness with generosity and grace. Society tells it very differently. If we are wronged we must get even, or at least make it right. People spend far too much time trying to sort out the unfairness of life, and precious little effort is given to generous forgiveness. With that generosity in our hearts, we can put away empty words and replace them with words of grace and forgiveness. We, like the monk who visited Serapion, can rise up edified, and an edified man can accomplish much. All of us have times that we feel unworthy of the place we have been given in life, but God has a way of turning that feeling into elation. Look hard at the empty words that clutter your heart, and give some of them away to the generous grace of God.

When we give our bitterness and anger to the generous grace of God we become different people. We once were self-centered and bitter because we never experienced the grace of God, but we now are people who understand grace and can live at peace with ourselves and others. That peace allows us to live a healthy and productive life. Our lives are then freed from the “empty words” of anger and strife.

Perhaps today is the day that you should seek to give away your “empty words.”



Prayer BannerLord, It is very difficult to put hurt and anger aside. Too often we strike back with words that defile ourselves and the one that offended us. This is not your way. Help us to follow your path of grace and forgiveness by inviting your grace into the very center of our being. Free us from the “empty words” of contempt and anger and fill us with your words.

Amen

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SEE YOURSELF TODAY


It is not only our hatred of others that is dangerous but also and above all our hatred of ourselves: particularly that hatred of ourselves which is too deep and too powerful to be consciously faced. For it is this which makes us see our own evil in others and unable to see it in ourselves.

~~~ Thomas Merton

Or how can you say to your neighbor, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye?

~~~Jesus


Perhaps the most difficult challenge we have in life is to see ourselves clearly and honestly. Jesus the Messiah took up this issue in his much quoted and much ignored Sermon on the Mount, and mystic monk, Thomas Merton, brings it a little closer to home. It is easy for us to dismiss the idea that we have a great sin but much harder to deny that we have never been harsh towards someone when we see our own failing in them. Intrinsically, we know that we are less than perfect even when we deny it. I really don’t believe we ever fool ourselves completely, but we try hard to look like we have done so. If we can crush the sin in others that is like a mirror showing us our own failing, then we never have to deal with our issue.

Today’s call is to see ourselves in all our frailties and failures. For when we see ourselves in truth , there is a wide open door for help. That help comes in the form of grace. The grace of God allows us to live and thrive in spite of our shortcomings. In receiving the grace of God, we not only have personal forgiveness but can begin to forgive others and be a reconciler of the world around us. As long as we hold back for our own sin, we are likely to be harsh with others. This harshness creates a tension for all we encounter. Offer your weakness to the ultimate strength that is offered by the grace of Jesus.

Merton acknowledges how powerful and painful it is to see this part of ourselves. Jesus says that he wants to take that burden away from us and that his burden is light. We spend a great deal of life fighting our pain and sin, and we do it the hard way. None of us will ever be able to save ourselves or reform the world enough to save it. God knew this, and he made the provision of Jesus the Savior and Messiah.

As people who seek to be followers of this Savior/Messiah, we have to realize that salvation is an ongoing process and not a one stop acquisition. As long as we live we will have to remove one log after another from our lives, but it begins with the first log. That log is admitting we can’t do it alone. Let us do so today and renew that grace everyday we live.

SEE YOURSELF TODAY



Prayer

Lord, Today is a day of confession and repentance. I confess that I have been hard on others, because I have failed to fully examine myself. I invite the Holy Spirit to convict me of my sin and shortcomings and ask forgiveness for them. I further ask that you remind me that I need a fresh dose of your forgiving grace everyday that I live and breathe. I ask this with a humble heart and a clear mind.

Amen

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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

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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

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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

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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

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