In order to experience everyday spirituality,
we need to remember that we are spiritual beings
spending some time in a human body.
~Barbara De Angelis
The human body is am amazing masterpiece. With the senses we see, taste, and touch the world, drawing its mystery inside us. With the mind we probe the eternal structures of things. With the face we present ourselves to the world and recognize one another. But it is the heart that makes us human. The heart is where the beauty of the human spirit comes alive. Without the heart, the human would be sinister. To be able to feel is a great gift. When you feel for someone, you become united with that person in an intimate way; your concern and compassion come alive, drawing some of the other’s persons world and spirit into yours. Feeling is the secret bridge that penetrates solitude and isolation. Without the ability to feel, friendship and love could never be born. All feeling is born in the heart. This makes the human heart the true jewel of the world. ~John O’Donohue
Have joy and peace in the
temple of your senses.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ~Proverbs 4:23 ✝
So often and especially this time of year, both reverence and gratefulness come forth from my ability to see. So I put together some words and collages of places, images, and/or ways that never fail to arouse reverence. As I sat looking out my window, I found great joy in finding the holy in the small and the sacred in the ordinary. Enjoy and count the ways reverence arises in your days.
the sacrosanct lay on spring’s flowery altars
the hallowed bloomed atop roses, old and new
the sanctified twined and climbed on sundry vines
the holy wafted forth from fragant berries and herbs
the sacred was carried on the wings of pollinators
the consecrated could be seen in a wide array of colors and hues
But I, by your(God’s) great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. ~Psalm 5:7 ✝
Everything that slows us down
and forces patience,
everything that sets us back into
the slow circles of nature, is a help.
Tonight I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the evening off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
One of the doors
into the temple.
~Edited and adapted poem
by Mary Oliver
Well, kiddies, I am taking the night off. My aging, aching back in killing me as I’ve been working too hard for too many days in the gardens. I pray you have a lovely evening. I shall be back tomorrow. Love, Natalie
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~Psalm 46: 10 ✝
The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg,
and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
Part of the genius of God’s grand design is that we awaken every day to a fresh flowing of His energy and vitality that has been stored in the seeds of our being, seeds that possess the same strength as that of the rising sun, earth’s swelling seas, and its fertile plains. An excellent time to look for the shining of His everlasting light in the “sanctuary of the soul” is in the first waking moments of each new day. That inward realm is where doors open to the germination of new life because inside each one of us the Lord has planted His “seeds of greatness.” There’s never a moment in life when either in and of ourselves or in the people around us that there are not yet unopened gifts of promise. Simply put, “heaven’s creativity on earth” is born in our bodies, and therein the Master’s “sacred hopes” are hidden. And His hopes come to fruition through the germination of our gifts and through the catalyst of prayer when we lift up “the agonies of life in the world” and ask for grace where “the human soul has grown hard” and lost sight of God’s light. May the “soil” of this week be such that the precious, holy seeds of the uniqueness that is you fully come to fruition.
Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? ~1 Corinthians 3:16 ✝
Inside the silence between
your heartbeats hides a summons.
Do you hear it?
Quiet the voices and noise around you.
Honor the Holy One calling you!
I perceive the universe as a cosmic temple and planet earth as a sanctuary in that temple. Although not given the power of speech as such therein, rain and other weather-related phenomena exhibit distinctive voices in and under the heavens. And as these things fall from earth’s chaotic atmosphere, they often blend their unique voices with other holy sounds in the natural world. In that sacred chorus is a call for humanity to seek the Maker of the temple because God not only hardwired man with a desire to connect with other human beings but also with a longing to seek and connect with Him. Thus to that end man was given eyes to witness the sacraments of heaven and earth, ears to hear the chants of their hallowed voices, intellect to question and understand to some extent what is seen and heard, and a heart that in due time turns from irreverence to deep longing. Tecumseh, a leader of the Shawnee, said, “Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing the essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the rain in its weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.” And so after the 11 inches of magical, mystical rain that we’ve had in the last week, I’m a’listenin’ and doin’ little jigs all over the place.
…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— ~Proverbs 1:5 ✝
When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
And all the madness and stress of life fall in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,
The light in the mind grows dimmer and dimmer
And weariness invades the body and spirit.
It is time then for your soul to take you back
Into the “quiet immensity of your own being”
Where you can take refuge in your senses,
And notice all the small miracles you rushed through,
Miracles meant to clarify and soothe your soul.
It is time to watch the way of rain
When it falls through space, slow and free.
It is time to imitate the habit of twilight at day’s end
And in so doing open up the well of color
That fosters the brightness and beauty of the day.
It is time to be excessively generous with yourself
So that gradually, you can “awaken to the mystery of being here.”
And afterward having learned a new respect for your heart
It is time to seek the joy that dwells far within slow time.
Thus will you find peace in mind and body, temple of the Holy Spirit.
~Both passages are edited and adapted excerpts from John O’Donohue
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. ~1 Corinthians 2:6-7 ✝