Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Spiritual Life

I have been pretty busy lately with many things.
Friday I had the opportunity to go the Shepherds Corner in Blacklick Ohio. It is the ecology center of the Dominican Sisters of Peace and on its website (www.sherherdscorner.org) is says:
"In caring for land, life, and spirit, Shepherd's Corner provides environmental education, provides reflective experiences on care of creation and renews the land while providing healthy, naturally grown produce."

I was there with Kim to spend time with God on both their meditative walk and the labyrinth. It was a chilly October afternoon and mostly grey although the sun did show itself periodically through my time there. It was a most wonderful way to spend time in walking and praying and pondering the mystery of the God of creation and the gift of life. The meditation walk consisted of 10 (?) stations which had quotes by spiritual writers, information about nature and questions for reflection. At one point we were directed to raise our hands to the sky and then look up in wonder. And as I looked at the clouds above me I could not help but think about the "Cloud of Unknowing" readings from September and the mystery of God's presence around us. We also spent time holding a rock and reflecting on its age and its journey that had brought it to this moment.

the next day I was at a workshop through the Wellstreams Program and became reacquainted with this poem by Gerard Manly Hopkins"

God's Grandeur
By Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844–1889 Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

And that was my experience on Friday - the world is "charged" with the grandeur of God.

During the labyrinth walk I found myself singing "Spirit of God Descend Upon my Heart" as I noticed the grass and moss beneath my feet, the flowers starting to fade, the leaves that were changing color. When I got to the center of the labyrinth I sat for sometime in silent prayer. Suddenly the sun came out as it and seemed to just wrap around me. God's presence was so real to me in light and warmth and love.

There is more to share, but that is all for now.
Just a reminder to us all that God can often be most easily accessed through God's handiwork - this beautiful, changing charged world.

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