Yesterday I was privileged to join the thousands of pilgrims who had flocked to York Minster to see the casket containing the bones of St Therese of Lisieux. People came from miles around, some with deep faith came to venerate the Saint, others with none came out of curiosity. The Christians who came represented a mix of denominations, I went because I have read her writings and out of sheer curiosity having never been to anything like this before.
To put it in crude terms I was blown away by the by the deep sense of God's presence, of gentleness, of holiness and purity. Today as I reflect upon the experience I recognise that there have been other places and other times when I have experienced a tangible touch of God. I wonder if it was because the message that Therese had is so much needed today, she experienced God as a God of love, and encouraged others to draw closer...
How about you, where do you find God's peace and presence, is there:
1. A place that holds a special memory?
Farmer Jones’ field in the Berkshires, a place where, as a young teen, I first learned to sit in silence and let what wanted to speak do so.
2. A song that seems to usher you into the Holy of Holies?
Music of all kinds can do this for me—from U2’s “Walk On” to the Largo of Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” to Luka Bloom’s “Blackberry Time” to Cris Williamson’s “Song of the Soul”
3.A book/ poem/ prayer that says what you cannot?
“Mohammed’s son pores over words,
and points out this and that,
but if his chest is not soaked dark with love,
The Yogi comes along in his famous orange.
But if inside he is colorless,
4. How do you remind yourself of these things at times when God seems far away?
Ah, there’s the rub. Taking time to sit quietly and center myself works some times. Centering of other kinds—be it through swimming or focusing on music—sometimes works. Yet at other times, the best I can do it to try to pay attention to and be grateful for the beauty of whatever surrounds me.
5.Post a picture/ poem or song that speaks of where you are right now in your relationship with God...
“The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”