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Today we take a breath. Some return to work. For some it is enough to put away gifts received and put out the trash, saying goodbye to loved ones and checking the calendar to keep appointments straight. Regardless of the events of yesterday and how we celebrated Christmas (or not at all), the tumult of the holiday fades today as we return to “normal life.” We might well use the Wednesday morning prayer from John Philip Newell to guide us along into renewed awareness that we can be somehow changed for the better each day, whether a grand holiday or a stitch in ordinary time.

All things come from you, O God, and to you we return. All things merge in your great river of life and into you we vanish again. At the beginning of this day we wake not as separate streams but as countless currents in a single flow, the flow of this day’s dawning, the flow of this day’s delight, the flow of this day’s sorrows, your flow, O God, in the twistings and turnings of this new day.

All things are born of you, O God. We carry within us your light and your life. In the mystery of matter and deep in the cells of our souls are your longings for oneness. The oneness of the universe, vast and vibrating with the sound of its beginning. The oneness of the earth, greening and teeming as a single body. The oneness of the human soul a sacred countenance in infinite form. Grant us your longings for oneness, O God, amidst life’s glorious multiplicities. (Praying With the Earth, p. 26, 28)