Gerard Manley Hopkins, grandeur of God, hearts, holy, miraculous, Peace, ritual, sides, spiritual growth, spirituality, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, unity of being
This afternoon I am scheduled to be guest speaker to a Women’s Group of about 15 to 20 people. In discussing a topic, the contact person said the members are always interested in information about resources in the community and that perhaps I ought to talk about our spirituality center. In writing up a “blurb” about the proposed topic, I titled it The Spiritual Side of Life. I’ve been thinking about it off and on for the past month and have had some difficulty settling on how to frame the topic. I realized yesterday that my thesis sentence would have to be something about the fact that there are no sides! Spiritual is who and what we are, spiritual beings in physical form, “made in the image and likeness of God.”
Certainly there are rituals that we call holy – and people as well. (We name them saints.) But as Gerard Manley Hopkins so famously said in the second half of the 19th century: The world is charged with the grandeur of God! We can find that reality looking at a flower or a sunset – as I did yesterday while driving to an evening service of prayer. I felt as “spiritual” in my car observing the glorious pink and golden sky with the soft blue background as I did chanting softly the words of a plea for God to come and fill our hearts with your peace…
If each of us would stop occasionally throughout the day, listening and/or looking for the grandeur of God in our surroundings or in the words being shared by the person in front of us, we would know that there is no separation between the physical world and the spiritual. And, actually, the place to start is with ourselves. How often do you marvel about the miraculous workings of all systems of the human body! How does one separate breathing from the beating of the heart? Body and spirit are truly one and nothing is profane except as the mind denigrates it.
Although I am not able to sufficiently explain my thesis about “no sides” – rather a unity of being – I am convinced now that the women I meet today will be able to share lots of experiences that prove the truth of it. In that certainty, I can go forward into this day!