Living in Joy in an often Joyless World
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Living in Joy in an often Joyless World
Comments by Stephen Augustine - 1 Feb 2006

Hello Heidi,

I resonate with your feelings. My geology professor in college, a fiesty Benedictine nun, would start each class with some sort of a reflective reading, poetry or quote. One quote that stuck with me was from George Eliot's book Middlemarch:

"If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence."

I try to find joy in the smallest of things. Small things such as a chickadee at the bird feeder, a bee on a flower, a child's laugh, or even a simple tree and all its attendant lives. Despite all the cruelty and suffering that we humans inflict on the world the Spirit of God is out in the world and there are countless beings living unmolested. I consciously seek these out every day and it's what keeps me (mostly) joyful in a suffering world. I also remind myself of what a miracle it is to be alive in an otherwise lifeless (yet beautiful) universe and to share this life with with all these other lives.

Though I posted this quote a while ago but I'll post it again because I think it's relevant to what we're talking about:

"We humans spend so much time working to shrink the miraculous to the size of our own pettiness that it's a wonder we manage to get anything else done. Our lives are filled with miracles that we do not see. Every time a hawk shrieks or a bear roars, it is the visible breath of the Creator entering our world. But we look and look away. Each time a raindrop lands, our world is clothed in the glory of its greatest possibilities. But we go inside our houses where we can't see it. We are too preoccupied with who might be saying bad things about us to care that the wildflowers have bowed their heads in profound gratitude and the vines have spread their arms in prayer. That is the challenge we face. It is only when we allow ourselves to experience the divine presence each moment that we live our lives to the fullest. And that is the dilemma. It is a summons to wonder that most of us will turn our backs upon in favor of belittling someone else. Are we really so terrified to look into the Creator's eyes? What do we fear we will see? The primary purpose of a miracle, after all, is not revelation. It is redemption."

-- The Serpent in "People of the Owl" (Kathleen O'Neal Gear and Michael Gear)

Peace,

Stephen

Go on to: By Sean Keys - 1 Feb 2006
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Living in Joy in an often Joyless World
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