Living in a World of Theophanies

I spent the last couple of days re-reading portions of A Tree Full of Angels: Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary, by Macrina Wiederkehr, a monastic. Years ago, before I had heard of this book, I came across this quote from its introduction, which I used as a reading at the end of my classes at the time:

"You live in a world of theophanies.
Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary.
There are burning bushes all around you.
Every tree is full of angels.
Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb.
Life wants to lead you from crumbs to angels,
but this can happen only if you are willing
to unwrap the ordinary by staying with it
long enough to harvest its treasure."

There are so many sections of this book that spoke so deeply to me. I wish to share some other quotations here:

"There is a yearning deep in the human heart - so deep is it an ache within. An ache for God...! The ache in our heart needs to be fed. Crumbs are entirely sufficient. Crumbs are those small things that the world would toss aside, seeing little value in them. However, to the one who lives under the eye of God, they are far from valueless...For the person who has learned to see with the inner eye, there are no leftovers...

Will I harvest the angels hidden in those crumbs? The incredible gift of the ordinary! Life comes streaming from the table of daily life. Will I be there to catch the rays or will I remain blind to the holy because I'm too busy to see? Am I too busy with my own agenda to let God's agenda bless me?

There is nothing - no thing, no person, no experience, no thought, no joy or pain - that cannot be harvested and used for nourishment on our journey to God...

Everything in your life is a stepping-stone to holiness if you recognize that you do have within you the grace to be present to each moment. Your presence is an energy that you can choose to give or not give. Every experience, every thought, every word, every person in your life is a part of a larger picture of your growth....

Let everything energize you. Let everything bless you...

Your emptiness accepted creates a space for God in your life. When you embrace that emptiness, God can begin to fill you...Sin is trying to fill up your own life rather than allowing God to fill you. Sin is being willing to stay where you are rather than go through the pain and joy of being in process...

Sorrow makes it impossible for us to be absent, and so, blesses us with real presence...

A word of kindness is a Word made Flesh!

How do I pray? I listen. I talk, I weep. I am silent. I embrace the beloved. I gaze with reverence. I wonder and adore. I share my needs. I have tea with God. I give gifts. I receive gifts. I give thanks and I say I am sorry. I get angry. I show God all my life, including my very divided heart. I relax. I'm at home. Sometimes I read a poem or tell God a story. Sometimes I dance. God loves stories and poems and dances...

O-Beloved-One, I am dying of yearning to rise..."

I think I will end this here - I think I leave you with enough food for thought - enough crumbs to nourish your soul and satiate your hunger. For those who will be celebrating tomorrow the First Sunday of Advent - a "Season of Waiting" - and of "Soul Preparation" - take a moment to notice the theophanies in your life. Weave them into something beautiful for God. And perhaps, you too - may see a tree full of angels!

Advent Blessings!


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