Meditation Monday: Everything that Happens is Potentially Sacred

by Christine Sine
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by Christine Sine,

It has been a rough couple of weeks. First I got COVID. Then my husband did and we spent the last week moping round the house. Fortunately we only had minor symptoms but it still disrupted our lives . It was easy to focus on what we missed rather than what we gained.

Then I read the newsletter from good friends in Britain who a couple of weeks ago, were in a horrific car accident in which their car flipped as they passed a farm vehicle on a narrow road. Fortunately neither of them were seriously injured though they had a lot of bruises and a couple of broken ribs between them. It certainly disrupted their lives though. In one of his notes to us our friend shared this quote from Richard Rohr

Everything that happens is potentially sacred if we allow it to be. Once we can accept that God is in all circumstances, and that God can and will use even bad situations for good, then everything becomes an occasion for good and an occasion for God. 

Our task is to find the good, the true, and the beautiful in everything—even, and most especially, in the problematic. The bad is never strong enough to counteract the good. We can most easily learn this through some form of contemplative practice. In contemplation we learn to trust our Vital Center over all the passing snags of emotions and obsessive thinking. Once we deepen contact with our strong and loving soul, which is also the Indwelling Spirit, we are no longer pulled to and fro with every passing feeling. This is the peace that Jesus gives, a peace that nothing else can give, and that no one can take from us (see John 14:27).  

Looking for God’s presence in the midst of disease, disaster and disappointment is not always easy. Often it means reorienting our lives so that we focus on the good and beautiful rather than on the painful and seemingly bad. Sometimes it just means refusing what we talk about. I know that has been the case for me this week. Reminding myself of how fortunate we are to be fully vaccinated and boosted as well as having the antiviral Paxlovid freely available are both huge blessings and gifts from God. Tragically I read this week that only 20% of those who are eligible for Paxlovid actually take it. Some end up in hospital as a result.

How often I wonder do we miss the best that God has for us because we fail to take the steps we should to protect ourselves and return us to health, both physical and spiritual? How often do we miss the sacredness of each moment in the day because we do not take a few precious minutes at the beginning of the day to focus on God’s loving presence in and around us?

Bad news always travels faster than good news. That is not just true in our culture, but also in our minds where it is easier for us to hold onto the negative thoughts that revolve in our brains than onto the positive. Evidently our minds focus much more on negative stimuli because negative events could threaten survival whereas positive events wouldn’t. It’s one of the reasons that advertisers are more likely to tell us what we will miss out on if we don’t buy something,  than focusing on what we gain if we do.

It’s sad but true. Holding onto the sacredness of a moment, finding the good in the midst of bad, focusing on God when we are sick or depressed or faced with horrific news, does not come naturally, which is why it is so important to deliberately look for the good and the sacred and the uplifting. And as Richard Rohr says contemplative practices are often a good place to start. Gratitude practices, awe and wonder walks, looking for the beautiful , sharing with friends and family who give you joy can have the same effect. My awe and wonder walks around the garden plus talking to friends and family were what I found most nourishing this last week. I was particularly fascinated by the bee in the photo above. Its constant flitting in and out of the flowers, in spite of the fact that it already seemed to have a full load of pollen, fascinated me.

So make sure you take time today to focus on the good and the beautiful and allow them to draw you into God’s presence.

I sit,
Encircled by God’s love,
Embraced by God’s presence,
Filled with God’s light
I sit,
Savoring the wonder,
I am made from the soil,
Yet filled with divine life.
I sit
Overflowing with awe,
God is everywhere,
God is within me.
(c) Christine Sine

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