Swallow What You Have Tasted

Gazing on God. If it sounds abstract, then perhaps we need a concrete way to come to it.

In Chapter 5 of Sanctuary of the Soul, Foster suggests three ways...

• behold in Creation
• listen to worship music
• sit in silence

If I were to put deeper words to this, I would take us to the biblical festivals that eventually informed the Church Calendar. I would take us especially to Sukkot.

During Sukkot, the people of Israel built huts outdoors. The huts were mostly open to the sky. And here they spent time eating and sleeping, the very air and its currents reminding them of Spirit breath. Tasty fruits, vegetables, song, silent nights under the stars: it was all there.

My church tradition has very little connection to such ancient festivals or even a modern Church Calendar. And many a day I think this is why we can't, as Foster quotes it, "swallow what [we] have tasted." Or maybe we can't even taste to begin with.

I've done little things with my own family, to try to recapture such concrete experiences of God. But I do wish for a wider community that could teach and support and extend such ways... to help me taste, and see, and swallow the glory of God.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Savour, Steep, and Nourish. three of my favorite words.

Blogger David Rupert said...

I think the rush to discard the church calendar also causes us to forget the rich, deep implications that those traditions were borne

Blogger Colin P. Fagan said...

This is a wonderful post. I've recently had discussions with my friends revolving around what appears to be a problem with sustainable faith. It seems that as the heat of life increases the participation of faith declines. At first, I assumed that it was the very human tendency to wander away that was the primary cause. But I am wondering if this wandering is equally exacerbated because so many of us--myself included--don't really know the ways to live genuine faith in a genuinely chaotic world.

In short, think you are right: we are either losing or lost the importance and sensitive yearning we have to connect with God beyond mere abstraction. We are wandering, but in our wandering we don't really have those concrete guides to bring us home.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have begun to collect such a community around you by sharing these rich experiences here.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Head East---the Eastern Orthodox Church never abandoned the calender. The life of an Orthodox Christian revolves around the rhythms and rituals of the Ancient (and ever new) Faith. Fasts and feast days, vespers and matins; the beauty of ecclesiastical services and seasons keep us grounded, unified in our worship and contemplation and gives us the structure we need to grow ever closer to God.


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