by Alan Wolfe
from Signs of the Times No. 48 - Jan 2013
The intention of this book is to help us to see God in everything, even the most trivial, and to live our lives accordingly.
Its format consists of short three-page sections, each including an introduction, a meditation and 'considerations for the heart'. There are 32 of them grouped under four headings: With Our Bodies, In Our Dwellings, With Our Everyday Things, In Our Gratitude.
This structure is likely to be particularly helpful for those who practise contemplative prayer (such as members of Julian [of Norwich] Meetings), but can stimulate thought and insight in any of us. Every topic can be read quickly, and could be used, for example, before Service in Church, on rising in the morning, or on a commuter train-journey.
The author is a writer, meditation teacher and psychotherapist, living (very appropriately) in Mystic, Connecticut, USA. She introduces her subject: "For many years now I have written about spirituality in the every-day. It is the every-day in which we live. Being human we often long for something more transcendent than the ordinary, but then we quite often miss that which is numinous and extraordinary right under our noses". She points out the spiritual in breathing (inspiration/expiration), in having a roof over our heads, our parallels with a clothes-peg during our life, and the more obvious role of God in our daily bread and the challenges and opportunities that come to us.
While many of these meditations can be taken at a quite superficial level, it is also clear that they all point much deeper for those who wish for insight. As the author puts it, for those who do gain insight:
'our journey will no longer be experienced so much as a journey to God as a journey in God. We will understand that our persons and our lives are fundamentally prayer.'