SACRAMENTAL EATING

Lenten Practice: Holy Attention
Daily Act: Eat mindfully and slowly. Savor each bite. Notice the texture, color, and taste of your food, and consider where it comes from. Give thanks for the nourishment that is yours this day.
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.

“AWAKEN ME TO YOUR PRESENCE IN AND THROUGH ALL CREATION.”

A Mindfulness Meal Meditation
By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

“To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation.
When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament.”
-Wendell Berry

We bless this act of eating. The blessing is for us- to see what is already sacred and life-giving- to approach this meal as sacrament. May we savor. May we be awake enough to feel the textures and linger in each taste. May we slow our pace enough to notice the holy in each bite- a communion.

Silence

We are mindful of all those in our world who do not have access to food, or who live in places where nutritious food is hard to find. While food is a basic human right, we are aware of how food has also become a justice issue and a matter of privilege. We are prayerful for those who hunger. We recommit ourselves in each act of eating to the cause of abolishing poverty in our own neighborhoods and across the globe.

Silence

We consider the devastation to our earth that has been caused by a food culture of separation and convenience. May we make wise choices as we consider the sources of our food and do our best to support, with our hands and wallets, the options most aligned with the thriving of all life. With the food before us now, we ponder the origins of the ingredients and consider the parts of the earth that have been gathered, and the people who gathered them, placed here at our table. What field? What plant? Whose hands? How did the sun warm and the rain nourish and the soil sustain?

Silence

We realize our absolute interconnectedness with all life knowing that what physically sustains us comes from the earth. My welfare resides in your welfare. Our very life depends on this complex system of lives of which we are a part. We are in awe and grateful to be alive on this planet. The act of eating humbles us. Each breath- sacred life. Each bite- sacred life.

Silence

We focus on hope- knowing that each day we have the opportunity to impact the earth and our local communities in positive, life-giving ways. We pause in reverence for this gift of LIFE that is ours this day. We pray that we will be wise stewards of our bodies and all the other bodies that share this sacred space as neighbors. May we live in ways that contribute to wholeness for all the earth, which leads to wholeness for ourselves.

Silence

Amen.

FOR HOPE

Lenten Practice: Holy Attention
Daily Act: Pray the mission prayer and be open throughout your day. “God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me the courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen.”
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.

“AWAKEN ME TO YOUR PRESENCE IN AND THROUGH ALL CREATION.”

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

We are in the heart of Lent.
We have been clearing an inward space for days, weeks.
With reluctance we have laid down slowly
The need to be in control.
We have been seeking spiritual freedom
From the chains of complacency that bind us.

Slowly, we have been clearing out.
Still we are clearing-
A process.
The more we face
The more we find.

The space-making is not
For new obsessions with what is found.
It is not for tearing ourselves down
Or becoming self-absorbed in another way.
It is not for getting lost in lament
Or throwing up our arms in hopeless abandon
At our flawed human condition.

It is for seeing.
It is for making ready.
It is for holy expectation.
It is for hope.

It is for loosening the grip of distraction
To focus our hearts on what they
Yearn for anyway-
The abundance of God’s presence
Active and moving and living
In the world around us.

It is for releasing the illusion of safety
To risk on the God beyond our knowing
So we can risk on others
Who we are called to know.

It is for awakening
From the rituals
That can numb us-
That tempt us with thinking
The routine is the relationship
While our hungering hearts
Crave what is real.

It is for casting aside all fear
And doubt
And disbelief
And apathy
And anything
That would say to us
Nothing is working

And to see again
How the Spirit
Has never stopped
Moving
Speaking
Breathing
Everywhere
Always
Within and
Around us.

Keep clearing out.
Keep making this space.
Dare to let go of whatever stifles
God’s fullest life in us.

It is for seeing.
It is for making ready.
It is for holy expectation.
It is for hope.

God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me the courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen.

INNER TERRAIN

Lenten Practice: Holy Attention
Daily Act: Spend at least 10 minutes outside just noticing creation. What do you see that you normally don’t notice or take the time to appreciate?
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.

“AWAKEN ME TO YOUR PRESENCE IN AND THROUGH ALL CREATION.”

Today’s blog is a poem by Zac Harmon-McLaughlin, a Missionary Coordinator for Community of Christ (EGLMC). As you dwell in holy attention today, what is revealed to you through creation? How do the natural processes of the earth slow your own pace and humble you into awareness of the holy? How does the outer terrain impact your inner terrain?

“The wide-open vistas that sustain our souls, the depth of silence that pushes us toward sanity, return us to a kind of equilibrium. We stand steady on Earth. The external space I see is the internal space I feel.” Terry Tempest Williams (p.158, Red: Passion and Patience In The Desert)

My Inner Terrain
by Zac Harmon-McLaughlin

If God is a mountain,
Would that make me a rock on God’s cliffed edge?

If God is the desert,
Would I then be a grain of sand on God’s cathedral floor?

If God is the thick and mighty forest,
Would I be a perfected leaf on God’s outreached branch?

If God is the ocean,
Would I find myself as a piece of seaweed dancing to God’s purposeful rhythm?

If God is the beautiful island,
Would I be part of the vibrant greenery that makes God lush and peaceful?

If God is the field,
Would I sit in with the congregation of soil making life possible?

Regardless of this inner terrain,
I rest in the peace that I am part of God.