Saturday, December 27, 2008
Read a memorable quote from the writer J. D. Salinger today: "All we ever do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next."
If we have the eyes to see and ears to hear, we all discover sites of sacredness on our journey through life. The obvious comes to mind: spaces specifically set aside for the sacred, like a church, a mosque, a synagogue, or a temple. When I was a young boy, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dayton, OH, was such holy ground. Or it may be places consecrated through the centuries by people of devotion and prayer. In May, 2007 I was part of a pilgrimage group which visited the chapel at Little Gidding in England. The sacredness there was almost palpable. Sometimes our holy ground is our very being, our soul, from which well up mystical realities, feelings, thoughts, inspirations to act. There are moments when we experience love and beauty beyond the ordinary, and we feel compelled, like Moses, to take off our shoes for all the holiness which surrounds us. And we find holy ground also even in pain, uncertainty, anguish, and death. My son, still in the hospital in Florida, isn't doing so well today. We talked about a lot of things, including his need for an advance directive. He said that he wanted to make sure, if the worst happened, that his life wouldn't be prolonged if it meant he'd have to continue in a non-responsive state. "Right now I feel so close to God," he said, "closer than to my own body. So it wouldn't be a bad thing to be with God." Profound insight in the midst of suffering. Sacred words. Holy Ground.
How lucky I was that he shared that! And continuing the journey for another day, I proceed to the next "little piece of Holy Ground".