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Welcome! We invite you to make a 'Sacred Space' in your day, praying here and now, as you visit our website, with the help of scripture chosen every day and on-screen guidance.

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Something to think and pray about this week

How can we develop a greater capacity to see the beauty of the world and to draw meaning from our experiences? The answer is simple: by reflecting on our experiences and memories and attending mindfully to how this practice moves us to see the world in a new way. We can learn something about how this happens from Gerard Manley Hopkins, who wrote a letter to a friend about an insight he had. One day toward the end of summer, he was fishing alone in the Elwy River in Wales, enjoying a gorgeous afternoon. As he walked home, he looked up at the clouds and the hills, and his heart was lifted by the beauty around him. In that moment, the world transformed into a glimpse of God. He saw the hills as the figure of Atlas from Greek mythology—the one who carries the earth on his back. The hills had always been there, but not before this moment had he perceived how majestic they were. His key insight, as he looked around, was that it is easy to miss the beauty around us:

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
     Majestic—as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet!—
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
     Wanting.

The spontaneity of Hopkins’s wonder is made possible by his willingness to be in the moment, to be present to the experience of the walk home after a calm afternoon fishing. He recognizes that there is beauty all around but that too often it goes unnoticed.

—Excerpted from Living Against the Grain by Tim Muldoon