Jun 10 2012

The Grace of Seeing

In recent days I have continued reading books related to Celtic Spirituality.  One book that I have enjoyed and profited from is called Celtic Benediction.  It is a small book put together by J. Philip Newell containing morning and night prayers, along with various selections of Scripture.  The book’s content is enhanced by illustrations of Celtic art taken from the Lindisfarne Gospels.

Early in the book there is a prayer that has become special to me.  It reads: “I watch this morning for the light that the darkness has not overcome.  I watch for the fire that was in the beginning and that burns still in the brilliance of the rising sun.  I watch for the glow of life that gleams in the growing earth and glistens in the sea and sky.  I watch for your light, O God, in the eyes of every living creature and in the ever-living flame of my own soul.  If the grace of seeing were mine this day I would glimpse you in all that lives.  Grant me the grace of seeing this day.  Grant me the grace of seeing.”

The connection of Christ and Creation is obvious throughout this prayer.  This is one of the hallmarks of Celtic Spirituality.  In my opinion it should be a hallmark of all forms of Christian Spirituality.  I have trouble comprehending how so many people miss this vital connection.  There is certainly no shortage of biblical passages to affirm its validity.

The prayer that I have shared is one I keep turning back to.  I want to make this my prayer as well.  I want to glimpse God “in all that lives.”  But as Newell intimates in the prayer, “the grace of seeing” does not come naturally.  It is a gift of God.  As such, we must ask for it.  And once given, this gift must be nurtured and developed.  This may sound like a lot of work but if the outcome is experiencing and seeing God in all of Creation, wouldn’t it be worth it?  Needless to say, it would be well worth it!  I encourage you to copy the prayer I’ve shared with you today on a card and make this your morning prayer in the days to come.  Don’t be surprised if you start seeing far more than you’re used to…

–Chuck

(I took the pictures illustrating today’s blog entry a couple of days ago at Roan Mountain State Park and along the Blue Ridge Parkway.)