Overcome with God
May 2, 2014
SMELLS OF GOOD FOOD
Truth never frightens
I remember once walking out in the winter
to greet my father as he returned from work.
He was a little late that night
and I waited by a street corner near our house.
The cold can enliven thanks, my wool coat
became a sacred robe, how happy I felt to be alive.
I waited in a world of magic,
smells of good food,
the street lamps, the smoke coming from the chimneys,
the candles burning in windows
Angels feasted, as I did, on existence, and God kept saying,
“Have more of what I made.”
I saw him coming. We ran into each other’s arms
and he lifted me as he so often had–
twirled me through the air,
his hands beneath
This is what the Truth does:
lifts and lets us
-Catherine of Siena (translated by Daniel Ladinsky)
One of the common themes among the mystics, no matter what their religious affiliation, is the profound joy they take in the world around them. It doesn’t matter if they are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or Buddhist—mystics of all stripes and religious persuasions have fallen in love with God, and thus with the world God made.
I imagine it must be a bit distracting to be a mystic—you can hardly walk down the street to the grocery store without being overcome with God’s presence all around you in people, sky, trees, and earth. Everyday encounters would take on a blinding radiance. Everything is holy, and everything shows God’s love.
And the result of all that is joy. Incandescent, indescribable joy at all this richness laid at your feet.
How often do we pause to take note of the joy our faith offers to us?
Do something that brings you joy today. Blow soap bubbles, watch a funny video on YouTube, play with your kids. Do something that reminds you of the ever-present joy of God in creation.