O to be great, be entire: Of what is yours nothing exaggerate or exclude. Be whole in each thing. Put all that you are into the least you do….
So begins a poem by Fernando Pessoa.
Twenty-first century westerners are not great at being fully in the moment. We find ourselves chatting to those not present, barely noticing others in the room, or perhaps we hurry to record the NOW in pictures, failing to see fully before capturing….Hourly repetition of the Psalmist’s first stanza could be an excellent counter-balance to such habits:
I will praise you, Lord, with my whole heart….
Healthy fear and true awe are uncommon qualities in our own age.
Coming to our senses, let’s recognise the amazing reality of inhabiting a God-given human body, with its particular flexibility and intelligence, its frailty and fine balance.
Coming to our senses, let’s start making our prayers more inclusive, informed by the interconnection of everyone and everything.
Coming to our senses let’s acknowledge God as the righteous judge of the whole universe, holy, supremely fair and utterly dependable, One who values human life. The Lord sees, knows and heals in ways which shake mere mortals to the core.
On this autumnal day let’s see if we can’t begin afresh, whole-hearted and entire, with a little more self-knowledge. Our task is to kindle ever deeper love for God, unhampered by fear, but with due awe.
I have used fewer words and included spaces, leaving room for personal responses. We close now with words to bring all our fragments of individual prayer into one:
Teach us, Holy One, to see your glory in all places and at all times, whether the path be rough or smooth. May we always be whole hearted, our integrity intact, as we set a new intention: to place all that we are and have into the channels of your everlasting love. Amen
The Rev’d Roberta Ritson, Minister, North Tyne Ecumenical Partnership and Horsley Village Church