Friday, January 16, 2009

worshiping with my body, it is becoming natural

Worship at the Jesuit Center was a new world for me. I was clearly an outsider. Becoming Episcopalian helped. Now years later I see worship differently.
Monday evening I met some friends at that Episcopal church and inspired by the words found in the writings of Saint Matthew, Joe Paprocki, and Frederick Buechner we spoke about worship.
Matthew tells us that Jesus refuted the third temptation he faced in the desert with these words..."The Lord your God shall you worship and him alone shall you serve"
Joe Paprocki in a Well-Built Faith speaks of worship as a place where we align ourselves with God and tells us that the word for worship in Hebrew (shachach) means "to bow before."
Monday at work a friend hands me Wishful Thinking by Buechner, a book I had loaned her years ago. I turn to the W's and read that as with any great love; joy and foolishness would best be found in the proceedings we call worship. I decide it will be read to my friends later that evening.
Tonight I meet with another group of friends at a Quaker Meeting House and I speak of how movement has become so important to me. I desire to bow down when I enter the sanctuary. I am drawn to kneel before the "high" altar and ask for renewal and cleansing when I receive the Eucharist in my outstretched hands. I love the feeling of my hands touching my friend's hands as I take the chalice to my lips, and Oh to cross myself at the mention of the Holy Trinity during the final blessing, my hand lingering at the center of my chest as I bow down filled with the hope that I have aligned myself with God.
Oh, I have changed.
and to have my friends travel along with me as I unfold is a blessing beyond even my imagination. Here is an unfolding dahlia to brighten the spirits of anyone else out there who is hoping to feel temperatures above freezing...


  1. Gannet Girl--- thanks. I planted those dahlias in a small bed by the administration building. Halfway through the summer a photo was e-mailed to everyone by a person who was pleased with these flowers. On parents night, I went out and got some photos for myself, and now you.

  2. You sent me looking for my copy of "Wishful Thinking" and provided me with the ending for the post on which I was working. Enjoyed your own thoughts here....

  3. Jim--- glad I could be of help, or at least glad that Buechner could be of help... will stop by to see how your post ended.

  4. Lovely post, Wayne. Thanks for sharing the fleur. Warms this frozen heart to be sure. :)

  5. Anon--- glad it warmed your heart. I loved those petals when I first saw them and didn't connect it to my favored word "unfolding" until I posted it here.

  6. Oops, annon was me, Wayne; forgot to sign. I like the "unfolding".

  7. I really like the peacefulness that I have felt everytime I've entered a Quaker Meeting House. This was a wonderful post - it made me think about worship in a new way. The ritual feels good to me but I never thought deeply about why.

  8. Kathryn--- having this book sent to me by Loyola Press has been a blessing in helping my understanding on many things. and I thought I knew it all ;')


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