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Readings for Reflection: June 2016
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

Savor More, Consume Less

These words have served at times almost as a mantra for me. Original Blessing, by Matthew Fox, from which this comes, shaped my thoughts and feelings well beyond this small excerpt. But as with many books that offer big changes in perspective, I have to hope that Emerson was right when he wrote, “I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” This passage itself remains vivid and re-awakens for me over and over the incredible riches of life as it is, if I slow down and savor it. That is usually a comfort, sometimes a reproach, often a discipline, and always a tonic.    ~ Lynn Drickamer


If creation is a blessing and a constantly original one, then our proper response would be to enjoy it. Pleasure is one of the deepest spiritual experiences of our lives…. Pleasure truly pleases and does not merely titillate. Today the true contemplative will teach us what it means to con-temple once again, i.e., to become so thoroughly one with what we love and enjoy that we make a holy tabernacle of the event. The true contemplative will teach us the art of savoring. For creation needs savoring more than it needs inventory-making.... If we savored more we would buy less. We would be less compulsive, less unsatisfied. We would also work less and play more, and thus open up work opportunities to the many unemployed and underemployed in our culture. If we savored more we would communicate more deeply, relate more fully, compete less regularly, and celebrate more authentically. We would be relating more deeply to ourselves, to creation in all its blessedness, to history past and future, to the Now and to God. We would be more in touch with our moral outrage because our love of life would increase so dramatically that we would become less and less tolerant of death forces. The art of savoring is our prayer along the Via Positiva route: we befriend and pray creation by entering into it all in search of tasting its “honey-sweetness,” to use Meister Eckhart’s words. And, as Eckhart points out, “all honey-sweetness comes from God.” The source of all authentic pleasure is God. Anyone who has taken time to savor the blessings of life knows that they are profoundly, deliciously, deeply sweet. And naturally so.


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