The following is a quote, long I must warn you, that has been a very significant influence on my way os thinking and seeing. It is so long ago I have forgotten when this was first read. I am reading from a new edition which is intended to commemorate the first edition 40 years ago. It is taken from James Finley's book, "Merton's Palace of Nowhere." He as being formed, at one time, under the spiritual guidance of Thomas Merton.
" Spiritual reading has the potential of becoming itself a prayers kind of event in which a true transformation of consciousness takes place.At times like these the reading takes on a sacramental force that transforms the silence of a room, the winds flower, the ticking of a clock into sudden,subtle and unexpected manifestations of God,silently calling us from the midst of things to "be still and know that I am God." ( Can we add to that the gentle or pounding sounds surf, high mountains, placid lakes, in other words all that The Creative Spirit offers us in creation ? Fr.Joe)
" In the reader's simple, humble desire for God the words are empowered to unveil a fleeting glimpse of life's most secret meaning.One's own innermost,unspoken insights and desires are suddenly encountered on the printed page.The response is a deepening of those desires and a renewed courage to set out for deeper waters."
To unpack all that is contained in those couple of paragraphs will take each of us a lifetime. Let us set aside these moments of our given time, to take a closer, deeper look at what has just been afforded us. Please do not get scared,Grandpa Joe is learning a lesson that you have wished on him for many years now, keep it short. This means we are going to have the above word kept before us for, how long ? Read on. We are journeying into the unknown where the Unknown,The Ineffable is encountered.
The first important words for us to consider, reflect on, are those which teaches us that spiritual reading, has, "the potential' to be, sacramental, and hence can lead to a" transformation of consciousness "What is the meaning of this word sacramental ? First take note that this word is spelled with a small "s".This is opposed to the reality that when we speak of The Seven Ritual Sacraments we us the capital "S". It took me quite some time to get this sorted out in my own mind. That did not happen suddenly, in a flash of spiritual understanding,rather it took years of studying and reflection. I have always been a slow learner !!!!! This has not changed and I am afraid now, will never change,so? "keep on keeping on".
There are the two understandings of of the word sacrament. For our purpose here, let us look at what sacrament with that small "s "means. Well for me now ; it is each and every person place event action, seen and unseen, that brings us in contact with the deeper realities of life, and ultimately with Reality Itself. That, Reality, we call God." We have these power-full words of deChardin." By reason of creation, and still more by reason of The Incarnation,there is nothing profane for the person whop knows how to see.' "All of creation is charged with the glory of God""Hopkins. Enough to chew on ?