Thursday, December 21, 2017

Vessels of the Holy

Earlier today a friend shared with me Daniel Wolpert’s insightful book Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices.

For Wolpert prayer is all about listening for the sacred in our lives; sensing God’s presence in those experiences that give us a hint of something at work in the universe that is “other” than ourselves, yet also, paradoxically, the deepest part of ourselves.

The part of Wolfert’s book that resonates most with me is his chapter on “body prayer,” in which Wolfert talks about the body and the spiritual life. Following is an excerpt.

Experiencing our bodies as vessels for the Divine transforms our relationship with our bodies, and we become aware of certain questions about our bodies.

What if we were to take our bodily relationships seriously as powerful gifts from God?

What if we were to take seriously the powerful feelings present in our bodies as positive reflections of the power and presence of God in our lives?

Wouldn’t we want to treat our bodies and our bodily relationships with reverence and care as vessels of the Holy?

As we begin to answer these questions, our attention is drawn ever more toward God. We see our every feeling as a pulse of the spirit of life within us, and our desire to treat these feelings with the attitude of prayer grows.

. . . Understanding that our feelings of love and desire can contain the love of God changes our attitude toward these feelings. We begin to treat them with the respect they deserve without shame or guilt. We realize that we can pray with and through our bodies.

– Daniel Wolpert
Excerpted from Creating a Life with God:
The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices

pp. 123-124

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Body: As Sacred and Knowing as a Temple Oracle
Joan Timmerman on the "Wisdom of the Body"
Real Holiness
No Altar More Sacred
To Be Held and to Hold
An Erotic Encounter with the Divine
Spirituality and the Gay Experience
The Holy Pleasure of Intimacy
The Many Manifestations of God's Loving Embrace

Image 1: Subjects and photographer unknown.
Image 2: Loïc Le Phoque Fringant.

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