Thursday, August 18, 2021


            When I was a boy and a member of a Catholic community, certain days were labeled as ‘holy days of obligation’, but now, many decades later, I understand that every day – every hour, every moment – is hallowed and should be devotedly honored. As a young Catholic, on those special days I was ‘obligated’ to attend mass and take communion, but now, at 79, I feel obligated – and happily so – to ardently worship every single moment, since each of them is surrounded by – and filled with – a sacred and boundless light. I sometimes feel like falling to my knees in adoration, as I used to do as a boy in Holy Redeemer Church, but now this feeling can come to me as I’m sitting at my desk doing some writing in the early morning, or walking across the grass in our yard, or washing some bowls and spoons in the sink.  I see now that everything is blessed. Every rise of my lungs is somehow sanctified, and even the simplest thought is sacred. I should be worshiping all day long! I’m always in the presence of the sanctified mystery known as ‘life’, so perhaps I should occasionally bow my head in reverence, even after a sip of steaming coffee at 4:53 a.m.  


In Worship, West Virginia, USA, 
even the smallest word -
even 'like' or 'love' - 
is spoken with special reverence. 
Citizens of this serene town
see holy mystery everywhere - 
in water flowing from faucets, 
in hands that shine after washing, 
on the shore of each arising moment. 
You'll see expressions of consecration in faces 
in the cereal section of grocery stores,
and the prayer-like look of mechanics
making their sacred cars run smoothly.
Just a little silence 
can make folks fall into prayer, 
and the sound of warm air 
flowing from a furnace 
is like sacred hymns
 in reverential Worship, West Virginia.


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