Living Arts Weekly: Reverence

September 15, 2019

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.  – John Milton

Cynthia writes: ” This video is from a student in our Florida LifeWays training group.  It is of her adorable 18-month old child imitating his daddy during their blessing before meal time, and then the moment daddy snuffs the candle and whispers good-bye to the fire fairies the child is transfixed by the smoke.

During our first week of training, the child’s mother had started to snuff the candle at home the same way we reverently snuff it at the training.  And her dear husband followed suit.

I love hearing daddy’s voice and watching the baby’s imitation and response.”

Nurturing Care

As we see in the video above, the young child imitates not only our outer gestures, but also our inner gestures and mood. Paying attention to those times during the day when we can model reverence and gratitude is essential. There are so many ways we can bring an attitude of gratitude to our everyday tasks.

This week, we observed the 18th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11.  Sam Sifton, of the New York Times, shared this reflection:

“It is a somber day in New York City, in Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Penn., all across the nation, everywhere touched by the attacks of 18 years ago. I can’t help but recall, each time, how blue the sky was that day and how tightly I held my week-old child in horror at what I’d done, bringing life into this world gone mad.

I cooked later that day and served what I’d made to my family. That act sustained me and sustains me still — this vain hope that if only we make food for one another and share it with open hearts we can push forward together in understanding, and together maybe make the world a better place. I don’t know if that works. I believe it does. So I’ll continue to do it, seeking grace in the meals, in the work of making them.”


LifeWays caregiver Belinda Kenwood wrote a wonderful article about Reverence.  You can read the whole article here (click on the text box below).

Thoughts on Reverence, by Belinda Kenwood

“It was said of the last quarter of the 20th century, and will likely be said of the first decade of the 21st, that it was a wonderful time to build computers, but a challenging time to write poetry. Our children will grow up comfortable with technology and mechanical things. The will probably grow up with a consumer mentality, thanks to all the advertising to which they are exposed. But they may grow up with an important part of their souls undeveloped.

“It will take extra effort on our part to raise children fluent in the language of spirituality-children who will be comfortable praying when they are anxious or grateful, capable of forgiving when they have been hurt, generous in the face of need, aware of the beauty of nature and of poetry. We cannot depend on society to teach them those graces, but there are things we can do to nourish our children’s souls. The effort will be worth it. We can give our children no greater gift.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner


How will you model reverence this week?

Blessings on your week,

Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly blog editor