(*Quote of the Month)
It is easier to enjoy beauty than to sense the holy. To be able to encounter the spirit within beauty, however, we must learn to crave for an affinity with the pathos of God.
~~Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abraham Heschel (1907-1972) was a Polish-born American rabbi of the reform tradition, an author, philosopher, mystic, civil rights activist, and one of the leading Jewish theologians of the century. The quote is from one of his more famous books, God in Search of Man, which I read while in seminary. He also has a principal book on Sabbath called, appropriately, The Sabbath, which I read again recently and would recommend to any Christ follower wanting to deepen their understanding of sacred time and their practice of this first commandment.
Heschel insists, along with those of the Orthodox Christian tradition, that God is the source of all beauty, including that in nature, and that beauty can only be fully appreciated in a context in which one also integrates profound gratitude forthe Creator.
The Psalmist understood that notion as well: Great are the works of the Lord, pondered by all who delight in them! (Psalm 111:2)
May you sense kinship with God today, and may that relationship lead you to a deeper awe when you see something beautiful.
~~RGM, October 24, 2013