Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, June 26, 2015
Ah, for the old days, when a high percentage of Americans attended church on a regular basis. (I am only being partially serious.) I’m talking earlier in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Actually, by today’s standards, church and synagogue attendance has gone down. However, more people are saying they are “spiritual, but not religious.” Whatever that means—because it means different things to different people.
The author of today’s chapter, Phil Cousineau, said that many more Americans do not associate with a specific house of worship today. (This is borne out by reports made about spirituality and the “nones” in various recent newspapers and news magazines.) However, Cousineau was interested in the expressions “divine spark” and “soulful.”
What do you think of when I say “divine spark?” Do you think of something like “the measure of the depths of our lives” when I mention that? This can be contemplation. Slowing down enough to enjoy writing a letter. Attentiveness, thoughtfulness, mindfulness. These are the areas in which I find some suggestions. Good suggestions, too, I may add.
Moreover, according to Cousineau’s chapter in the Handbook for the Soul, there is some kind of American myth that aids in isolationism. Regardless of this tendency to isolation, many people are drawn toward connecting, meeting together, in a cohesive matter. Whether associated with a faith tradition and meeting place, or not. And, that is a welcoming and positive thing! Amen!
Whether you or your loved one believe in connecting, whether contemplating the mysterious continuity that is this world, or the spark inside of you and me is made to go higher and higher, we can say amen for that!
Please, God, help me—help us to become more and more like God. Less and less like the world.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Handbook for the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995.), 162.