The crisp morning air greets me as I rush out the door. Gentle rays of sunlight bounce off yellow-draped trees. Fallen leaves crunch underfoot, their sweet scent lingering in my nose. A soft dusting of snow floats aloft as I pass. I love this time of year. I love the changing of the seasons and anticipating the holidays and cozy indoor times. There is so much in this season to be grateful for and savor.
Yet, this time of year also signals the beginning of endless lists of things to be done in a finite amount of time. The days can slip by before I have a chance to spend time with them.
Fortunately, St. Ignatius calls me to presence through his gratitude-packed Contemplation on Divine Love:
I will ponder with great affection how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much He has given me of what He possesses…how God dwells in creatures: in the elements giving them existence, in the plants giving them life, in the animals conferring upon them sensation…how God works and labors for me in all creatures upon the face of the earth, that is, He conducts Himself as one who labors. Thus, in the heavens, the elements, the plants, the fruits, the cattle, etc., He gives being, conserves them, confers life and sensation…This is to consider all blessings and gifts as descending from above. (SE 234–237)
I am determined to take up this invitation to reflect on God’s continuous, life-giving generosity by spending time with this season before it passes me by this year. I will carve out some time to absorb the beauty of the Creator’s handiwork all around me, and I invite you to do the same!
- Choose a favorite place to walk or sit—perhaps a path through the woods, a bench in the park, or a comfortable spot in your home.
- Grab a warm beverage.
- Turn off your phone.
- Shelve your “To Do” list for the moment.
- Using your five senses, take stock of the gifts of the present moment.
- Breathe deeply. How does the air feel filling your lungs?
- Look around you. What catches your eye?
- What do you hear?
- Are there any distinctive scents in this moment?
- How is that cup of coffee or tea?
- What do you feel as you encounter this moment?
- What gifts are you noticing?
- Linger in this moment.
- Savor the Love that is creating this moment and all that it holds.
- What would you like to say to the One who is breathing life into this moment?