Friday, February 5, 2010

In February, We Revere

This month, as we focus on experiencing wonder — of the earth around us, of the beauty in even these cold, rainy days of winter — we also celebrate and cherish love — of our partners, of our friends, of our children, and of our church. Langston Hughes poem, “Wealth,” resounds with reverence of goodness, kindness and love:

From Christ to Ghandi
Appears this truth —
St. Francis of Assisi
Proves it, too:
Goodness becomes grandeur
Surpassing might of kings.
Halos of kindness
Brighter shine
Than crowns of gold,
And brighter
Than rich diamonds
The simple dew
Of Love.

Love, as simple and beautiful as drops of dew, is more wondrous than all the riches of the world. Let us cherish the ones who bring love to our lives. Let us focus on reverence towards the divine, the earth, and each other, as the song “What Wondrous Love Is This” reminds us. Let us find, as Jane Kenyon does in her poem, the secret porch of heat and light where the green moss grows in the midst of winter. — Margaret Hoff


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

Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.
Albert Schweitzer

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
Henry David Thoreau

Fullness of knowledge always means some understanding of the depths of our ignorance; and that is always conducive to humility and reverence.
Robert Millikan

Worship means reverence and humility it means revering your real self and humbling delusions.

Sacred Love

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.

The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
Swami Vivekananda

That sense of sacredness, that thinking in generations, must begin with reverence
for this earth.
Paul Tsongas

Revere Minute Gifts

Depression in Winter

There comes a little space between the
south side of a boulder
and the snow that fills the woods around it.
Sun heats the stone, reveals
a crescent of bare ground: brown ferns,
and tufts of needles like red hair,
acorns, a patch of moss, bright green....

I sank with every step up to my knees,
throwing myself forward with a violence
of effort, greedy for unhappiness—
until by accident I found the stone,
with its secret porch of heat and light,
where something small could luxuriate, then
turned back down my path, chastened
and calm.
—Jane Kenyon

Revere Friendship, Revere Love

What Wondrous Love Is This
What wondrous love is this,
O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That brings my heart such bliss
And takes away the pain of my soul, of my soul
And takes away the pain of my soul

When I was sinking down,
Sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down
Beneath my sorrows ground,
Friends to me gather’d round,
O my soul, O my soul,
Friends to me gather’d round, O my soul

To love and to all friends, I will sing, I will sing,
To love and to all friends, I will sing
To love and to all friends who
Pain and sorrow mend,
With thank unto the end I will sing, I will sing,
With thanks until to the end I will sing.

American Folk Hymn,
New words by Connie Campbell Hart, UUA

Revere Life, Wonderful Life

An Old Cracked Tune
My name is Solomon Levi,
the desert is my home,
my mother's breast was thorny,
and father I had none.

The sands whispered, Be separate,
the stones taught me, Be hard.
I dance, for the joy of surviving,
on the edge of the road.
-Stanley Kunitz


The air vibrated
with the sound of cicadas
on those hot Missouri nights after sundown
when the grown-ups gathered on the
wide back lawn,
sank into their slung-back canvas chairs
tall glasses of iced tea beading in the heat

and we sisters chased fireflies
reaching for them in the dark
admiring their compact black bodies
their orange stripes and seeking antennas
as they crawled to our fingertips
and clicked open into the night air.

In all the days and years that have followed,
I don't know that I've ever experienced
that same utter certainty of the goodness of life
that was as palpable
as the sound of the cicadas on those nights:

my sisters running around with me in the dark,
the murmur of the grown-ups' voices,
the way reverence mixes with amazement
to see such a small body
emit so much light.
Julie Cadwallader-Staub

Through Science, We Revere Nature

Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery.
Richard Powers

In every true searcher of Nature there is a kind of religious reverence, for he finds it impossible to imagine that he is the first to have thought out the exceedingly delicate threads that connect his perceptions.
Albert Einstein

A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.
Dr. Carl Sagan

Check out Why Unitarian Universalists Need a Language of Reverence

Title: : Why Unitarian Universalists Need a Language of Reverence

"I see at least three different purposes for which we might find a language of reverence useful: to respond in the moment to our experiences of awe and communion; to describe those experiences to others; and to solicit such experiences, both in ourselves and in others." - Kendyl Gibbons