A Walk of Thanksgiving and Praise
(In the Spirit of the Contemplatio)


Some of God's richest gifts to us we tend to accept as "standard equipment," somehow rightfully ours as fully equipped human beings. It may prove revelatory to consciously cancel this presumption in an experience we call "A Walk of Thanksgiving and Praise," and rediscover, under the very plenitude of Godís goodness to us, the unique gifts of love He has made to us, in each of our five senses.

A walk of about a half hour is suggested. Begin as you would begin any period of prayer: take a few moments to alert yourself to the gift of union with you which He has bestowed in His loving, living presence, always within you who are a "temple of the Holy Spirit."

As you step outdoors, take a deep breath of the fresh air. Reflect upon how rarely you advert to it as sustainer of you life, day and night, the unceasing providence of God whose love holds you in existence, and is continually creating you. When you have walked far enough to be out of earshot of anyone, pause to consciously experience the use of your:

SIGHT. . Use you vision to revel in, caress, enjoy, discern: color, shape, depth, texture, movement, etc. . . in everything around you. Reflect upon all that sight has contributed to your life experience to enrich it: beauty, non?verbal communication with others, knowledge through reading and observation, protection, happiness, pleasure, etc. Try to realize how different your life. . . and you . . would be had you been born without this sense, or had you lost it. Recognizing in all these reflections the loving gift of God.  Express ALOUD to Him your thanksgiving and praise.

Do the same for each of the other senses:

HEARING . . . Stop for a while and really listen, even to the seeming silence, in reality teeming with sounds; again, reflect upon all this sense has contributed to your life experience to enrich it . . . the sound of human voices, music, etc., etc. . . and how different your life and you would be without it. Recognizing in these reflections another loving gift of God.  Express ALOUD to Him you thanksgiving and praise.

TOUCH . . . the same; consciously experiencing the feeling of the sun and air on your skin, the textures of clothing, grass, trees, stones, etc., the awareness of gravity through the pressure of the ground under your feet; your sense of balance through this; reflect upon the use of touch in expressing affection, in physical work, in playing musical instruments, writing, activity of any kind. Imagine your life without the consciousness of this sense, etc. Express ALOUD your thanksgiving and praise.

TASTE . . . as above.

SMELL . . . as above.

Conclude your walk expressing thanksgiving and praise for the gift of SENSATE LIFE, an instrument of communication with God, His people and His world, even as it became His human instrument by Incarnation.