Recently, a wise friend reminded me of my word for the year—SAVOR. She sent me a prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas to help me in my daily savoring:
LET EVERY DAY
Let every day combine
the beauty of Spring,
the brightness of Summer,
the abundance of Autumn,
and the repose of Winter.
And at the end of my life on earth,
grant that I may come to see and to know you
in the fullness of your glory. Amen.
As autumn begins anew, Aquinas’ prayer prompts me to consider the abundance that this season brings. The harvest. Living in the Midwest, I can see firsthand nature’s abundance as the corn and bean fields yield their harvests, leaving the land to surrender to its winter repose.
I want to ponder and savor the harvest in my life as well. I encourage you all to do the same. Take some quiet, leisurely time in the cool weather—maybe in front of your fireplace in a cozy blanket. Let God bring to mind what your harvest looks like this year—the who and the what. Don’t forget to look inside your heart and see what seeds have born fruit this year.
2020 may have felt more like scarcity and letting go rather than abundance, but I’m confident that time with God will shed light on the abundant harvest that has also come to pass. Fall offers a time to come inside ourselves and to reflect. To that end, I’m going to share song lyrics that are rich with possibilities to ponder, and to see God’s hand in your life. The song is based on Augustine’s Confessions—a work of deep reflection on self and God.
I suggest that you read this slowly. Twice would be good. Pay attention to what word or phrase stands out to you. Read it again going deeper. Consider its message to you. Read it a fourth time and let a prayer spring up in your heart that you can offer to God. Read it one last time and sit quietly. This can also be done one stanza at a time.
O BEAUTY EVER ANCIENT
Oh, late have I loved you,
Oh, late have I turned;
turned from seeking you in creatures,
fleeing grief and pain within.
O BEAUTY EVER ANCIENT
O BEAUTY EVERY NEW
YOU, THE MIRROR OF MY LIFE RENEWED
LET ME FIND MY LIFE IN YOU!
My unloveliness I ran from,
turned to seek you in all things,
things you fashioned as a pathway;
yet I lost myself in them.
This created world is glorious,
yet I could not see within,
see your loveliness behind all,
find the Giver in the gift.
I had wandered far, perceiving
that I walked my road alone.
Yet you called, you shone, you summoned
and you drew my spirit home.
In your loveliness you made me
in your Godly image true;
by your grace you have renewed me;
let me live my life in you!
–Roc O’Connor—from Morning Light CD
This reading, listening, reflecting, and praying practice can be done with any piece of Scripture or literature that moves you. It can be a lovely meditative practice during this season of harvest abundance as we enter into winter’s repose.
May your autumn reap an abundant harvest!