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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

232: Nov. 3rd 2020: Where are Your Thin Places?

All Souls and Thin Places - by Victoria MacDonald

Homily from Homily for 11/09/14

You may recognize that Wisdom reading from the lectionary for the Feast of All Souls Day. And though, we didn’t use this reading, here’s a portion of Romans 8 from the same lectionary reading:

...we have been given new eyes to see that "neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God and one another."

Today we celebrate All Soul’s Day; we celebrate and investigate what many peoples throughout various times and cultures call the “Thin Place” or in other cultures, “Dia de los Muertos...The Day of the Dead.”

It’s a concept that there is a time or place where, like we heard in the reading from Episcopal priest, Barbara Brown Taylor, “the veil is thinnest between the worlds...”

In a year’s cycle, that time is from the end of October though the beginning of November... and in a 24 hour day cycle it’s the hour between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning...

(When are you awakened in the night...what time do you see on your clock?)

As a nurse, and I think I’ve mentioned it here before, that demographics show, that more babies are born and more people die around those hours. As those of you who were in seminaries, monasteries or convents know....your call to prayer was often in those same early morning hours.

It’s the time that I like to call the Frazier Crane hour: you know the show Frazier? He had the call in radio show, and he pushed the button with the words...”I’m listening...”

Because...that’s what Thin Places are about...there’re places of high and yet deep energy;

where, if we listen; if we are alert, whole new worlds open up to us.

places and times where 2 worlds can join and become one...

where Mystery is present.

places and times beyond what our 5 senses can grasp

where we can experience a seeming

Presence in that place of absence.

When I was 4 my family moved to Carmel, and our home was just 2 blocks from the old Mission. My playground was there, in the Mission, the gardens, the old Indian museum and chapel...the sargophagus of Fr. Junipero Serra, and the Indian burial ground... those were my favorite places to play...and those were my first Thin Places.

I remember, early one evening, when I was in line for what I think was a Holy Thursday procession. We were processing from the museum and turning into the big doors, opened wide, and into the main church that was aglow in the evening light...and the line STOPPED just as I stepped onto the doorjam. I looked down, to see that it was worn with age...softened into a curve from use.

And I slipped into that Thin Place...and Time...beyond time and place...I felt I was at one with all those who had stepped there before me...and would after me! And, just like in the movies... it was almost electric... more than what my mind, body or spirit could take in....

Mahatma Ghandi in his spiritual message to the World in 1931, speaks of this:

“There is an indefinable, mysterious power that pervades everything.

I feel it, though I do not see it. It is this unseen power that makes itself felt

and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through

my senses. It transcends the senses.”

There are so many places in Ireland called Thin Places...old castles, rocks, and so many wells! Places marked as Sacred if to say, “Come here and FEEL this. BE here!”

That is the invitation: “Come, I’ve felt Mystery here, do you?”

If once you’ve felt that Presence, you seek after it again and again. In those places, or similar places, because you want to feel MYSTERY again. Because the spirit AWAKENS and GROWS there!

Truth abides in thin places; naked, raw, hard to face truth. Yet the comfort, safety and strength to face that truth also abides captivates our imagination...we gain CONNECTION and we become part of something LARGER than we can perceive.

There is a feeling... “this is holy ground...I’m standing on holy ground, and I’m connected with all those who have stood here before me.”

Time stops; it becomes literally, time out of time. And questions surface: Who was here before? Who touched these same stones? What longings, like me, did they have?

Where are YOUR Thin Places? Places or times when the Divine TOUCHED you?

Whose lives, now gone, have touched your own?

Who, though gone now, walks with you, in a way that inspires you?...

Who has paved the way for the path YOUR life now takes?

And, HOW are you walking your life right now, in a way that makes it possible for OTHERS to follow their own paths long after you are gone?

Where...where are Your Thin Places?


Hear my voice

Hear my dreams

Let us make a world

In which I believe

Hear my words

Hear my cries

Let me see a change

Through these eyes

You may think

I won't be heard

Still I'll raise this hand

Spread this word

These words of fire

Of hope and desire

And I'll let them free

Hear my voice

Hear my dreams

Let us make a world

In which we believe

In which we believe

Hear my words

Hear my choice

Hear my voice

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Celeste Waite / Daniel Pemberton

Hear My Voice lyrics © Peermusic Publishing


Hear My Voice by Celeste

Enya ~ Boadicea

Voces8 - May it Be

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