Session II: Songs of Thanksgiving

Rediscovering Beauty: Poems to Inspire Prayer and Contemplation During Lent

During this Lenten series we are focusing on the call to beauty in our lives and how paying more attention to those things that take our breath away might bring us closer to God and one another.  Session II focuses on the second major type of Psalm, the Song of Thanksgiving.  Along with a Psalm, we will look at poems from secular and spiritual writers with the understanding that in all language, in all poems, we might listen for and hear in their beauty, the presence of the divine.  In these poems I have selected, I sense the speaker addressing in some way the human experience of lamentation but instructing us toward Beauty, Hope, Love & Connection in the presence of the Divine. We respond to this presence with wonder, awe, and gratitude.

Find a quiet place, make yourself comfortable, and as you read through the psalms, poems, and passages, reflect on the images that stir something within you.  In the silence of your comfortable space, allow these words to speak to you.  Where can you hear thanksgiving?  For who or for what in your own life are you feeling grateful?  Even in the secular poems, can you detect imagery or dialog that might symbolize the divine presence among us?  If you like, share with us your thoughts by leaving a comment so we can connect with you.

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

~ Rumi

The wonder of the Beautiful is its ability to surprise us. With swift, sheer grace, it is like a divine breath that blows the heart open.

~ John O’Donohue

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? ~ Matt. 6:26

Featured Poems for Session II: Songs of Thanksgiving

Psalm 40 “I Waited Patiently for the Lord”

Consumed in Grace” and “That Skill” by St. Catherine of Siena

How Did the Rose” by Hafiz

What Was Told, That” by Rumi

Beannacht” by John O’Donohue (audio recording by poet)

Matthew 6: 25-34

Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

A Man Married to a Blind Woman” by Hafiz

Guardian Angel” by Rolf Jacobson

May you experience each day as a sacred gift

woven around the heart of wonder.

~ John O’Donohue