Quote for the Day

Meister Eckhart once wrote that it is delusion to think that we can obtain more of God by contemplation or pious devotions than by being at the kitchen hearth or working in the merchants’ stalls. This is hard to believe because it is literally beyond human comprehension. God is in the saucepan as well as the chalice, the lawn mower as well as the monstrance. The manner is ordinary, but God’s glory is in every event, every moment, every particle of creation.

— Mother Gail Fitzpatrick, OCSO, Seasons of Grace:
Wisdom from the Cloister

Emptiness and Non-Attachment
Why Trappists Make Great Spiritual Guides
Is Mysticism Genetic?
Five Things Christian Contemplatives can learn from Buddhists
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • lightbearer

    i would agree
    however to get to that sort of engagement contemplation is a means to free ourselves of all conceptual thinking
    i am just home after doing a week long zen retreat or sesshin as it is called
    ordinarily a “sesshin” sounds the same but spelling a little different to the irish term used for a great drinking session
    well anyhow i had a great week of 8 hours per day sitting meditation broken up by work periods and mealtimes
    yesterday i was telling a neighbour about it and as i was telling her i realised that this could be one of the manifestations of gift of tongues
    that we understand each other not in language but also how we pray
    meister eckhart is revered among zen followers
    i would say that to pray ceaselessly is the advice from your piece there carl, where there is and can be no distinction in ordinary living and prayer

  • al jordan

    This is becoming more and more the theme of my personal spirituality: finding the sacred and touching God in the everyday and the common place. As the previous commenter stated, there ceases to be a distinction between living and prayer. Consciousness, prayer and praxis become a place of abiding. I guess my social work background has led me this way. Thanks for the “quote.” It was particularly beautiful and very welcomed.

  • http://www.healthyspirituality.org Jean wise

    beautiful quote and one worth keeping and pondering. Lately I have felt the presence of God more and more in the ordinary.

  • http://nitecaravan.blogspot.com/ Son of Wisdom

    Wow! What a great quote. How very challenging it can be to realize God in every moment in everything.

  • http://brazenbird.wordpress.com brazenbird

    I love this quote. I agree with it and the previous posters. It’s a very freeing experience to find God in the mundane. It’s like taking God out of our concept of time and space.

  • http://www.lifeisspiritual.typepad.com Brenda

    Love this quote… It’s a great truism… We always tend to look beyond the mark…

  • http://celticscribblings.wordpress.com trev

    God is in the saucepan as well as the chalice

    This is a wonderful thought, and one I’ve been contemplating myself for a while now.

    I will go one step further, if I may, and suggest God is the saucepan and the chalice. I find it difficult to separate God from everything else, because everywhere I look, I see deity….

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlmccolman/ Carl McColman

    Ah, the subtle line that separates the pantheist from the panentheist. The latter says that God is in the saucepan and the saucepan is in God, and the former dispenses with the word “in”…

  • http://detheologized.wordpress.com John Anngeister

    Doesn’t Mother Gail move a little fast here?

    At least I’m sure I cannot go with her in the leap she makes between the ‘more of God’ which Eckhart finds (in himself and others) at the kitchen hearth and the ‘glory of God’ which (I fully agree) is in saucepan and lawnmower. This ‘more’ and this ‘glory’ are different levels of immanence, in my opinion. But I’m not sure what havoc I’m creating in apophatic theology by insisting on that.

  • http://www.kairos2.com Alex Tang

    This quotation from Mother Gail Fitzpatrick must be considered in context of the rest of her book. I do not know whether there are such a thing as “different levels of immanence” but I do know that the Mother here is making a point about perception.