Sacred Language, Part 1: Love

What makes a language “sacred”?  I find that it’s in sacred language that we most clearly hear echoes of the love we are and the love we seek.  Much that I write here is an exploration through the channel or “ray” of wisdom and my search for it.  But the channel or ray of love is at least as potent, and for many people more accessible.

Here’s an adaptation of a prose-poem by 17th century Anglican writer Thomas Traherne, who lived only to age 38.  In his writing he captures something of this love.

The whole world is the theater for our love.
We are made to love, both to satisfy this necessity within us
and also to answer the love of creation around us.
By love our souls are joined and married to the world around us.
If we focus upon only one part of creation,
we are not loving it too much, but the other parts too little.
Never was anything in this world loved too much.
What a treasure is a grain of sand when it is truly understood!
All infinite goodness and wisdom and power are in it.
What a world this would be if everything were loved as it should be.*

This then is one noble and worthwhile task, if we choose to accept it:  to love everything in the world as it should be loved.  We hear of those who “love too much,” or those who, like Othello, loved “not wisely but too well.”  We may recollect, too, those who love their abusers and do not flee them:  here’s a needed perspective on their situation.  A complete and powerful guide to living, summed up in ten lines.

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*Sections 65-67, “Second Century,” from Centuries of Meditation by 17th century writer and Anglican priest Thomas Traherne, adapted by Higginbotham, Paganism, 149-150.  You can find Traherne’s complete original here.

The image is of a stained glass window “by Tom Denny, reflecting the thinking of Traherne, in Audley Chapel, off Lady Chapel, Hereford Cathedral, dedicated in March 2007.”

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