O All-Nourishing Holy Abyss

Inside this visible world is another hidden world, the subatomic world. The term used to describe what happens inside this subatomic world is quantum vacuum. Amazingly, 90 percent of each atom is empty space, a vacuum. And the electrons and particles inside each atom appear to be whirling around as they come forth from “nothingness,” only to again disappear back into it.

Brian Swimme, a mathematical cosmologist, explains this action as “elementary particles crop up out of the vacuum itself — that is simply an awesome discovery…that the base of the universe seethes with creativity.” He continues, “I use ‘all-nourishing abyss’ as a way of pointing to this mystery that is the base of being.” Has Brian Swimme’s “all-nourishing abyss” given to us a new wonder-soaked name for the Divine Mystery we so casually call God?

Hidden within everything
is a second energetic cosmos,
all-nourishing wonder
at the heart of all life.

From A Book of Wonders by Ed Hays


Eden Language
The ancients believed that before his fall from grace, the language Adam spoke was poetry. This old belief is bewitchingly interesting since it asks what mysterious bandit has robbed us of our daily poetic speech. Once, not that long ago, ordinary conversation was more colorfully charming since it was sprinkled with bits of rhyme, poetry and even snatches of Shakespeare. Does the contemporary demise of the poetic in daily life mean that Original Sin is intensifying since one effect of the garden fall was Adam losing his native tongue? Poems and poetic speech are magical. They possess the power to transport the far away to nearby and transform thinking into feeling. As has been said: “Long ago people could not only see but feel the stars because the sky was down where people could feel it.” Poetry has beheading power, as Emily Dickinson said, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry! Is there any other way?”

Help fund independent Catholic journalism.
Donate now.

When I am blown away by a song’s lyrics
or my heart flips at a colorful phrase,
may I thank Poetry for arousing in me
that naked touch of paradise, and you.

From A Book of Wonders by Ed Hays


Prayer action suggestion:
Experience the depth of beauty this week. Visit a museum, listen to a concert, walk through a cathedral, read a poem, roll in the grass under a sunny sky. Better yet, invite someone else to share the beauty with you.


SIGN UP NOW to receive an e-email alert each week directing you to Fr. Hays' prayer reflections.

Want to know more about Fr. Ed Hays?

--Read a profile on Fr. Hays

Visit Ave Maria Press for a full selection of books by Fr. Hays.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg

Show comments

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.