What to Do With Wonder?

“The root of religion,” said Rabbi Abraham Heschel, “is what to do with awe, wonder and amazement.” Wonderful insight since from the root of wonder and awe grows religion, even if you are not religious. From that same root of wonder grows the flowering plant of prayer and adoration of God.

Without wonder and amazement God becomes something we imagine we can manipulate by tricks of piety, fasting, lighting candles, or sprinkling of holy water. To approach the Divine Mystery without a sense of wonder easily turns God into a philosophical concept or definable theological principle. Yet it is impossible to define the Wondrous One other than as a baffling mystery. December is a sacred time of wonder, of the holy lights of Hanukkah and Christmas glowing in the pitch-black darkness of winter: “‘Tis the season to be jolly,” or more accurately, “‘Tis the season to be wonder-filled,” in the eyes as well as the heart.

As I enjoy luminous strings of lights
And flame-topped flickering candles,
Remind me they are not just decorations,
They are sacraments of wonder of you.

From A Book of Wonders by Ed Hays


Prayer action suggestion:
When are you the most awe-struck? Why?

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