Think back over the last twenty-four hours. Where and how did you encounter God’s goodness?
Odds are good your answer sounds something like this:
*I saw God in the morning sunrise
*I heard God in the voices of my kids at play
*I smelled God in the honeysuckle in the neighbor’s yard
*I touched God in the healing warmth of a friend’s hug
*I tasted God in that cup of dark delicious coffee
The last few years, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the role that the senses play in my spiritual life. I’ve realized that my daily experiences of God end up reading a lot like the list above. I’ve learned that faith is not purely an abstract, intellectual thing; it’s a full-body experience. I’ve discovered that God reaches out to us through the language we know best: the language of the senses. And I’ve realized that my Catholic faith, with all its stained glass and rosaries and music and smells and bells, has me by the heart for precisely this reason.
And I turned all of these thoughts into a book! It’s called Taste and See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with Our Five Senses, and it will be published next spring by Loyola Press (insert happy dance here).
I’m really excited about this book. It was hugely rewarding to write, and I hope it’ll be just as rewarding to read. It’s divided into five sections, one for each sense, and it looks at the various ways that God speaks to us through that sense. Some are everyday, universal experiences, like hearing a friend’s voice or holding a loved one; some are specifically Catholic, like praying with a rosary or partaking of the Eucharist. There are prayer exercises for each chapter, too, if you’re the praying type (and if you’re reading this blog, I have a feeling you are.)
May 1st is the official publication date, but it’s already on Amazon and on Goodreads (if you want to add it to your Want-to-Read list, that would be more than okay by me). And it has a hot-off-the-presses cover, which I just love. (I joked with the Loyola folks that they should have a cover which incorporates the five senses — a musical chip, a scratch-n-sniff patch, a fuzzy spot à la Pat the Bunny – but the cover above isn’t bad as an alternative.)
So that’s my big news! I can’t wait to share the book with you all. Only seven more months to wait….