Think back over the last twenty-four hours. Â 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 thatÂ 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. Â I’ve realized that my daily experiences of God end up reading a lot like the list above. Â I’ve learnedÂ that faith is not purely an abstract, intellectualÂ thing; it’s a full-body experience. Â I’ve discoveredÂ that God reaches out to us through the language we know best: the language of the senses. Â And I’ve realized that my Catholic faith, with all its stained glass and rosariesÂ 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! Â It’s called Taste and See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with Our Five Senses, and it will be published next spring by Loyola PressÂ (insert happy dance here).
I’m really excited about this book. Â It was hugely rewardingÂ to write, and I hope it’ll be just as rewarding to read. Â It’s divided into five sections, one for each sense, and itÂ looks at the various ways that God speaks to us through that sense. Â 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 ofÂ theÂ Eucharist. There are prayer exercises for each chapter, too, if you’re the praying typeÂ (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 Â and on Goodreads (if you want to add it to your Want-to-Read list, that would be more than okay by me). Â And it has a hot-off-the-presses cover, which I just love. Â (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, aÂ fuzzy spot Ã Â la Pat the BunnyÂ — but the cover above isn’t bad as an alternative.)
So that’s my big news! Â I can’t wait to share the bookÂ with you all. Â Only seven more months to wait….