Thin places


A while back, I learned about the idea of “thin places.” In Celtic spirituality, thin places are places where the border between heaven and earth seems particularly thin.  Think of them as places where you feel God’s presence more acutely than you do elsewhere.

Like St. Ignatius, I believe  that you can find God everywhere and in all things.  And yet I don’t see this reality as being in conflict with the idea of thin places.  Perhaps thin places are places where we don’t need to work quite as hard to see the divine.  They’re the places where there are fewer barriers to our ability to recognize God, whatever those barriers may be.

I can think of a few thin places I’ve encountered:

*My kids’ room at night, when I look at them lying asleep in their bunkbeds

*Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York

*The open space near my grandmother’s home in Santa Barbara, where I used to walk as a kid and look down at the ocean

*My own humble backyard on a summer evening

*Any labyrinth

*A chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is present (I guess that one’s obvious!)

What about you?  What are your thin places?

7 responses to “Thin places

  1. Oh yes, the thin places… Any labyrinth and the Blessed Sacrament, yes indeed. By the sea, early morning, with (east coaster) the sun just peeking over the horizon, barely an orange dot emerging, that one for certain.

    I’m glad that I got to meet you in one of those thin places for you… I can see why you feel that way, what a remarkable place.

  2. I’m so glad we got to meet in person too, Fran — at long last! That special place is even more special now because I got to share it with you. Peace!

  3. The moon.
    Watching anyone do a kindness for anyone else.
    Watching children play.

  4. The tiny perfectly formed blue butterfly drinking the nectar from a bedding plant I had intended to move this morning.

  5. Tarn, I love your list.

    Peter, that sounds gorgeous. I love butterflies … they are such a powerful reminder to be happy.

  6. Karen Jantzi

    Wernersville Jesuit Retreat Center

  7. Karen, what is it about Jesuit retreat centers? They definitely have a unique quality to them. There is one near where I live that is one of my favorite places.