Sacrificial Living


No matter how much one may love the world as a whole, one can live fully in it only by living responsibly in some small part of it.
Where we live and who we live there with define the terms of our relationship to the world and to humanity.
We thus come again to the paradox that one can become whole only by the responsible acceptance of one’s partiality.

~Wendell Berry from The Art of the Commonplace



I know for a while again,
the health of self-forgetfulness,
looking out at the sky through
a notch in the valley side,
the black woods wintry on
the hills, small clouds at sunset
passing across. And I know
that this is one of the thresholds
between Earth and Heaven,
from which I may even step
forth from myself and be free.
~ Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 2000



I was told once that I write of sacramental living — touching and tasting the holiness of everyday moments, as if they are the cup and bread of life.  I let that feedback sit warmly beside me, like a welcome companion during the many hours when I struggle with what to share here.

It is now apparent to me it is all too tempting to become the sacrament rather than the sacrifice.  As much as I love the world and the beauty in the moments I find here, my search should be for those “thin places” between heaven and earth, for forgetting self and stepping forth from a holy threshold into something far greater —  where ego, like gravity, can no longer confine and weigh down.

There is freedom in the sacrificial life, a wonderful terrifying illuminating freedom, still far beyond my grasp.  But I’m looking at where and how to reach for it.


3 thoughts on “Sacrificial Living

  1. yes…..only the Author of the “thin places” can take our willing, searching, following selves beyond. thanks again for your insightful thoughts.


  2. Perhaps it is necessary to be grounded in and nourished by the sacramental life in order for us to take that first
    hesitant step into the unknown of the sacrificial life. Who knows what will await us there and what will be expected of
    us and what will be the cost of our decision as we tread more and more deeply into that unknown. One thing that we already know by faith and are therefore assured is that our Loving Savior has already walked that path and is waiting for us to join Him in that mystery that will change us forever….


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