Dean Thompson is on a much-deserved vacation, and so it is my privilege to offer this week’s reflection.
I learned a new term this month, “doom scrolling.” Doom scrolling is the habit of scrolling through all of the negative news articles on your phone. And I must admit that of late, I have been guilty of a little doom scrolling. I have to remind myself, that as important as it is to stay informed, the news does not reflect the full story of God’s grace-filled action in the world. All around us, in ways big and small — there is goodness and beauty.
And so, I’ve been trying to be more intentional to what I give my attention. To make decisions that invite an encounter with beauty. I’m reminded of Paul’s words in his letter to the Philippians:
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is beautiful, whatever is commendable, if anything is excellent and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
For the Christian, beauty in the deep sense of the word is more than appearance. Christians tie our understanding of beauty to the creation itself: “And God saw what he had made, and it was good” (Genesis 1:31). Our experience of creation’s beauty is our first encounter with the revelation of God’s goodness and beauty.
Something is beautiful because it participates in some measure in the Beauty of the Creator. When we have an authentic encounter with beauty, whether it is a landscape, a sonata or a human being, something deep within us comes alive. We experience joy, exhilaration, and awe. We feel love and gratitude for the existence of such beauty and a renewed affection and reverence for our own life. Such encounters are transcendent; they connect us to something far beyond ourselves, far beyond even the object of beauty. For through them we glimpse the divine light in which all things live and move and have their being. In this way, beauty woos our will to love God.
So, this week, I invite you to turn toward the beautiful. Get outside in nature and experience the creation. Listen to beautiful music. Look at photographs of the people you love, or feast your eyes on some beautiful art. Or, if you’re feeling feisty — go on and create something, paint something, sing something. Make a recipe you’ve been wanting to try. The result may not be beautiful, but the process of your creating it most certainly will be.
Our inner radiance comes alive through our acts of appreciation, gratitude, intention, and creativity. So, think on these things. Receive the gifts of beauty and may the God of Peace be with you.
Grace and Peace,
Kathy Rock Pfister, Canon Vicar
Worship Schedule for Sunday, August 2
This Sunday, August 2, our worship services will be live-streamed. Please join us from your home for Holy Eucharist, Rite I, at 11 a.m.; La Santa Eucaristía, Rito II, a la 1:00 p.m.; and The Well, Celtic Eucharist, at 5 p.m. We will not worship in-person this week due to COVID-19 conditions in Houston.
We also encourage parishioners to watch together on Facebook Live, where a Cathedral priest will be available to communicate with you during the service and take prayer requests, or on our website at the links above. Our Sunday formation offerings for kids and adults continue as scheduled with "This is My Story, This is My Song" at 10 a.m. on Zoom, and "Dean's Hour Summer Matinee" at 2 p.m. on Facebook Live. We will monitor conditions weekly, and as soon as we are able to return to in-person worship, we will do so.
Supporting the Cathedral
Even as we worship from home, the Cathedral is engaged in ministry. Our pastoral care, outreach, worship, and program ministries of the Cathedral carry on, and supporting Cathedral ministries is as important as ever. You can make your offering in any of these ways:
- Visit the Cathedral Give page to find out the many ways you can support our church.
- Make an offering or give in other ways using PayPal.
- Text the word “Give” to 888-998-1634.