On your journey to & through Easter why not join me in disciplining yourself in enjoyment and gratitude. Let steam from your tea or coffee cup waft into your nostrils and warm your face like incense. Greet the dawn light with a smile. On your commute, look for things you’ve not noticed before on your journey, and let them inspire praise and gratitude. As you brush your teeth, think on the importance of cleaning these chompers that help crush and digest your food. Savour your food a bit more, rather than just walloping & galloping it down your throat, let your tongue and taste buds combine to consider seasoning, and sense the difference between sweet, savoury, sour & plain.

Go out of your way to notice beauty. Cappuccino coffee is a beautiful thing to me. Thank you Lord for the Ethiopian monks, who originated the drinking delights of the coffee bean and kicked off coffee culture. Thank you for the Capuchin monks of Italy, whose brown habits gave us the shade of brown from which Cappuccino comes.

Even the most earthy activities, like visits to the loo, can give rise to gratitude if we put our minds to it. Isn’t the human body incredible and God so clever in giving us convenient orifices & vents for releasing food and drink once we’re finished with it, indeed our sweat is a beautiful thing, well maybe not for people near you. Isn’t it just as well the air we breathe isn’t taxed and how awesome is our ability to breath in and out, in and out, in and out!?

My grandchildren love to say “Again, again Papa!” while playing a game or acting out a scene, and it can make one weary. Us adults can quickly get bored with repetition and undervalue routines like sleep, brushing teeth, toileting, commuting, texting, emailing, meals, etc. Can some children teach us about revelling in monotony?  GK Chesterton wondered “Perhaps God says every morning, “Do it again!” to the sun, and every evening, “Do it again!” to the moon? Perhaps God has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” Have we grown weary of wonder and need to relearn from God and our kids the joy of routine revelry and merry making?

In every circumstance and situation you come across there is beauty to behold and gratitude to be given. Dostoyevsky reckoned that “beauty will save the world”. One poet wrote, “Though the good is weak, beauty is very strong… And when people cease to believe that there is good and evil, only beauty will call to them and save them, so that they will know how to say: this is true and that is false.”

These moments of loveliness in run of the mill routines of life: guid tea, cup-handed coffee, stunning sunsets, soft shadows, raindrop ripples, meals, meetings, deep sleep, etc, can act as jolts for me in my dimness, calls to pray, pay attention, and lean in to receive God’s blessing and generosity. What bells and smells are calling you to attention and appreciation?