„In order to become attentive to beauty, we need to rediscover the art of reverence.
Our world seems to have lost all sense of reverence. We seldom even use the word any more. The notion of reverence is full of riches that we now need desperately. Put simply, it is appropriate that a human being should dwell on this earth with reverence.
As children we became aware of the word ‘reverence’ as used to describe the way a person is present in prayer or liturgy. When a priest celebrated the mass with a sense of reverence, you sensed the depth of his presence to the mystery. Though the church was full of people, he was absorbed in something that could not be seen. Ultimately, reverence is respect before mystery. But it is more than an attitude of mind; reverence is also physical – a dignified attention of body showing that sacred is already here. Reverence is not to be reduced to a social posture. Reverence bestows dignity and it is only in the light of dignity that the beauty and mystery of a person will become visible.
Reverence is not the stiff pious posture which remains frozen and lacks humour and play. To live with a sense of reverence is not to become a prisoner of a dull piety. Playfulness, humour and even a sense of the anarchic are companions of reverence because they insist on the proper proportion of the human presence in the light of the eternal.
Reverence is also the companion of humility. When human hubris (excessive pride or self-confidence) intrudes on or manipulates the sacred, the consequence is inevitably humiliation.
In contrast, a sense of reverence includes the recognition that one is always in the presence of the sacred.
To live with reverence is to live without judgement, prejudice and the saturation of consumerism. The consumerist heart becomes empty and lonesome because it has squandered reverence. As parent, child, lover, prayer or artist – a sense of reverence opens pathways of beauty to surprise us.
The earth is full of thresholds where beauty awaits the wonder of our gaze.”