Chapter 21 » 21.24

Living a full life

All our senses are given to us to enjoy, and to praise God. The smell of the sea, of the blossom borne on the wind, of the soft flesh of a little baby; the taste of a ripe plum or bread fresh from the oven, the feel of warm cat’s fur, or the body of a lover – these are all forms of thanksgiving prayer. I am sure that it is as wrong to fail to delight in our bodies as it is to misuse them through excess. Not to be a glutton does not mean that we may not delight in good food: not to be ruled by lust does not mean that we must not enjoy the exquisite pleasures of sex: not to be slothful does not mean that we must never lie in the sun, not doing, just being. When Jesus said, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’, I do not think He was speaking only of spiritual life – I think He meant us to have positive delight in all the good things in this wonderful world which his Father created.

Bella Bown, c.1980

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