Gumbo Spirituality

I saw this posted on the wall at the Big Sky Cafe in downtown San Luis Obispo the other day.  I really like it.

Gumbo Spirituality
By Father Anthony Hemphill

In the house of the just there are
ample resources. –Proverbs 15:6

In the South one of the favorite
dishes is called “gumbo.” The ingredients
are commodities that are available and
cheap. Some cost nothing more than
the patience of shrimping and crabbing.
Each family over the years developed
their own recipe and styles.
True spirituality has characteristics
of gumbo. It takes advantage of what
is commonplace and available. It takes
advantage of everyday events and
every event. It sees the extraordinary in
the ordinary. God is seen in all events.
Each person develops his or her special
style of spirituality as each cook has an
individual style of gumbo.
The saints knew how to use the
ordinary to grow in extraordinary
virtue. They had the extraordinary gift
to see God in the ordinary.
Father, send us your Spirit to teach
us to use the ordinary to create the
extraordinary. Give us the wisdom to
see You in every event of our lives.

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  1. #1 by David C. on February 8, 2010 - 9:45 am

    I read this back in late December and liked it, too. I just now found my note to myself to look it up.

    Googling for Gumbo Spirituality without quotes brought up nothing relevant, but the two phrases together, “Gumbo Spirituality” “Big Sky”, pulled up yours. I’m surprised this passage isn’t better known.

  2. #2 by Cei Shaw on September 6, 2010 - 8:22 am

    Father Hemphill died last month at the Monastery in Chicago. He was my Uncle, and I am very glad to know that his sayings are appreciated.

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