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They go right down into the mess

One’s first duty is adoration, and one’s second duty is awe and only one’s third duty is service. And that for those three things and nothing else, addressed to God and no one else, you and I and all other countless human creatures evolved upon the surface of this planet were created. We observe then that two of the three things for which our souls were made are matters of attitude, of relation: adoration and awe. Unless these two are right, the last of the triad, service, won’t be right. Unless the whole of your...life is a movement of praise and adoration, unless it is instinct with awe, the work which the life produces won’t be much good.

For the real saint is neither a special creation nor a spiritual freak. He is just a human being in whom has been fulfilled the great aspiration of St. Augustine – “My life shall be a real life, being wholly full of Thee.” And as that real life, the interior union with God grows, so too does the saints’ self­identification with humanity grow. They do not stand aside wrapped in delightful prayers and feeling pure and agreeable to God. They go right down into the mess; and there, right down in the mess, they are able to radiate God because they possess Him.   Evelyn Underhill, “Concerning the Inner Life”, pages 22 and 96


Two workshops grounded in Underhill’s insights on adoration, awe and service

Adoration, Awe and Service                                                                                                                       - a Pathways of Grace workshop – June 2019

Shaping the Parish Through Spiritual Practice                                                                                           - a Parish Development Clinic – September 2019

Conducted by the Order of the Ascension