good sense

Mar 24, 2022


“If today you hear God’s voice,
harden not your hearts.”   Ps 94

Christian faith makes sense.

And therefore living in relationship with Jesus Christ is the most sensible life of all.

This is why a spiritually mature person will be both aware of and sensitive to their environment, in touch with what they see, taste, hear, smell and touch.

A spiritually (and therefore humanly) mature person will be sense-able.

The one who chooses to walk in nature on a Sunday morning as a sabbath retreat has not missed the point. They are on the right track taking time to engage their senses with creation, listening, gazing, touching, tasting and smelling the beauty of the earth in which we live.

But it takes an even greater level of human maturity to see beauty and encounter the divine in imperfect and flawed people in a church, gathered to acknowledge not simply their oneness with the created world but their dependance on the “almighty creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible”.

There’s a subtle segue there: when considering our senses we probably think of five physical senses. However a recent article is titled “5,9,21,53…How many senses do we have?

Think of a sense of balance, of pain, mental stress. sense of self, friendship, and a sense of God.

Five hundred years ago Ignatius of Loyola was onto this when he reminded  that the physical senses were the pathways to the senses of the soul.

A symptom of ill health, and a frequent consequence of trauma, can be a repression of our sensory ability, an inability to notice the beauty of creation, to see the mountains and sky, to smell the scents of the garden, to feel the breeze and the waves of the ocean.

In the same way there is also ill health present when a person is unable to see the beauty in their flawed sister, brother, friend and enemy.

When Jesus speaks about damaged senses he often connects this injury with the presence of the evil spirit – “Jesus was casting out a devil and it was dumb; but when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke.”

This is consistent with the Old Testament: “they have not listened to me, have not paid attention; they have grown stubborn”.

When we live fast we don’t give time to engaging our senses with reality and therefore our life becomes disconnected from the created world, from other people, and therefore from God.

Take time today…to engage your senses…

…and so live sense-ably.




  1. How can you smell through a mask?
    How can you can you see a smile when faces are covered?
    Are these these the laws you were meaning yesterday?
    Just asking Pa.
    I clicked the like button first again .
    It’s a good reflection ,as always ,Pa John
    Kind regards ,Robert.

  2. A wonderful insight into the effect of ‘illness’ – inability to ‘sense’

    So a suggested path to wellness is to encourage space / time to reclaim our ‘sense’

    Might be to sit in the sun; might be to get hands in soil; might be a short walk….might be….

  3. Thank you, Fr John. Living sense-ably, a great reminder and a way of staying connected to Jesus.

  4. Thank you Fr John, a wonderful reflection – an important reminder.

  5. Senses of the soul – ah yes. For those who feel a sense of hopelessness at present, it would be wise to nurture a sense of hopefulness. Believing things are hopeless makes the mind master of the soul. Thanks for widening our understanding of living sense-ably.

  6. Quite by chance I was tail end Charlie on a conga line of 5 people walking to work early this morning. It was such a joy. All my despair, anger, resentment left me (believe me there was plenty) as the devil departed. Healed again by Jesus, set free to love and serve as he asks. Wandering in the love of the Lord I shall go ……

  7. Beautiful. Thankyou So simple yet truly powerful and empowering to do this. Enriching for mind, body and soul.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

growing young

growing young

A simple experiment will give a more personal experience of the life that is on offer.

sky gazing

sky gazing

The disciples were full of joy at the Lord’s definitive departure. We would have expected the opposite.

farm time

farm time

Now there’s a sabbatical inspiration: learning to wait. Yes I might plant seeds, but God brings the harvest.



There people gather on their own turangawaewae, the place where they stand, lead and are most at home