The thin place


Most of us know what a “thin place” is, but it’s not easy to describe it.

Perhaps that is because the experience is beyond our limited sensory system and, therefore, beyond logical thinking and description.

Yet we have all had experience of a “Thin Place” as something belonging to a greater reality.

Like you, I have felt this many times but am unsure whether the “Thin Space” belongs to me or something outside me.

Perhaps it’s about both.

In Ireland, the thin space is so well known that no one tries to describe it. It seems that everyone walks with a foot over a spiritual border.

Here, we might use terms like “serendipity” or “coincidence,” or we might shiver and call an experience “creepy” because we can’t logically define it.

When we are older and able to track years of experience, we realise that the thin Space has always been close to our hearts.

We then dare to think that the great presence that we call God, has been steering our lives in an inexplicable way.

Where do you experience the Thin Space?

For me, it is mostly before Mass when the church is empty and silent.

The Thin Space is a preparation for the Mass, and it is held in prayer-soaked walls and the lives of people who are the church’s history.

Is that an adequate explanation? No. But that’s how I explain the connection I feel.

Priests are part of that feeling of history. Thousands of Masses are still there. It seems that they remain in the church.

I call it a feeling of “Isness”.

But actually, it t is beyond words.

I have no language to describe this adequately, but maybe Jesus described it when he said, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

If you are reading this, you may like to pause and reflect on the thin places in your life.

How often have you had an experience that you could not explain?

In retrospect, how do you now interpret that feeling?

When you are in a garden or walking through a forest, you may decide to empty your mind of busy thinking.

What happens?

Can you call that a Thin Place? And does the Thin Place get active?

How often have you had a need that has been met beyond expectation? What kind of need was it?

How has your understanding of the Thin Place changed as you have aged?

As our bodies get older and show signs of desiring to return to earth, so does the inner self grow stronger.

The teaching of youth has expanded to the knowledge of the adult, and that ripens as the wisdom of age.

The Thin Place is no longer thin.

It is now who we are in Christ.

  • Joy Cowley is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and retreat facilitator. Joy Cowley is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and retreat facilitator.
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