"So in recent days, I've been noticing the things I 'practice' the things I do because I enjoy them and make them habitual, the simple things that are part of daily life. I've been wondering how they can become or how they already are part of the ancient threefold way, practices of katharsis, fotosis, and theosis.
"I take morning walks. I notice birdsongs, the progress of the seasons, changes in the weather. As I walk, of course I pray, but now I more deeply realize that my enjoyment of the season, the wind, the wildlife, the weather is a celebration of my creatureliness. It truly is an expression of my life with God. I am faithing my practice of walking.
"I make coffee each morning. I grind beans. I smell the beans a few times, stealing a fleeting breath of their essence before and after grinding them. I boil water. I let the coffee steep a few minutes before drinking one, then two cups. Could the grinding of the beans and the releasing of their flavor become a ritual for me of katharsis, presenting my hard-bean self to God to be cracked, opened up, ground up, so the aroma of grace can flow from me? Could the reading of the morning newspaper (or Web site) become for me a ritual of fotosis, letting God's care for the world light my soul as I read of the day's crises, tragedies, and trivialities? Could that illumination flow into the union of theosis as I yield my will to join God in what God is doing internationally, nationally, locally?
"I don't often enough go to the gym. But when I do, how can I faith the practice of running on the treadmill? As I inhale a needed breath, can I be expressing to God my need of grace, of strength, of sustenance a gasp for the via illuminativa? As I exhale, can I in some way dramatize my kathartic desire to put away everything that is stale, old, dark, wrong? As I lift weights and strengthen my middle-aged muscles, can I celebrate my mobility, celebrate my age, express my desire to stay alive and flexible and vigorous with God? Can my sweat be a prayer of theosis, to join God in strength and action?
"As you already know, I enjoy fishing. I sneak out to a little pond near my home every chance I get. I reflect on my boyish enjoyment of luring what is hidden and elusive, hooking life and feeling its fight, and then letting it go free. What am I fishing for in life? What does the tug of the line mean to me? What intrigues me about luring out what hides in the depths outside of my sight? What joy do I get in releasing a fish after catching it? How can I faith these practices, or discover the katharsis, fotosis, and theosis already in them?
"Then I move on to some less obvious practices. Dealing with traffic. Walking a few extra steps to recycle paper or plastic. Showering, getting dressed, caring for my clothing, doing yard work. What would it mean to faith each of these practices, especially the ones that get on my nerves and about which I am prone to complain?
"That brings to mind the practice of keeping up with e-mail, probably the thing I grouse about most. (I just checked with my wife. Yes, she says, it is.) Why am I always in a hurry with e-mails? What is it that I'd rather be doing than staying in touch with good people? When my in-box is full, could I experience katharsis in regard to being in a hurry to empty it? Could I let in God's light, which loves connection and fellowship and solidarity with human beings, so I see my in-box not as a pressure but as a privilege, interspersing each 'send' with prayer and thanksgiving for the people I'm e-mailing? Could I join God in desiring ongoing communication and collaboration with each one? (I have a long way to go on this one.)"