What is Sacred?

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, August 12, 2018

By: Andrew Moore

“What is sacred?”

I posed that question to the staff of St. George’s camp on our first afternoon together. They were 18 young adults who had been living and working together in close community at Shrine Mont all summer. They were tired and frustrated and excited and anxious about a new session of camp all at the same time. Yet the conversation we had about the sacred was remarkable.

Among other things, we concluded that the sacred can be found in relationship, in vulnerability, in community, in the richness of diversity, in tradition, in shared experiences, in church, and on the top of a mountain. And over the course of the next two weeks we saw the sacredness of God in each of these places and, most especially, in the faces of the 80 12 & 13 year-olds who were entrusted to our care. We found that God’s holy presence truly came alive in the community that we built, in the mundane and in the profound, in our laughter and in our tears, in the sunshine and in the (almost daily) rain.

For me, camp has always been a sacred place – a thin place, where the boundaries between earth and heaven scarcely seem to exist.  It is a place where we go to experience God’s unconditional love firsthand. It is a place where we bring ourselves in all our flawed, awkward, broken uniqueness and discover that we are embraced and celebrated just as we are. It is a place where the sacred can touch our hearts in intimate and indescribable ways. And it is a place that instills that sacredness within us, so that when we leave, we might share it with the world.

I’ve been going to different camps for 30 years now. And without fail, every time I leave that thin space, I find myself changed – transformed by my encounter with the sacred.  I am renewed and refreshed, ready to reenter my daily life and work, empowered to share the story of God’s awesome unconditional love and how it has changed my life.