When we experience awe and wonder, we are reminded of the greatness of God and the beauty of God’s creation in the world around us. These emotions can help us to grow in our faith and be more reverent and respectful of God.

Day 1 – Start with scripture

We start with the Sign of the Cross.

Have a read of this scripture passage. Think about what Jesus is telling us to do.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to Mark
R. Glory to You O Lord

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”  And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.  But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”  And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

The Gospel of the Lord
R. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

Mark 4:35-41

Spend some time in pairs or threes and talk about the question below. When you’re finished share them with the whole form and see where the dialogue takes you.

Discussion Question:

The text says, “The disciples were filled with great awe.” This word “awe” can also be translated as “wonder.” How can a scary situation also inspire wonder?

Have you ever experienced awe or wonder in the middle of a difficult situation? Describe that experience. What made you feel that way?

Sometimes we might feel like we are the disciples in the boat, and other times we might feel like Jesus. Discuss situations where you’ve felt like one or the other.

Click below to “Add Comment” and capture some of what has been said in your form for others to see.

We end with a prayer:

Creator God,
we stand in awe of all that you have made.
Fill our hearts with gratitude
for every good gift, great and small,
that feeds and forms us,
inviting and enabling us
to become people who are fully alive
in your amazing grace

Amen 

Day 2 – Catholic Social Teaching

For today’s Catholic Social Teaching point we are going to focus on Care of God’s Creation…

The Catholic Social Teaching principle of care for God’s creation asks us to be responsible stewards of the amazing world around us. Feeling a sense of wonder about nature’s beauty and power is the first step to appreciating its value. Imagine looking up at a starry sky on a clear night, or feeling the spray of a crashing wave – these moments of awe can remind us of the incredible gift God has given us in our planet. This wonder can then inspire us to protect it and care for all living things.

So next time you’re outside, take a moment to soak it all in. That sense of awe is the spark that ignites our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation.

We are going to take part in a simple meditation now – the reader should read slowly and with a calm and gentle voice…

Find a comfortable position, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Feel your body settle and your mind begin to quiet.

Imagine yourself outside on a beautiful day. It could be a place you know well, or somewhere new and exciting.

  • What do you see? Are you standing on a mountaintop, gazing at a vast landscape? Or perhaps you’re by a calm lake, watching the sunlight dance on the water.
  • What do you hear? Is it the wind rustling through leaves, or the sound of birds singing? Maybe you’re by the ocean, listening to the waves crashing on the shore.

Focus on the details. Take in the beauty and complexity of the world around you. Feel a sense of awe and wonder rise up within you.

  • Think about the incredible power of nature. The mountains that have stood for millions of years, the delicate balance of life in an ecosystem, the vastness of the universe.

Remember that all this creation is a gift from God.

  • Feel a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to experience such beauty.

Now, shift your focus to how you can care for this gift.

  • What small steps can you take in your daily life to be a better steward of the Earth? Perhaps it’s conserving water, recycling, or simply spending more time outdoors appreciating nature.

Hold these feelings of awe, wonder, and responsibility in your heart. Take a few more deep breaths, and slowly open your eyes when you feel ready.

May this sense of connection to God’s creation inspire you to care for it throughout your day.

We end with the Sign of the Cross

Day 3 -Hit the Headlines

We start with the Sign of the Cross…

Research suggests that both awe and wonder can improve a person’s mental health and overall well-being, from reducing inflammation to bringing about a sense of calm. Experts also say that finding things that inspire these feelings is much easier than most people think. Read on to learn more about the benefits of awe and wonder — and how to build a practice that lets you experience them every day.

The benefits of feeling awe

Each of our emotions comes with a ripple effect of physiological and psychological markers. Some are beneficial; others can be harmful over time. Scientists who study awe — the feeling we experience when we encounter something beyond comprehension, which can then lead to wonder, a state of reflective curiosity — think that it does something unique among positive emotions: It gives you a rush of feel-good chemicals like the “love hormone,” oxytocin, but it also quiets your nervous system, slowing your heart rate and calming you down.

You might think that having an ‘awe and wonder moment’ can only be found when looking at something you’ve never seen before but we can find it in every little thing around us. Can you be conscious today in making an effort to look around you and find something that amazes you? Watch the video below and for some examples of beauty in our word…

Can you share with each other a moment of ‘awe and wonder’ you’ve had before? Drop a comment in the box below and share some of your answers…

We end with a prayer:

God of wonders,
you show us your beauty in all created things.
Help us to pay attention:
to the taste of the ocean on our lips,
the warmth of the sun on our hands,
the song of birds in the morning and evening,
the fragrance of the earth after rain,
and to the star that guides us.
Creator God,
we stand in awe of all that you have made and we thank you for it all. Amen