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Taste and See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with Our Five Senses

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2017 Catholic Press Association Book Awards, Second Place: Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith Most Catholics are quite comfortable with the idea of encountering God with hearts and minds. Using the heart or brain to “sense” God’s presence doesn’t feel like a stretch. But the notion of finding God with our five senses—sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste—could se 2017 Catholic Press Association Book Awards, Second Place: Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith Most Catholics are quite comfortable with the idea of encountering God with hearts and minds. Using the heart or brain to “sense” God’s presence doesn’t feel like a stretch. But the notion of finding God with our five senses—sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste—could seem strange indeed. In fact, it might even seem worldly or downright wrong. In Taste and See, Ginny Kubitz Moyer beautifully counters this common misunderstanding. Using personal stories, anecdotes, and Scripture, she demonstrates how the five senses are a powerful, biblically based means for us to encounter God, not only as we practice our faith but also as we participate in the “messy splendor” of daily life. Each sense is allotted five chapters, each of which highlights a different experience of that sense. Every chapter concludes with Ignatian Examen-inspired prayer steps that encourage us to recognize and reflect upon God’s presence and goodness in the physical world. From roses to the rosary, from candle smoke to Communion wine, Taste and See helps readers truly find God in all things—from the mundane to the sublime.


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2017 Catholic Press Association Book Awards, Second Place: Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith Most Catholics are quite comfortable with the idea of encountering God with hearts and minds. Using the heart or brain to “sense” God’s presence doesn’t feel like a stretch. But the notion of finding God with our five senses—sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste—could se 2017 Catholic Press Association Book Awards, Second Place: Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith Most Catholics are quite comfortable with the idea of encountering God with hearts and minds. Using the heart or brain to “sense” God’s presence doesn’t feel like a stretch. But the notion of finding God with our five senses—sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste—could seem strange indeed. In fact, it might even seem worldly or downright wrong. In Taste and See, Ginny Kubitz Moyer beautifully counters this common misunderstanding. Using personal stories, anecdotes, and Scripture, she demonstrates how the five senses are a powerful, biblically based means for us to encounter God, not only as we practice our faith but also as we participate in the “messy splendor” of daily life. Each sense is allotted five chapters, each of which highlights a different experience of that sense. Every chapter concludes with Ignatian Examen-inspired prayer steps that encourage us to recognize and reflect upon God’s presence and goodness in the physical world. From roses to the rosary, from candle smoke to Communion wine, Taste and See helps readers truly find God in all things—from the mundane to the sublime.

30 review for Taste and See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with Our Five Senses

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    One of the things I most appreciate about my Catholic faith is that it brings together so many different aspects of life. There’s the fact that I find God in every aspect of my life. There’s the experience of smelling and hearing and tasting at Mass. There’s the tie-ins, all around me, to Divine Providence. I just love that Ginny Kubitz Moyer, an award-winning author and mom from the California’s Bay Area, is able to recognize this and tease it out into a book that’s a delight to read. She writes: “ One of the things I most appreciate about my Catholic faith is that it brings together so many different aspects of life. There’s the fact that I find God in every aspect of my life. There’s the experience of smelling and hearing and tasting at Mass. There’s the tie-ins, all around me, to Divine Providence. I just love that Ginny Kubitz Moyer, an award-winning author and mom from the California’s Bay Area, is able to recognize this and tease it out into a book that’s a delight to read. She writes: “God speaks to me not in mystical, abstract ways but through the stuff of daily life. And like any expert communicator, God speaks to me using the language I know best—the language of the five senses.” Her book, TASTE AND SEE: Experiencing the Goodness of God with Our Five Senses (Loyola Press), is divided into sections based on the five senses. Each of those sections has chapters exploring the senses in concrete ways. “Faith is about living life, in all its messy splendor, and doing so with the awareness that God is present throughout it all. It’s about recognizing that God speaks to us through our senses and that we can live a richer, more joyful faith if we train ourselves to listen.” Moyer readily admits the difficulty of this advice, and that’s why the end of each chapter includes prayer steps loosely styled after the Examen, the daily prayer St. Ignatius taught and that has been an essential in Jesuit spirituality for centuries. TASTE AND SEE is an experience to read. I couldn’t help but nod along as I read Moyer’s reflections on common incidents, things that are so ordinary as to not merit comment most of the time. For example, a chapter in the section on smell considers Moyer’s deadheading the lavender in her garden. “Deadheading lavender isn’t work to me; it’s aromatherapy,” Moyer writes, and continues: “As with most scents, lavender is an impossible fragrance to describe in words. When I free-associate, though, I have no lack of things to say: Clean. Summer. Fields in Provence. English garden. Fresh linen. Bed and breakfast. A lady’s soap dish. It’s a purifying scent, one that seems capable of dominating any other smell around it, in a good way. It can overcome murk, sweat, and sour laundry. It can change the mood of a room—or a piece of clothing, or a media-saturated mom—like nothing else. “As I bent over and snipped each stalk, rubbing the blooms between my fingers and feeling a slight (and not unpleasant) residue on my skin, I felt myself growing more and more peaceful. My mind, which had been glutted with photos and graphics and status updates, was being refreshed. It wasn’t the click-of-a-key refreshment but a deep refreshment, as if I were opening the windows of my very self to let in clean, sweet air. “As a blogger, I’m the last person to criticize the Internet. But I’ve found that it’s remarkably easy to get seduced into giving it more time than it deserves. Brief two-dimensional glimpses into the faraway lives of other people can sometimes feel more compelling than the concrete life right in front of me, in my very own house and yard. I don’t think that’s entirely a problem; curiosity about what lies beyond our immediate lives is always a trait worth encouraging. That said, there are times when I find myself spinning my wheels online, not really being edified by what I’m seeing and yet oddly reluctant to leave. It’s as if I keep waiting for some update, some little hit, to do what the Internet can’t do—to do what only real life can. “Snip. Snip. With the sun on my head, I worked my way around the fragrant lavender, cutting away the thin fibrous stalks, absorbed and happy. The Internet is a feast for the eyes, yes, but I’m more than just a pair of eyes. Sometimes I need a gentle reminder that real life has three dimensions, and real life has a smell.” The Examen-inspired prayer prompts that follow were no less resonating to me than what Moyer said about lavender (a plant I also cultivate and love!). She offers great reflections, forcing you to stop and maybe narrow your eyes a bit in consideration. And then she challenges you to stop all the way and pray about it. The prayer, using the Examen method, comes out more naturally and as the beginning of a conversation, if only you’ll pause and listen. For example, in the “Look Ahead” portion of the section following the reflection above, Moyer encourages: “Find a time when, typically, you would be looking at a screen, and use it to spend some time in nature. Don’t just look at what is around you; take a deep breath and smell God’s creation. Even if you can’t leave home, sit in front of an open window and breathe in the smell of the outdoors.” God made us creatures of senses. We aren’t just minds or souls: we are a glorious combination of both. TASTE AND SEE is a lovely way to remind yourself of this. Don’t read it quickly. Savor it. Participate with it. Allow God to touch you through it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Allen Steele

    This was written by a Catholic; however I'm not basing my rating on that. It made me think of the way I experience God/Jesus/ Holy Ghost. Ginny made some great points & observations. I really enjoyed the chapter on music & the way God made us to enjoy an uplifting song to keep us focused on Him.🎵The chapter on Communion was also fascinating. That said I felt there was a sense of mysticism with the centering techniques & grounding exercises. Like it was a mix of several religions. There was also This was written by a Catholic; however I'm not basing my rating on that. It made me think of the way I experience God/Jesus/ Holy Ghost. Ginny made some great points & observations. I really enjoyed the chapter on music & the way God made us to enjoy an uplifting song to keep us focused on Him.🎵The chapter on Communion was also fascinating. That said I felt there was a sense of mysticism with the centering techniques & grounding exercises. Like it was a mix of several religions. There was also a lot of 'My parents & Elders did it that way so I have to also' More good than bad, how can anyone go wrong talking and thinking about Jesus and how we relate to Him.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Therese Kay

    This lovely book explores how God engages with us through the five senses to become more intimate with us. Through her Catholic experience she explores everything from art in the church to hearing God's voice, touching the rosary, and tasting God through Communion. For each of the five senses, she shares her own stories and experiences of God with them and invites us to join her through prayer and contemplation exercises throughout. This is a very thoughtful book that invites deep thought about This lovely book explores how God engages with us through the five senses to become more intimate with us. Through her Catholic experience she explores everything from art in the church to hearing God's voice, touching the rosary, and tasting God through Communion. For each of the five senses, she shares her own stories and experiences of God with them and invites us to join her through prayer and contemplation exercises throughout. This is a very thoughtful book that invites deep thought about the various ways God reveals Himself to us in this world.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Grace Guerra

    Must read! This book is amazing! It helped me in more ways than one! So many great ways to connect with God.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ebony S

    This book in the beginning was so good. I loved the beautiful wording of God creation with our senses. It waa captivating and I felt worship on every page. I however got lost and therefore lost interest halfway through the book when it started to take about more cathloic rituals and religion. I felt more of a general encouragement to seek God through my senses from the beginning half of the book then it shifted to more an autobiography. it did encourage me to read more about Ignatius examen and This book in the beginning was so good. I loved the beautiful wording of God creation with our senses. It waa captivating and I felt worship on every page. I however got lost and therefore lost interest halfway through the book when it started to take about more cathloic rituals and religion. I felt more of a general encouragement to seek God through my senses from the beginning half of the book then it shifted to more an autobiography. it did encourage me to read more about Ignatius examen and really take time to seek God through small things like rain or the various colors of flowers.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    While Moyer seems to write primarily to a Catholic audience, believers of all persuasions can benefit from this little book. Reformed Christians especially who claim Christ's lordship over all creation ought to take to heart Moyer's admonitions to use all our senses in looking for and experiencing God. Her counsel comes with a number of suggestions and exercises for putting her advice into practice. While Moyer seems to write primarily to a Catholic audience, believers of all persuasions can benefit from this little book. Reformed Christians especially who claim Christ's lordship over all creation ought to take to heart Moyer's admonitions to use all our senses in looking for and experiencing God. Her counsel comes with a number of suggestions and exercises for putting her advice into practice.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Gottfried

    Stay tuned: I'll review this book in my next blog post! Stay tuned: I'll review this book in my next blog post!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chris Altrock

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jaimie Hewitt

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leticia Zampedri

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

  13. 5 out of 5

    Penny

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bevyn

  17. 5 out of 5

    Allison Hufford

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Maness-Gilliland

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patty

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melancholy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  24. 5 out of 5

    Evknits

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tarn Wilson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gina

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary Joe

  28. 5 out of 5

    Janet Brooks

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anna Marie Jonas

  30. 5 out of 5

    Margarita Sanchez-Luna

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