Friday, 7 December 2012

Synchronicity: the love that moves the sun and the other stars (and the epic ironing pile as well)

A few days ago, I stumbled across a blog called “the love that moves the sun” on the St. Blogs Parish website. It was love at first sight/read with that turn of phrase. I find out that it comes from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy (Paradiso, Canto XXXIII, lines 142-145, in the C. H. Sisson translation, thanks Wikipedia), when his soul becomes aligned with God’s love.
But already my desire and my will
were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed,
by the Love which moves the sun and the other stars  
I have read about the Divine Comedy, but never actually read it. (To be honest, I’ve always had trouble with poetry.) I find out there is a free Kindle edition available on amazon and put it on my to-do list to download. In any case, these words were resonating in my consciousness.

Two days after first stumbling across that lovely phrase, I am alone at home (older kids at school, Olive in playgroup) and addressing the ironing pile, which has reached epic heights (about a meter or so). I am listening to an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday on my iPhone as I iron. Oprah is interviewing Jean Houston, whom she introduces as one of the elder stateswomen of the spiritual growth movement. I had loved Jean's book "The Passion for the Possible". I love Jean’s deep, rich voice, and her belly laugh. She is 75 years young, beautiful, energetic, intelligent, and funny. She has worked with Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton, Joseph Campbell, the Dalai Lama, and many other world leaders.

They talk about the hero’s journey, which is the idea brought forth by Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces”, that the basic pattern in myths is that 
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
Each and every one of us must undertake our own hero’s journey, if we are to live life to the fullest. I am thoroughly loving this interview, and the ironing is flying by. It just so happens that Joseph Campbell is one of my favorite people, and his ideas have had a huge influence on me. I have “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” sitting on my bookshelf at home, halfway read. (I will devote a separate post to the topic Joseph Campbell and “destiny reads”.) 

In any case, towards the end of the interview, Oprah asks Jean what her definition of God is, and Jean quotes Dante’s beautiful words, and says that, for her, God is “the love that moves the sun and other stars”. How amazing is that? I’d never heard those words until two days ago, and there they were again! Anyway, the episode is still currently available to view on demand here. Watch it while you can. As for me, I’m still savoring those exquisite words, that lovely sentiment, you know, the way one savors the piece of chocolate that comes with the cup of coffee in these parts. Also, I had been asking myself what I should read next. I'm sure you can guess what I decided to pick up again. 


  1. Welcome to St. Blogs. I'd like to invite you to join us for Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other. This week's host post is at

  2. I believe that love is the Energy in Einstein's famous equation,E = mc2.


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