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Finding God in “thin places”

“Thin places,” says New York Times writer Eric Weiner, are “locales where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent.”

These places can confuse, disorient, relax and redirect us. They can be traditionally sacred places like a church, or wild and untamed like a jungle. Sometimes we have to sweat to get there, other times we can just take a taxi.

But what makes all these places “thin” is that they jolt us out of our old ways of seeing the world and transform us— an idea that struck a chord with world traveler and FMS’ executive director Kim Smolik.

In her opening address at the annual World Care Benefit and Celebration, Kim shared her own “thin places” and talked about how mission itself is a “thin” experience.

Later in the evening, Ambassador Thomas P. Melady, Anselm Moons, OFM Award recipient, talked about a “thin place” that he and wife discovered while living in Rome. They found that all of their friends – whether Christian, Jewish or not religious – loved visiting the shrine of St. Francis of Assisi. People told the couple, “There is a kindness there…I just wanted to sit and reflect. It’s so peaceful.”

So, we want to know: Where are your thin places? 

We prepare and support lay Catholics for two-year international, one-year domestic and 1-2 week short-term mission service opportunities in solidarity with impoverished and marginalized communities across the globe.

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