Monasteries of the Heart

Monks in Our Midst: Bede Griffith on a sense of the sacred

Everything in India has a sacred character. It meets on every side – they are living in a sacred world. Here in the West we live in a profane world. For the last three centuries we have tried to reduce everything from the sphere of the sacred, the sphere of God. Science tries to eliminate the sacred; the moon is not something sacred. It has become simply a chemical formation about which we seek to learn all we can. The same is true of the earth and the other planets. So we have eliminated two dimensions of reality, the psychological and the spiritual. We begin to think that the world is one-dimensional, that it is only material. We forget the sacred character of the whole creation. The incarnation of Christ is the great historical affirmation that all matter is sacred.

Bede Griffiths was an English Benedictine monk who settled in South India in 1955, where he established a Christian community following the customs of a Hindu ashram. Learn more at .


For one day or one week, begin, end and sprinkle through your day, this short prayer, “Everything on earth is filled with sacred presence.” In doing so, do the words change how you look at others, at the earth and its resources, at the things you own and use every day? Does it help you understand what Bede is trying to tell the Western world? Explain.


Please share your reflections with us here.

To view or make comments you must be logged in to Monasteries of the Heart. If you are not yet a member, you can create a free membership account at now. A real person authenticates each new member account to avoid spam accounts so you will not have immediate access. As soon as your account is verified you will receive an email with further instructions.