Coracle Trust E-Reflections archive
All E-Reflections to date:
There is a great desire in his heart: a maternal desire to gather a family together. Stephen Cottrell
Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
At the heart of the Celtic tradition is a reverencing of Christ as 'Son of the elements'. In his body and blood is the wildness of God. With a passion of love he comes to bring 'fire to the earth'. J. Philip Newell
what it means
to call him
Anthony de Mello
I bless you,
In the name of the Holy Three, the
Father, the Son and the Sacred Spirit
Celtic Daily Prayer
Like a cat asleep on a chair...
at home in the house of the living
PAX, DH Lawrence
Here we see Jesus' great love for the earth, for the whole created order and for all creatures within it. Stephen Cottrell
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia
to stand like the sunflower
turned full face to the sun drenched
with light in the still centre
held while the circling planets
hum wth an utter joy
I still haven't found what I'm looking for. U2
You are the Messiah. Matthew 16:15
He is the Life.
Love Him in the world of the Flesh;
And at your marriage all its occasions shall dance for joy.
Be patient with regard to all that in your heart is still unresolved and try to love (and live) the questions (now). Rainer Maria Rilke
What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
The man watching, Rilke
How often do we imprison ourselves because we are afraid to trust God?
May God the starmaker cradle and circle you.
May God the storyteller beckon and encourage you.
May God the lifechanger challenge you and cherish you.
God speaks in a dramatic way that cuts across expectations and conventions.
It is essential to experience all the times and moods of one good place.
Feeling at my wit's end, I took a walk.
It is by choice and not by chances that we change our circumstances.
Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path.
It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.
All we can touch, swallow, or say
aids in our crossing to God
and helps unveil the soul.
Saint Teresa of Avila
Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from?
Joseph took the boys from Israel’s knees and bowed respectfully, his face to the ground.
westlin’ winds and fernie braes,
Northern lights and siller tides
No other religion has made non-performance such a clear article of faith as have the Jewish people. Richard Rohr
Make a stillness around you, a field of peace.
Peter Heller, 'The Painter'
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns. Matthew 6:26
I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Jesus
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
(Matthew 6:34, MSG)
The enemy of faith is fear.
Anthony de Mello
But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge – to the great amazement of the governor.
You appear to me in paintings and prints
As an ancient signpost, fingering the sky.
In its initial moments resurrection is indistinguishable from death.
Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet.
Silence is the gateway to the soul and the soul is the gateway to God. Abbot Christopher Jamieson
If we drop into Silence for just a moment, we feel the presence of Silence as an invitation.
Around me the trees stir
in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
‘Lazarus, come out!’
I have come that they may have life, and fullness of life. Jesus
I and the Father are one (John 10:30)
They buried him in the tomb that he had cut out for himself in the City of David. They laid him on a bier covered with spices and various blended perfumes, and they made a huge fire in his honour. 2 Chronicles 16:14
“Father! In your hands I place my spirit!”
I know a man of such
mildness and kindness it is trying to
change my life...
he is kind with the sort of kindness that shines
out, but is resolute, not fooled. He has
eaten the dark hours and could also, I think,
soldier for God, riding out
under the storm clouds, against the world's pride and unkindness
with both unassailable sweetness, and consoling word.
Mary Oliver, Thirst
He sets his face like flint and takes our place,
Staggers beneath the black weight of us all
And falls with us that he might break our fall.
Malcolm Guite, Sounding the seasons
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. W.H.Auden
A quest in the journey through life.
Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.
God says I am the sovereign goodness of all things.
Julian of Norwich
You know that your bodies are parts of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:16
The Son is the image of the invisible God.
For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below
Stay with me, then I shall begin to shine as You shine;
to shine so as to be a light to others.
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
And all her journeyings was a caressing
Within her mind of secrets to be spoken.
The simple fact of birth soon overshadowed
The shadow of the angel.
The Visitation,Elizabeth Jennings
You who were darkness warmed my flesh
where out of darkness rose the seed...
I wither and you break from me;
yet though you dance in living light,
I am the earth, I am the root,
I am the stem that fed the fruit,
the link that joins you to the night.
Woman to child, Judith Wright
And this will be the longest task: to attend,
to open myself.
The Other, Ruth Fainlight
All mankind will see God's salvation.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
And why am I so blessed that the mother of my Lord visits me?
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.
The World, Czeslaw Milosz
God of mystery, God of glory, we will laugh with you.
Candles and Conifers, Ruth Burgess
[Happiness] comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover
Happiness, Jane Kenyon
I am born for the second time,
happiness of the world
came to me again.
My body effervesces.
'.. the baby in my womb leaped for joy.'
My soul reaches out to God
My spirit rejoices in my saviour
God sees that the humble heart is open
And implants his vision into it.
Vaux.2003 (Magnet Magazine)
Mary and Elizabeth
Two strong women
Carried two strong men
You, Lady, are the great, high door
that soon shall open wide.
You, most beloved ear to my song
Now I feel: my word is lost
in you as in a wood.
The Angel speaks, Rainer Maria Rilke
Each reflects the other’s face
Till heaven in hers and earth in his
Shine steady there.
Annunciation, Edwin Muir
Aren't there annunciations
of one sort or another in most lives?
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. Luke 1:11
Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.
'Twinkle, twinkle little star,
how we wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
like a diamond in the sky.
Bringing visions from afar,
how we wonder what you are.
Alix Brown, Candles and Conifers
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.
TS Eliot, The Rock
Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
The visible reminder of Invisible Light.
The Rock, T S Eliot
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
The light shines in the darkness.
To child is born to us!
A son is given to us!
Whenever I stand in a field,
I have to wring out the light
when I get home.
St. Francis of Assisi
No man is an island. John Donne
Little Brown Jobs. Definition (noun): Colloquial, generic term used by birders to describe small, difficult to identify birds such as relatively unremarkable sparrows. birding.about.com
could be happier anywhere than where it happens to be.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world.
The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same.
Every wonderful sight will vanish; every sweet word will fade,
But do not be disheartened,
The source they come from is eternal, growing,
Branching out, giving new life and new joy.
Rumi, translated from the Persian
the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
When a friend dies, part
of oneself splits off
and spins into the outer dark.
...Part of one's body has been riven.
When a friend, Stephen Dobyns
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19
Nothing is lost. Nothing is so small
that it does not return.
God has gifted Creation with everything that is necessary...Nothing that is necessary for life is lacking.
Hildegard of Bingen
I know what everyone wants
is a miracle.
We are both staring hard
At each other. He wants to know
Just where in this bright, blue-faced world
He might be safe.
I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.'
The time will come when...
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering
Love is patient. 1 Corinthians 13:4
Let us make mankind in our likeness. Genesis 1:26
When you open up in silence to what is there, there is something that is there that is not yourself.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
Mary Oliver, from Wild Geese
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance.
Rainer Maria Rilke
He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near.
Acts 17:28, The Message
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
(Colossians 1:15, NLT)
There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe.
West Wind , Mary Oliver
"Watchin' and listenin' 's the thing at present ."
Magician 's Nephew, C S Lewis
Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. Hebrews 13:16
It's time the stone consented to bloom.
Weeping may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Every week, a Sabbath rest when I release the world’s hold on me.
Christine Valters Paintner
Is this the river of life
or death? Both? Both.
Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 2002, VI
His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace. Ephesians 2:15
When hope has gone, when nothing happens, nothing changes.
I promise you that today you will be with me in paradise.
Simon from Cyrene happened to be coming in from a farm, and they forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. Mark 15
Men here have short attention spans.
They see something sparkly and they're off.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Pilate spoke to them a third time, “But what crime has he done?" Luke 23:22
“You are one of them!” “No, I’m not!” Peter replied.
Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
There's no accounting for happiness,...
It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
Zacchaeus, hurry down! I want to stay with you today. (Luke 19:5)
I'm hurt all the time.
I don't want to cry for the way I feel inside.
I just want someone to hold me...
I'm alone in the dark, please try to find me.
When Jesus was getting out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit quickly ran to him from the graveyard where he had been living.
Come with me.
Distracted and thoughtless?
Sheldon: I'm not insane, my mother had me tested! (from the Big Bang Theory)
Jesus said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’ Luke 8:48
Who or what have I lost?
Relating is at the heart of what is redemptive, and what may bring about the transformation of the world.
These opposites are the stuff of our life.
Father Bede Griffiths
It is morning, afternoon or evening.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Guest House, Rumi
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.
Wendell Berry, Collected Poems
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
Everything that was created
received its life from him,
and his life gave light
John 1, 3-4 CEV
'Matter matters' so the founder of the Iona Community succinctly put it. Matter whether hill, valley or sheep or matter as heart and lungs, bones and face, mind and emotions matter. Presence endures.
Weaving tunes, composing symphonies: The Sacred Story incorporates our own sacred stories.
Always we begin again. (Rule of St. Benedict)
Stop at any point in your day to reflect upon the day's graces and pulls. Set within the context of the changing seasons we will be offering an audiovisual liturgically based ‘altar’ for stilling ourselves and re-viewing our experience of Life this day.
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness (of Christ). We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.
2 Corinthians 4:7 (The Message)
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
Mary Oliver, The Messenger
And God saw everything that he had made,
and behold it was very good (beautiful).
Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them:
but Love cannot cease to will their removal.
C.S.Lewis, The Problem of Pain
You will hear of wars.
If I have a faith that can move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13
Faith slips - and laughs, and rallies
Emily Dickinson, This World is not Conclusion
Call yourself alive? Look, I promise you
that for the first time you’ll feel your pores opening
Temptation, Nina Cassian
I am born for the second time.
I am light
as the eyelash of the wind...
I walk dancing,
if I wish, I will soar.
And walking down the street to the railroad station
Past magnolia trees with dying flowers like old socks
It was a long time since he had breathed so simply.
A Journey, Edward Field
Holy Spirit, giving life to all life,
moving all creatures...
awakening the heart
from its ancient sleep.
Hildegard of Bingen, Holy Spirit
Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.
Galway Kinnell, Prayer
I don't believe in the other world.
But also I don't believe in this world
unless it is pierced with light.
Anna Kamienska, The Other World
We had hoped...they were so filled with joy and wonder. (Luke 24)
This huge trusted power Is spirit. He moves in the muscle of the world, In continual creation. He burns the tides, he shines From the matchless skies. He is the day's surrender.
Chorus, Elizabeth Jennings
There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it. John 19:41-42
Do you think for a minute I'm not going to drink this cup the Father gave me?... Pilate caved in to their demand. He turned Jesus over to be crucified. John 18:11, 19:16
Jesus, knowing by now everything that was coming down on him, went out and met them. John 18:3
I've laid down a pattern for you. What I've done, you do. I'm only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn't give orders to the employer. John 13:16
After he said these things, Jesus became visibly upset, and then he told them why. "One of you is going to betray me." John 13:21
Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds." John 12: 23-24
Six days before the Passover Jesus arrived at Bethany where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honour. John 12:1
That was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. John 11:45
Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, "Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died." John 11:32
After the two days, he said to his disciples, "Let's go back to Judea." They said, "Rabbi, you can't do that. The Jews are out to kill you, and you're going back?" John 11:7-8
Again the Jews picked up rocks to throw at him. Jesus said, "I have made a present to you from the Father of a great many good actions. For which of these acts do you stone me?" John 10:31-32
I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:10
They came back at the blind man, "You're the expert. He opened your eyes. What do you say about him?" He said, "He is a prophet." John 9:17
"Obviously, this man can't be from God. He doesn't keep the Sabbath." John 9:16
Jesus knew from the start that some weren't going to risk themselves with him...(Indeed) after this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: "Do you also want to leave?" Peter replied, "Master, to whom would we go?...We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:64
Jesus answered, "You've come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free." John 6:23
(Peter) spoke up and said, "There is a boy here who has five small loaves of barley bread and two fish. But what good is that with all these people?" Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave thanks to God. John 6:9,11
Jesus said, "I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can't come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through." John 8:34-36
"When you raise up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am—that I'm not making this up, but speaking only what the Father taught me. The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn't abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him." John 8:28-29
(The Pharisees) said, "Where is this so-called Father of yours?" Jesus said, "You're looking right at me and you don't see me. John 8:19
Finally, Jesus and the woman were there alone. Jesus stood up and asked her, "Where is everyone? Isn't there anyone left to accuse you?" John 8:9-10
On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted...Have faith in me...The people started taking sides against each other because of Jesus. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him. John 7:43
I tell you for certain that the Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing, and he does exactly what he sees the Father do. The Father loves the Son and has shown him everything he does. The Father will show him even greater things, and you will be amazed. John 5:19-20
When Jesus saw the man and realized that he had been crippled for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to be healed?" The man answered, "Lord, I don't have anyone to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up. I try to get in, but someone else always gets there first." Jesus told him, "Pick up your mat and walk!" John 5:6-8
When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked that he come down and heal his son, who was on the brink of death. Jesus put him off: "Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe." But the court official wouldn't be put off. "Come down! It's life or death for my son." Jesus simply replied, "Go home. Your son lives." John 4:47-49
At a wedding the groom is the one who gets married. The best man is glad just to be there and to hear the groom's voice. John 3:29
In Jerusalem during Passover many people put their faith in Jesus, because they saw him work miracles. But Jesus knew what was in their hearts, and he would not let them have power over him. No one had to tell him what people were like. He already knew. John 2:23-25
"Destroy this temple and in three days I will build it again!" The leaders replied, "It took forty-six years to build this temple. What makes you think you can rebuild it in three days?"... And when he was raised from death, his disciples remembered what he had told them. Then they believed the Scriptures and the words of Jesus. John 2:19-22
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. There he met Philip, who was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter. Jesus said to Philip, "Come with me." John 1:43-44
When Jesus turned and saw them, he asked, "What do you want?" They answered, "Rabbi, where do you live?" Jesus replied, "Come and see!" John 1:38-39
Who are you then?... I am only someone shouting in the desert, 'Get the road ready for the Lord!' John 1:21,23
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:4
May Christ Jesus look into your face with love, God the Creator spring to life within your being, and the Holy Spirit be found in sacred places around you. A blessing
In Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28
Joy teaches him to rise, to stand and move out through the opening the light has made Sabbaths 2001, I. Wendell Berry
Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict? Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean? O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea? O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves? St. Brendan's Prayer
People need a life of practical romance; the combination of something that is strange with something that is secure. Orthodoxy: the romance of faith, G.K. Chesterton
Make ready for the Face that speaks like lightning, Uttering the new name of your exultation Deep in the vitals of your soul. Make ready for the Christ, Whose smile, like lightning, Sets free the song of everlasting glory That now sleeps, in your paper flesh, like dynamite. Thomas Merton
What is this wondrous mystery unfolding within me? I have no words to name it, for that One is above all praise, transcends all words St.Symeon the New Theologian
The soul should always stand ajar That if the Heaven enquire He will not be obliged to wait Or shy of troubling Her Emily Dickinson
I tell you, do not worry about your life Matthew 6:25
It is morning, afternoon or evening. Begin A Book of Hours, Thomas Merton
The soul, that glancing, Aeolian*, thing, elusive as a butterfly. C G Jung, Archetyes and the Collective Unconscious *Soul, from Old German saiwalo, may be cognate with aiolos, “quick moving, changeful hue, shifting”
Suilven's a place that gives more than a basket of trout. it opens the space it lives in and a heaven's revealed, in glimpses No accident, Norman MacCaig
Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. Genesis 11: 31
The Lord will guard your coming and your going both now and forever. 2 Corinthians 3:18
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles. Walt Whitman
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Luke 12:6
I lie down this night with God, And God will lie down with me; I lie down this night with Christ, And God will lie down with me; Carmina Gadelica
If love unfolds, it unfolds here. Here where Heaven shows its face. ...Ignorance mixed with longing, intelligence mixed with hunger. The sacred in the planting, the wading in mud*. Eating what is here. Fish, bread, tea, rice. Fish tea rice, Linda Gregg (* paddy fields!)
We may ask in all seriousness whether we have the strength of mind, integrity and independence of spirit to sit down and rest occasionally, or whether we are the sort of people who must always be up and doing...Are we too always running about in an effort to run away from ourselves? Karl Rahner
Near here is the Land That they call Life. You'll know when you arrive By how real it is. Give me your hand. God speaks to each of us, Rainer Maria Rilke
no soul is rested Til it is emptied of all things That are made. When, for love of Him, It is empty, The soul can receive His deep rest. For he is our very rest, Julian of Norwich
prayer's dynamic action, that scoops out channels like water on stone. For the asking, Denise Levertov
All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. Rumi
Who (be quiet) are you? In silence, Thomas Merton
A new life requires a death of some kind; otherwise it is nothing new, but a shuffling of the same deck. Source untraced
Conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought; And enterprises of great pith and moment, With this regard, their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action. Hamlet, Act III, scene i
It is impossible to accept the death of the soul unless one possesses another life, outside of the soul's illusory life... in the hands of our Father who is in secret. Simone Weil
Die into becoming! Grasp This, or sad and weary Shall your sojourn ever be On the dark earth dreary
Ecstatic longing, J. W. Von Goethe
Then my darling's hand reached to open the latch, and my heart stood still. When I rose to open the door, my hands and my fingers dripped with perfume. My heart stood still while he spoke to me. Song of Songs 5: 5-6
“Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11: 32
Don't you sense me, ready to break into being at your touch? My murmurings surround you like shadowy wings. Can't you see me standing before you cloaked in stillness?
I am, you anxious one, Rainer Maria Rilke
Every experience in life, everything with which we have come in contact in life, is a chisel which has been cutting away at our life statue, molding, modifying, shaping it. We are part of all we have met. Everything we have seen, heard, felt or thought has had its hand in molding us, shaping us. Orison Swett Marden
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude, Part Two, Chapter II
The divine will is a deep abyss of which the present moment is the entrance. If you plunge into this abyss you will find it infinitely more vast than your desires Jean Pierre de Caussade
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1
Some asked the world and are diminished in the receiving of it. You gave me only this small pool that the more I drink from, the more overflows me with sourceless light. The gift, R S Thomas
Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light. Anonymous
They grew up without a good man's love, without a father's understanding and affirmation. So they always hunger for it, and they search for it from teachers, coaches and ministers.
Richard Rohr, Wild man to wise man
So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” John 6:30-31
One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out. The eyewitness to these things has presented an accurate report. He saw it himself and is telling the truth so that you, also, will believe...They took Jesus' body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. John 19:34,40
Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt -- marvellous error! - that a spring was breaking out in my heart. Antonio Machado
At the still point of the turning world, neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. T S Eliot, Burnt Norton
The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind Emily Dickinson
Give me this night, O Father, the peace of mind which is truly rest. Take from me All envy of anyone else All resentment for anything which has been withheld from me... And all futile regret about the past. Prayer, Source unknown
You are the vastness into which you gaze. "Deep calls unto deep in the roar of your waters" Psalm 42:7
Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” John 8:21
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27: 1
Man must see his dignity not only in being a point of activity in the world but also in being a point of receptivity: not only in his potential for 'doing' but also in his exposure in 'being done to'. W H Vanstone, The stature of waiting
You were inside me, and I was out of my body and mind, looking for you. I drove like an ugly madman against the beautiful things and beings you made. You were in fact inside me, but I was not inside you…. Augustine, Confessions
"No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do." John 7:4,6
How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God. John 5:44
Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out. John 5:28
Lord, you have released me. With a word you have set me free and I am transformed. Jane Denniston
I have touched it (the Uncreated), it undoes me wider than wide. All things, Hadewijch II
I don't take your words merely as words. Far from it. I listen to whatever makes you talk - whatever that is - and me listen. Shikichi Takahashi
The details of Jesus' encounter with the woman at the well are so ordinary that the story would not look out of place if it had happened today in a service station on the M6.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp; it has its inner light, even from a distance - and changes us, even if we do not reach it, into something else, which, hardly sensing it, we already are. A Walk, Rainer Maria Rilke
We walk in the footsteps of God for the feet of our God will become for us the Way, the Truth and the Life In this hour - Liturgies for pausing. Dorothy McRae-McMahon
Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sand of time; The Gift Of The Spirit To All Who Believe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
We see in this passage two very different and vivid pictures of Jesus.
Teach me to seek you in all that has life that I may see you as the Light of life. Teach me to search for you in my own depths that I may find you in every living soul.
“You must sit down,” says love, “and taste my meat.” So I did sit and eat.
George Herbert, Love (III)
Eternal Word, you entered the weakness of our human condition, you humbled yourself even to death on a cross, because this is eternally your nature. Lord we believe - help our unbelief A Litany
A fish cannot drown in water, A bird does not fall in air. In the fire of creation, God doesn't vanish: The fire brightens. Each creature God made must live in its own true nature; How could I resist my nature, That lives for oneness with God? Mechtild of Magdeburg
It is foolish to let a young redwood grow next to a house. Even in this one lifetime, you will have to choose. That great calm being, this clutter of soup pots and books -- Already the first branch-tips brush at the window. Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life. Jane Hirshfield, The Tree
It is enough to be, in an ordinary human mode, with one’s hunger and sleep, one’s cold and warmth, rising and going to bed. Putting on blankets and taking them off, making coffee and then drinking it. Defrosting the refrigerator, reading, meditating, working, praying. I live as my fathers have lived on this earth, until eventually I die. Amen. Thomas Merton
We seldom notice how each day is a holy place Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens, Transforming broken fragments Into an eternal continuity that keeps us. John O'Donohue
Halts for discoveries to be shared, Maps checked, notes compared. Today we launch a Pilgrim Stories blog.
The mills of God grind slow, but they grind exceeding small. Winston Churchill
The time will come in your life, it will almost certainly come, when the voice of God will thunder at you from a cloud: “from this day forth you shall not be able to put on thine own socks.” John Mortimer
It is time to be old, To take in sail: The god of bounds, Who sets to seas a shore, Came to me in his fatal rounds, And said: “No more! No farther shoot Thy broad ambitious branches, and thy root. Fancy departs: no more invent; Contract thy firmament To compass of a tent. There’s not enough for this and that, ... Leave the many and hold the few.
Let it all happen to you: beauty and dread. Simply go — no feeling is too much — And only this way can we stay in touch. Near here is the land That they call Life. You'll know when you arrive By how real it is. Give me your hand.
Life is not hurrying on to a receding future, nor hankering after an imagined past. It is the turning aside like Moses to the miracle of the lit bush, to a brightness that seemed as transitory as your youth once, but is the eternity that awaits you. R.S.Thomas, the Bright Field
i thank You God for most this amazing day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes
When will my eyes of rejoicing turn peaceful? When will my joyful feet grow still? When will my heart stop its prancing as over the summer grass? Lord, I would run for you, loving the miles for your sake. I would climb the highest tree to be that much closer. Lord, I will learn also to kneel down into the world of the invisible, the inscrutable and the everlasting. Coming to God: First days, Mary Oliver
The inward stirring and touching of God makes us hungry and yearning; for the Spirit of God hunts our spirit; and the more it touches it, the greater our hunger and our craving.
So from the ground we felt that virtue branch Through our veins till we were whole, our wrists As fresh and pure as water from a well Our hands made new to handle holy things, The source of all our seeing rinsed and cleansed. Edwin Muir, The Transfiguration
The light flows toward the earth, the river toward the sea, and these do not change. The air changes, as the mind changes at a word from the light, a flash from the dark
Sabbaths 2000 VI (extract) in Given by Wendell Berry
It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognised as your own.
A need for inns on roads, islands in seas, Halts for discoveries to be shared, Maps checked, notes compared; A need, at times, of each for each, Direct as the need of throat and tongue for speech. Not Love Perhaps, ASJ Tessimond
There is only one life and that is God’s life which he gives us from moment to moment; drawing us to himself with every breath we take. Thomas Merton
The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1
As a child I imagined the life beyond this life as one enormous room, all mist and kinship, now I would have to insist on walls and factions, hidden compartments, corridors leading off to secret gardens seeped in changing light John Burnside, Retractationes from Gift Songs
In that first hardly noticed moment to which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans.
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral In my Victorian nightgown. Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try Your handful of notes; The clear vowels rise like balloons. Morning Song, Sylvia Plath
Everything on earth has its own time and its own season, There is a time for birth and death, …. embracing and parting. There is a time for finding and losing, keeping and giving,..
Ecclesiastes 3: 1,5-6
Welcome, Child of love, God is here to bless you. Celtic Daily Prayer, Dedication of a child
I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who i was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray.
The Layers, Stanley Kunitz*
I thank You God for most this amazing day…and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any… ...human merely being doubt unimaginable You? (now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
E. E. Cummings, I thank you God
Tell me, what is it you plan to do, with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver, The Summer Day
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Teresa of Avila, 16th C. Spanish saint
The trees are coming into leaf/
Like something almost being said/
Last year is dead, they seem to say/
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
The Trees (extract), Philip Larkin
In any part of our journey there may be a tangible sense of a beginning or of an end. But what about the path in between? Are there not periodic dips into darkness, or to use another Christian mystical term 'desert'? But what does this darkness brings us to?
'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.' Psalm 119:105. Often we don’t know where we are going. This Psalm, in fact, seems to suggest that our true path is not clearly marked or easy to locate. So should we know clearly where we are going?
We have started Lent. We are on the road towards the cross and a renewal. Even if Jesus knew where this path might or would take him there were twists and turns on the way.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him. (1 John 3:2)
Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.
Everything that happens
has happened before
and all that will be has already been –
God does everything
over and over again. (Ecclesiastes 3:15)
I looked again and saw people being ill treated everywhere on earth. They were crying, but no one was there to offer comfort, and those who ill treated them were powerful. I said to myself, 'The dead are better off than the living. But those who have never been born are better off than anyone else, because they have never seen the terrible things that happen on this earth.... Once again I saw that nothing on earth made sense’ (Ecclesiastes 4:1-4)
After the wise men left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Hurry! Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother," "Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." That night, under cover of darkness, Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. (Matthew 2:13-15)
They returned to their country by another route. (Matthew 2:12)
At the start of the new year we embark on our first set of E-Reflections, on the topic of Beginnings and Endings. These will be brief and hopefully evocative.
This is a test entry.
I have come to give you life, and life eternal. Jesus
He is the life. Love him in the world of flesh; And at your marriage all its occasions shall dance for joy. For the time being: Xmas Oratorio, W. H. Auden
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age... The force that drives the water through the rocks Drives my red blood. Dylan Thomas
Life smooths us, rounds, perfects, as does the river the stone, and there is no place our Beloved is not flowing though the current’s force you may not always like. Saint Theresa of Avila
What I do is me: for that I came. Gerard Manley Hopkins, As Kingfishers Catch Fire, Dragon flies draw flame
A fish cannot drown in water, A bird does not fall in air. In the fire of creation, God doesn't vanish: The fire brightens. Each creature God made must live in its own true nature; How could I resist my nature, That lives for oneness with God? Mechtild of Magdeburg
In my adult life, the time I have actually lived inside the present moment would amount to no more than a single day. If only I could have lived it as a single day; it would have thrown its light on all the others. Don Paterson, The Book of Shadows
The land’s patience and a tree’s knotted endurance Peasant greeting, RS Thomas
We do not attain to God by lofty ideals or grand words, or by deluding ourselves by self-flattery. God is reached by acts that strip us of our selfishness, by care for others that makes us forget ourselves, by patience that engenders serenity and wisdom. Karl Rahner, Everyday things