The Coracle Trust

Coracle Trust E-Reflections archive

All E-Reflections to date:

Sunday 5 April 2015

Lent 2015: Making room for something wonderful

He is not here; he has risen...
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy.
Matthew 28:5,8

Saturday 4 April 2015

Lent 2015: Being present to grief

And if, as weeks go round, in the dark of the moon
my spirit darkens and goes out, and soft strange gloom
pervades my movements and my thoughts and words
then I shall know that I am walking still
with God, we are close together now the moon's in shadow.
Shadows, D H Lawrence

Friday 3 April 2015

Lent 2015: Falling with us

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

Thursday 2 April 2015

Lent 2015: Mutuality

I know a man of such
mildness and kindness it is trying to
change my life
Mary Oliver, Thirst

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Lent 2015: To protect and to gather

There is a great desire in his heart: a maternal desire to gather a family together. Stephen Cottrell

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Lent 2015:  Reading oneself

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.


Monday 30 March 2015

Lent 2015: Zeal

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

Thursday 26 March 2015

Lent 2015: Humility

Tell me
what it means
to you
to call him
Anthony de Mello

Thursday 19 March 2015

Lent 2015: Inclusions

I bless you,
In the name of the Holy Three, the
Father, the Son and the Sacred Spirit
Celtic Daily Prayer

Thursday 12 March 2015

Lent 2015: Like a cat asleep on a chair

Like a cat asleep on a chair...
at home in the house of the living
PAX, DH Lawrence

Thursday 5 March 2015

Lent 2015: A sense of wonder

Here we see Jesus' great love for the earth, for the whole created order and for all creatures within it.  Stephen Cottrell

Thursday 26 February 2015

Lent 2015: And he touched him

“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

Thursday 19 February 2015

Lent 2015: The Postures of Jesus

  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
Evangeline Paterson

Thursday 12 February 2015

What do you want me to do for you?

I still haven't found what I'm looking for.  U2

Thursday 29 January 2015

Who do you say I am?

You are the Messiah.  Matthew 16:15

Thursday 15 January 2015

Why are you looking for me?

He is the Life.
Love Him in the world of the Flesh;
And at your marriage all its occasions shall dance for joy.

Thursday 8 January 2015

The questions of Jesus

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

Thursday 18 December 2014

The bigger, brighter story

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

Thursday 11 December 2014

Unfettered and free

How often do we imprison ourselves because we are afraid to trust God?

Thursday 4 December 2014

A passionate belief in youth

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.

Thursday 27 November 2014

An extraordinary meeting

God speaks in a dramatic way that cuts across expectations and conventions.
Gus MacLeod

Thursday 20 November 2014

Times, moods and one good place

It is essential to experience all the times and moods of one good place.
Thomas Merton

Thursday 6 November 2014

His eye is on the sparrow

Feeling at my wit's end, I took a walk.
Kathleen Norris

Thursday 23 October 2014

A quote to live and die by

It is by choice and not by chances that we change our circumstances.
Nadia Sahari

Thursday 9 October 2014

A simple prayer

Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path.
Nancy Adams

Thursday 18 September 2014

What constitutes human flourishing?

It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.
Exodus 32:18

Thursday 4 September 2014

If God is love

All we can touch, swallow, or say
aids in our crossing to God
and helps unveil the soul.
Saint Teresa of Avila

Thursday 21 August 2014

Minerals of non-violence

Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from?
James 4:1

Thursday 7 August 2014


Joseph took the boys from Israel’s knees and bowed respectfully, his face to the ground.
Genesis 48:12

Thursday 24 July 2014

Places to earth your faith

westlin’ winds and fernie braes,
Northern lights and siller tides
Kathleen Jamie

Thursday 10 July 2014

A time to rest?

No other religion has made non-performance such a clear article of faith as have the Jewish people.  Richard Rohr

Thursday 26 June 2014

There is a place beyond ambition

Make a stillness around you, a field of peace.
Peter Heller, 'The Painter'

Thursday 12 June 2014

Rest and God’s unresting love

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns. Matthew 6:26

Thursday 29 May 2014

The art of resting well

I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Jesus

Thursday 15 May 2014

Rest, the holy grail?

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)

Thursday 1 May 2014

Resurrection: more than a postscript

The enemy of faith is fear.
Anthony de Mello

Sunday 20 April 2014

Easter Sunday: The examples of freedom

But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge – to the great amazement of the governor.
Matthew 27:14

Saturday 19 April 2014

Holy Saturday: An evolving relationship with God through a cathedral

You appear to me in paintings and prints
As an ancient signpost, fingering the sky.
Tom Ingrey-Counter

Friday 18 April 2014

Good Friday: Dying before you die

In its initial moments resurrection is indistinguishable from death.
James Finlay

Thursday 17 April 2014

Relationships of resurrection…

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet.
John 13:5

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Finding Silence

Silence is the gateway to the soul and the soul is the gateway to God.   Abbot Christopher Jamieson

Tuesday 15 April 2014


If we drop into Silence for just a moment, we feel the presence of Silence as an invitation.
Robert Sardello

Monday 14 April 2014

Among the redwoods

Around me the trees stir
in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
Mary Oliver

Sunday 13 April 2014

Ontological space: poetry as a place of resurrection

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
Wendell Berry

Thursday 10 April 2014

Altered states

‘Lazarus, come out!’ 
John 11:43

Thursday 3 April 2014

Obedient to grace

I have come that they may have life, and fullness of life. Jesus

Thursday 27 March 2014

Lost and found

I and the Father are one (John 10:30)

Thursday 20 March 2014

The scent of resurrection

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

Thursday 13 March 2014

Surrender and resurrection

“Father! In your hands I place my spirit!”
Luke 23:46

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Lent 2014: Looking for the place of our resurrection

A quest in the journey through life. 
Verena Schiller

Thursday 27 February 2014

Allowing grace to bless us again

Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.
John 1:16

Thursday 13 February 2014

The endless fulfilling of all desires

God says I am the sovereign goodness of all things. 
Julian of Norwich

Thursday 6 February 2014

You are the body of Christ

You know that your bodies are parts of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:16

Thursday 30 January 2014

Jesus, the pulse of God

The Son is the image of the invisible God.
Colossians 1:15

Thursday 23 January 2014

Wide as the wind

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
Romans 8:38

Thursday 16 January 2014

Shine on me that I may shine

Stay with me, then I shall begin to shine as You shine;
to shine so as to be a light to others.
Cardinal Newman

Thursday 9 January 2014

Ring in, ring out

The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Alfred Tennyson

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Dec 24 Love: Sacred spaces

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

Monday 23 December 2013

Love: So near

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

Sunday 22 December 2013

Love: In action

And this will be the longest task: to attend,
to open myself.
The Other, Ruth Fainlight

Saturday 21 December 2013

Love: Is here

All mankind will see God's salvation.
Luke 3:6

Friday 20 December 2013

Love: Day-spring cheer

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Love: Yearning

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.
Psalm 42:1-2

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Sharing life

And why am I so blessed that the mother of my Lord visits me?

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Joy and Laughter: Anna

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

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Joy and Laughter: Simeon

God of mystery, God of glory, we will laugh with you.
Candles and Conifers, Ruth Burgess

Monday 16 December 2013

Joy and Laughter: The Shepherds

[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

Sunday 15 December 2013

Joy and Laughter: Elizabeth

I am born for the second time,
happiness of the world
came to me again.
My body effervesces.
Anna Swir

Saturday 14 December 2013

Joy and Laughter: John the Baptist

'.. the baby in my womb leaped for joy.'

Friday 13 December 2013

Joy and Laughter: Mary

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)

Thursday 12 December 2013

Dec 12 Power: Strong women and strong men

Mary and Elizabeth
Two strong women
Whose wombs
Carried two strong men
Joyce Rupp

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Dec 11 Power The awestruck angel

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

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Dec 10 Power: The place of deep meeting

Each reflects the other’s face
Till heaven in hers and earth in his
Shine steady there.
Annunciation, Edwin Muir

Monday 9 December 2013

Dec 9 Power: The sum of power

Aren't there annunciations
of one sort or another in most lives?
Denise Levertov

Sunday 8 December 2013

Dec 8 Power: Power of God hold us?

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

Saturday 7 December 2013

Dec 7 Power: Waiting is not powerless

Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.
Jane Kenyon

Friday 6 December 2013

Dec 6 Light: My own star?

'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

Thursday 5 December 2013

Dec 5 Light: Enough to take a step

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

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Out of darkness comes…

Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Dec 3 Light: Be present living Christ in us

The visible reminder of Invisible Light.
The Rock, T S Eliot

Monday 2 December 2013

Dec 2 Light: He will come, will come

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.

Rowan Williams

Sunday 1 December 2013

Dec 1 Light: In the darkness

The light shines in the darkness.
John 1

Thursday 28 November 2013

Advent 2013

To child is born to us!
A son is given to us!
Isaiah 9:6

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Wringing out the light

Whenever I stand in a field,
I have to wring out the light
when I get home.
St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday 21 November 2013

These islands

No man is an island.  John Donne

Thursday 14 November 2013

Something to wear as a buttonhole in heaven

Little Brown Jobs.  Definition (noun): Colloquial, generic term used by birders to describe small, difficult to identify birds such as relatively unremarkable sparrows.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Where am I?

The soul
could be happier anywhere than where it happens to be.
Roger McGough

Thursday 31 October 2013

The friend of guilt

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

Thursday 24 October 2013

The transcendent inside

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

Thursday 17 October 2013

The sleeping Jesus

the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Thursday 10 October 2013

The echo

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

Thursday 3 October 2013

The hero

We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19

Thursday 26 September 2013

A day of small things

Nothing is lost.  Nothing is so small
that it does not return.
Dana Giola

Thursday 19 September 2013


God has gifted Creation with everything that is necessary...Nothing that is necessary for life is lacking. 
Hildegard of Bingen

Thursday 12 September 2013

Miracles, wisdom and kindness

I know what everyone wants
is a miracle.
Mary Oliver

Thursday 5 September 2013

How are you?

We are both staring hard
At each other. He wants to know
Just where in this bright, blue-faced world
He might be safe.
Mary Oliver

Thursday 29 August 2013

God is…

I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.' 
Exodus 3

Thursday 22 August 2013

There is time left

The time will come when...
Mark 2:20

Thursday 15 August 2013

On the boundary

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering
Mary Oliver

Thursday 8 August 2013

Wave after wave

Love is patient.  1 Corinthians 13:4

Thursday 18 July 2013

Restored to a fully social being

Let us make mankind in our likeness. Genesis 1:26

Thursday 11 July 2013

Experience and argument

When you open up in silence to what is there, there is something that is there that is not yourself.
Rowan Williams

Thursday 4 July 2013

Aspects of love

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

Thursday 27 June 2013

An inner light even from a distance

So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday 20 June 2013

In front of our noses

He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near.
Acts 17:28, The Message

Thursday 13 June 2013

Human signs

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
(Colossians 1:15, NLT)

Thursday 30 May 2013

A time for love and hate

There is life without love.  It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. 
West Wind [2], Mary Oliver

Thursday 23 May 2013

A time for listening and speaking

"Watchin' and listenin' 's the thing at present ."
Magician 's Nephew, C S Lewis


Thursday 16 May 2013

A time to keep and to give

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

Thursday 9 May 2013

A time to embrace and to part

It's time the stone consented to bloom.
Paul Celan

Thursday 2 May 2013

A time to cry and to laugh

Weeping may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning. 
Psalm 30:5

Thursday 25 April 2013

A time to tear down and build up

Every week, a Sabbath rest when I release the world’s hold on me.
Christine Valters Paintner

Thursday 18 April 2013

A time to kill and heal

Is this the river of life
or death?  Both? Both.

Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 2002, VI

Sunday 31 March 2013

Lent:  Jesus

His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace.  Ephesians 2:15

Saturday 30 March 2013

Lent:  In between days

When hope has gone, when nothing happens, nothing changes.

Friday 29 March 2013

Lent: The thief on the cross

I promise you that today you will be with me in paradise.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Lent: Simon of Cyrene

Simon from Cyrene happened to be coming in from a farm, and they forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. Mark 15

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Lent: Herod

Men here have short attention spans.
They see something sparkly and they're off.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Lent: Pilate

Pilate spoke to them a third time, “But what crime has he done?" Luke 23:22

Monday 25 March 2013

Lent: Peter’s Betrayal

“You are one of them!” “No, I’m not!” Peter replied.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Lent: Women

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.

Thomas Merton

Monday 18 March 2013

Lent: An army officer

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.

Jane Kenyon

Thursday 14 March 2013

Lent: Rich and poor

Zacchaeus, hurry down! I want to stay with you today. (Luke 19:5)

Monday 11 March 2013

Lent: Children

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.


Thursday 7 March 2013

Lent: Mad men

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.

Monday 4 March 2013

Lent: Fishermen

Come with me.

Thursday 28 February 2013

Lent: What matters?

Distracted and thoughtless?

Monday 25 February 2013

Lent: Faith for geeks

Sheldon: I'm not insane, my mother had me tested! (from the Big Bang Theory)

Thursday 21 February 2013

Lent: Yearning for an ordinary life

Jesus said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’ Luke 8:48

Monday 18 February 2013

Lent: What happens when our last hope dies?

Who or what have I lost?

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Lent 2013: The inward and outward journeys

Relating is at the heart of what is redemptive, and what may bring about the transformation of the world.

Mary Grey

Thursday 7 February 2013

A time to plant and pluck

These opposites are the stuff of our life. 

Father Bede Griffiths


Thursday 24 January 2013

There is a time for birth and death

It is morning, afternoon or evening.


Thomas Merton 

Thursday 17 January 2013

A time and a place

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

Thursday 10 January 2013

Winter - Sweet darkness

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.

David Whyte

Thursday 20 December 2012

Advent 2012: Here and now we are one

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



Sunday 16 December 2012

Advent 2012: Yes

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.

Revelation 21:3

Sunday 9 December 2012

Advent 2012: The Light of God

Everything that was created
received its life from him,
and his life gave light
to everyone.

John 1, 3-4 CEV

Sunday 2 December 2012

Advent 2012: Matter matters

'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.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Advent 2012: Introduction

Weaving tunes, composing symphonies: The Sacred Story incorporates our own sacred stories.

Thursday 8 November 2012

Autumn - Down to earth

Always we begin again. (Rule of St. Benedict)


Thursday 1 November 2012

For all seasons

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.

Thursday 18 October 2012

No perfect structures, no perfect people

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)

Thursday 4 October 2012

Frail Bird

Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be

Mary Oliver, The Messenger

Thursday 20 September 2012

Beauty as sacrament

And God saw everything that he had made,
and behold it was very good (beautiful).

Thursday 6 September 2012

Suffering and Transformation

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

Sunday 2 September 2012

Beware of what you desire

You will hear of wars.

Thursday 23 August 2012

To feel ourselves beloved

If I have a faith that can move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 13

Thursday 9 August 2012

Love, beauty and suffering

Faith slips - and laughs, and rallies

Emily Dickinson, This World is not Conclusion

Thursday 26 July 2012

Call yourself alive?

Call yourself alive? Look, I promise you
that for the first time you’ll feel your pores opening
Temptation, Nina Cassian

Thursday 5 July 2012

An air of Lightness

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.
Anna Swir

Thursday 21 June 2012

A place in him that had been closed like a fist was opened

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

Thursday 7 June 2012

Washing them clean

Holy Spirit, giving life to all life,
moving all creatures...
awakening the heart
from its ancient sleep.
Hildegard of Bingen, Holy Spirit

Thursday 24 May 2012

Free for?

Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.
Galway Kinnell, Prayer

Thursday 17 May 2012

Enjoying your freedom

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

Thursday 3 May 2012

Pondering resurrection

We had hoped...they were so filled with joy and wonder.  (Luke 24)

Thursday 26 April 2012

Over, in and around

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

Friday 6 April 2012

Missing God

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

Thursday 5 April 2012

The death of a hero

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

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Turn back or Turn towards

Jesus, knowing by now everything that was coming down on him, went out and met them. John 18:3

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Manipulation versus Foot washing

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

Monday 2 April 2012

Souls unfolding

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

Friday 30 March 2012

Treasures in darkness

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

Thursday 29 March 2012

Things are not what they seem

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

Wednesday 28 March 2012

The turning point

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

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Deep questions

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

Monday 26 March 2012

Follow me

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

Friday 23 March 2012

Actions that speak louder than words

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

Thursday 22 March 2012

Life as we have never dreamed of

I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:10

Wednesday 21 March 2012

A divine comedy?

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

Tuesday 20 March 2012

This can’t be from God

"Obviously, this man can't be from God. He doesn't keep the Sabbath." John 9:16

Monday 19 March 2012

A rock-like response

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

Friday 16 March 2012

Seeing God, or not

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

Thursday 15 March 2012

Bless what you have

(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

Wednesday 14 March 2012

The plain truth

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

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Submission to deep longing, to truth

"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

Monday 12 March 2012

Two worlds

(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

Friday 9 March 2012

Good news

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

Thursday 8 March 2012

Have faith in me

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

Wednesday 7 March 2012

What is the Father doing?

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

Monday 5 March 2012

Pick up your mat and walk

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

Monday 5 March 2012

The notes meet, harmonious

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

Friday 2 March 2012

Hearing the groom’s voice

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

Thursday 1 March 2012


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

Wednesday 29 February 2012

I will build it again

"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

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Come with me

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

Monday 27 February 2012

Where do you live?

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

Friday 24 February 2012

I am, simply

Who are you then?... I am only someone shouting in the desert, 'Get the road ready for the Lord!' John 1:21,23

Thursday 23 February 2012

Lent: Light

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:4

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Lent 2012: Finding our story within Jesus’s story

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

Thursday 16 February 2012

Faith transitions: Journeying within Christ

In Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28

Thursday 2 February 2012

Faith transitions: Doors opening

Joy teaches him to rise, to stand and move out through the opening the light has made Sabbaths 2001, I. Wendell Berry

Thursday 19 January 2012

Faith transitions: Compass and rudder

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

Thursday 12 January 2012

Faith transitions: Secure and strange

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

Thursday 24 November 2011

Advent 2011: That we may be one

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

Thursday 17 November 2011

Faith transitions: Reading to Being Read

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

Thursday 3 November 2011

Faith transitions: Turning around yet one more time

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

Thursday 20 October 2011

Faith transitions: Deepening what we already have

I tell you, do not worry about your life Matthew 6:25

Thursday 6 October 2011

Faith transitions: Crossing threshold after threshold

It is morning, afternoon or evening. Begin A Book of Hours, Thomas Merton

Thursday 22 September 2011

Faith transitions: A fear of becoming

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”

Thursday 8 September 2011

Faith transitions: A grand sweep

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

Thursday 25 August 2011

Faith transitions:  Migrations

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

Thursday 11 August 2011

Faith transitions: Our comings and our goings

The Lord will guard your coming and your going both now and forever. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Wednesday 29 June 2011

The Everyday: Daily miracles

As to me I know of nothing else but miracles. Walt Whitman

Thursday 16 June 2011

The Everyday: LBJs

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Luke 12:6

Thursday 2 June 2011

The Everyday: Sleeping

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

Thursday 19 May 2011

The Everyday: Eating and the meal table

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!)

Thursday 5 May 2011

The Everyday: Sitting down

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

Sunday 24 April 2011

Holy Week: Give me your hand

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

Saturday 23 April 2011

Holy Week: Is God there? Is faith real?

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

Friday 22 April 2011

Holy Week: Where am I from?  Where am I going?

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

Thursday 21 April 2011

Holy Week: Who am I?

Who (be quiet) are you? In silence, Thomas Merton

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Holy Week: Do I matter?

A new life requires a death of some kind; otherwise it is nothing new, but a shuffling of the same deck. Source untraced

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Holy Week: Does putting other first really make a difference?

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

Monday 18 April 2011

Holy Week: Does the will of God mean life for me?

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

Sunday 17 April 2011

Lent: Loosening or tightening our grip

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

Saturday 16 April 2011

Lent: The lightest touch

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

Friday 15 April 2011

Lent: Consoling presence

“Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11: 32

Thursday 14 April 2011

Lent: Listen and Live

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

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Lent: The Shepherd revisited

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

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Lent: The seeing

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

Monday 11 April 2011

Lent: Christ, receptivity with persistence

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

Sunday 10 April 2011

Lent: Our status barometer

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1

Saturday 9 April 2011

Lent: A Given Life

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

Friday 8 April 2011

Lent: What me? Broken?

Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light. Anonymous

Thursday 7 April 2011

Lent: A Father and a Future

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

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Lent: I am the bread of life

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

Wednesday 6 April 2011

He’s dead

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

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Lent: The fountain within

Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt -- marvellous error! - that a spring was breaking out in my heart.  Antonio Machado

Monday 4 April 2011

Lent: Mary, receptivity with presence

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

Sunday 3 April 2011

Lent: Jesus hid himself

The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind Emily Dickinson

Saturday 2 April 2011

Lent: Who do you think you are?

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

Friday 1 April 2011

Lent: You belong, forever

You are the vastness into which you gaze. "Deep calls unto deep in the roar of your waters" Psalm 42:7

Thursday 31 March 2011

Lent: Coming and Going

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

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Lent: Jesus, Light of the World

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

Monday 28 March 2011

Lent: Simeon, receptivity with patience

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

Sunday 27 March 2011

Lent: Inspecting anger

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

Saturday 26 March 2011

Lent: Action and Authenticity

"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

Friday 25 March 2011

Lent: For whose glory?

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

Thursday 24 March 2011

Lent: Visions and Vision

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

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Lent: Lord, I will take up my mat

Lord, you have released me. With a word you have set me free and I am transformed. Jane Denniston

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Lent: Calling out faith in the hidden places

I have touched it (the Uncreated), it undoes me wider than wide. All things, Hadewijch II

Monday 21 March 2011

Lent: David, receptivity with penance

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

Sunday 20 March 2011

Lent: A word awaits you

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.

Saturday 19 March 2011

Lent: Walking through walls

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

Friday 18 March 2011

Lent: The journey of descent

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

Thursday 17 March 2011

Lent: Hide and Seek

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack, From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning, If I lack'd anything. George Herbert, Love III

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Lent: The gifts of life

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

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Lent: Weddings and temples

We see in this passage two very different and vivid pictures of Jesus.

Monday 14 March 2011

Lent: Receptivity

The single clenched fist lifted and ready Or the open asking hand held out and waiting. Choose: For we meet by one or the other. Choose, Carl Sandberg

Sunday 13 March 2011

Lent: Who have we written off?

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.

J.Philip Newell, Sounds of the Eternal, A Celtic Psalter

Saturday 12 March 2011

Lent: Come and see, taste and eat

“You must sit down,” says love, “and taste my meat.” So I did sit and eat.

George Herbert, Love (III)

Friday 11 March 2011

Lent: God’s own Lamb

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

Thursday 10 March 2011

Lent: Who are you?

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

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Lent: One with God

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

Thursday 3 March 2011

The Everyday: Seeing it differently

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

Thursday 17 February 2011

The Everyday: Ordinary human mode

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

Thursday 3 February 2011

The Everyday: The eucharist of the ordinary

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

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Pilgrim Stories: Blog launch

Halts for discoveries to be shared, Maps checked, notes compared. Today we launch a Pilgrim Stories blog.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

In suspense and incomplete

The mills of God grind slow, but they grind exceeding small. Winston Churchill

Thursday 13 January 2011

Absurdity and seeing things as they are

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

Thursday 6 January 2011

Courage and Dignity

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.

Terminus, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Wednesday 1 December 2010


We pause to allow Advent to take centre stage. A series of Advent readings and reflections are now available one per day, via the News section.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Growing down

Not even for a moment do things stand still – witness colour in the trees Seiju, 1776 aged 75

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Late afternoon to evening

Let the light of late afternoon shine through chinks in the barn, moving up the bales as the sun moves down. Let it come, as it will, and don't be afraid. God does not leave us comfortless, so let evening come. Jane Kenyon, Let Evening Come

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Let it happen to you: beauty and dread

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.

Rainer Maria Rilke, God speaks to each of us

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Just visiting?

By expenditure of hope, Intelligence, and work, You think you have it fixed. It is unfixed by rule. Within the darkness, all Is being changed, and you Also will be changed. Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 1988 VI

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Caught by a strange warmth and a crackling sound

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

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Let us play

Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. Psalm 43:4

Tuesday 19 October 2010

What am I supposed to be doing?

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. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there. Who says words with my mouth? Rumi

Tuesday 12 October 2010


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

e.e. cummings, I thank you God for most this amazing day

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Running and kneeling

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

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Our passions help to lift us

I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking: "Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night." Song of Solomon 5:2

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Lives marked by authenticity

Whatever happens to me in life, I must believe that somewhere in the mess or madness of it all, there is a sacred potential, a possibility for wondrous redemption in the embracing of all that is. Edwina Gateley, The Mystical Heart

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Benign yearning at the heart of the universe

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.

The inward stirring, Blessed John Ruysbroek, Flemish 14th century

Tuesday 7 September 2010

All our seeing rinsed and cleansed

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

Tuesday 31 August 2010

A word from the light, a flash from the dark

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

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Choosing a Way

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

Tuesday 17 August 2010

The Beginnings of Identity

I am so distant from the hope of myself, in which I have goodness, and discernment, and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often.

When I am among the trees. Mary Oliver, Thirst

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Identity and Expectations

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.

The Journey, Mary Oliver

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Dawn and a New Opening

It’s time. The air is ready. The sky has an opening. A piece of storm, Mark Strand

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Marking the Way

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

Monday 21 June 2010

You are lovely

The bud stands for all things, even those things that don't flower, for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing; though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness. St. Francis and the Sow, Galway Kinnell

Tuesday 15 June 2010

The Everday: Breathing

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

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Beauty and the obscured image

There was a time when meadow, grove and stream, The earth and every common sight, To me did seem Apparelled in celestial light, The glory and freshness of a dream. Intimations of Immortality, William Wordsworth

Saturday 12 June 2010

The Everyday: Gardening

The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1

Monday 7 June 2010

Pursued by symbols

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.' Matthew 18:2-3

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Journeying with Innocence and Imagination

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

Tuesday 25 May 2010

I’m not finished with my changes

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.

What to remember when waking, David Whyte

Tuesday 18 May 2010

And now with God’s help I shall become myself

You are not a troubled guest on this earth, you are not an accident amidst other accidents you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have emerged.

What to remember when waking, David Whyte

Monday 10 May 2010

I will never leave or forsake you

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

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Intimacy and Autonomy

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

Tuesday 27 April 2010

God is here to bless you

Welcome, Child of love, God is here to bless you. Celtic Daily Prayer, Dedication of a child

Tuesday 20 April 2010

New E-Reflection series:The Phases of Life

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*

Tuesday 13 April 2010

The Return to Wonder

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

Tuesday 6 April 2010

In defense of joy

We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.

A brief for the defense, Jack Gilbert (extract)

Tuesday 30 March 2010

One wild and precious life

Tell me, what is it you plan to do, with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

Wednesday 24 March 2010

All things are passing away

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.

Teresa of Avila, 16th C. Spanish saint

Wednesday 17 March 2010

The uncurling of the soul towards God

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

Tuesday 9 March 2010

The walk into darkness

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?

Tuesday 2 March 2010

The way was wholly lost

'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?

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Life is rarely lived in a straight line

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.

Monday 15 February 2010

What is our ending?

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)

Tuesday 9 February 2010

What is our beginning?

Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.

Friday 5 February 2010

Beginnings and endings: Day after day, everyday (Week 4)

Everything that happens
has happened before
and all that will be has already been –
God does everything
over and over again. (Ecclesiastes 3:15)

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Beginnings and endings: A comment on Haiti (Week 3)

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)

Sunday 17 January 2010

Beginnings and endings: The tremor of danger and the sense of promise (Week 2)

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)

Thursday 7 January 2010

Beginnings and endings (Week 1)

They returned to their country by another route. (Matthew 2:12)

Thursday 31 December 2009

E-Reflections: Introduction

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.

Thursday 1 January 2009

Test e-reflection

This is a test entry.

Thursday 24 January 2008

Breathing just a little?

I have come to give you life, and life eternal. Jesus

Sunday 11 February 2007

Love him in the world of the flesh

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

Wednesday 24 January 2007

Part and parcel

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -- over and over announcing your place in the family of things. Wild Geese, Mary Oliver

Wednesday 24 January 2007

Unity at the heart of life

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

Sunday 21 January 2007

Life smooths us

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

Sunday 22 February 1970

Lent: The end of our life is God

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

Wednesday 31 December 1969

Breathing deeply and slowly

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

Wednesday 31 December 1969

Nature and the eddies of the mind

The land’s patience and a tree’s knotted endurance Peasant greeting, RS Thomas

Wednesday 31 December 1969

Stripped of selfishness

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

Tuesday 15 October 1968

If I can stop one heart from breaking

If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain: If I can ease one life the aching Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. Emily Dickinson

Monday 2 September 1968

Clutching the sky’s sheets

When He touches me I clutch the sky’s sheets, the way other lovers do The sky’s sheets, Saint Teresa of Avila

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