9 March 2011
Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-4
For prayer and reflection…
Breathe into me, Spirit of God,
That I may think what is holy.
Drive me, Spirit of God,
That I may do what is holy.
Draw me, Spirit of God,
That I may love what is holy.
Strengthen me, Spirit of God,
That I may preserve what is holy.
Guide me, Spirit of God,
That I may never lose what is holy.
16 March 2011
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you... So Abram went, as the Lord had told him. Genesis 12:1,4
When we move with poetry and the imagination,
when we deal with symbols and images,
we become people
who are happy with mystery
and open to discovery.
To deepen the mystery,
to embrace complexity is risky.
We need to have courage
enough to be ready for an unveiling
which can be a startling process.
Rowan Williams ‘New words for God, Contemplation and Religious Writing’
23 March 2011
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” John 4:1-10
The faith of the other is a gift of God, even if I don’t really understand that gift and it remains a mystery to me. This gift given to the other is also in a certain way a gift given to me.
Christian de Chergé, prior of Our Lady of Atlas Monastery in Tibherine, Algeria
30 March 2011
John 9:6-7, 11, 15
Jesus spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.
The man answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’
Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.”
There is in all visible things
an invisible fecundity,
a dimmed light,
a hidden wholeness...
There is in all things
an inexhaustible sweetness and purity,
a silence that is a fountain of action and of joy.
It rises up in wordless gentleness
and flows out to me
from the unseen roots of all created being.
John Howard Griffin 'A Hidden Wholeness, The Visual World of Thomas Merton'
6 April 2011
Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:43-44
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
To allow my living to open me,
To make me less afraid, more accessible
To loosen my heart until it
becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
To live so that which came to me as seed
Goes to the next as blossom
And that which came to me as blossom
Goes on as fruit.
Dawna Markova ‘I will not die an unlived life’
13 April 2011
Jesus threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.” Matthew 26:39-46
Our days are divided up between moments when we are big-hearted, generous, hospitable, unafraid, wanting to embrace everyone - and those moments when we are petty, over-aware of the unfairness of life, frightened, and seeking only to protect ourselves. Ronald Rolheiser OMI
20 April 2011
The angels said to Mary, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). John 20: 13-16
For prayer and reflection…
My back is turned to him,
I have been told that he forgives me,
but I will not turn
and have the forgiveness,
even though I feel the eyes on my back.
But God does not give up:
for he takes my head between his hands
and turns my face to make me smile at him.
He has taken a pair of human hands
with which to turn our stiff-necked heads,
and bring our eyebeams
into line with his own.
4 May 2011
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. Luke 24: 13-16
...how does one enter into that sense of God being there, right before us, loving and acting in the universe at every moment? [Thomas] Merton spoke of what the unique moment meant for him as 'the sense of water on the skin'. The Benedictine vow of stability, by which he lived when he became a Trappist monk in 1941 in Kentucky, helped him here since it gave him the anchor which his earlier wandering and rootless life had lacked. For stability means not only geographical stability of place, but even more profoundly the inner stability of heart and mind, which brings the strength to resist the allurement of turning from the reality of the present by escaping into dreams, fantasies of past or future. Esther de Waal ‘Lost in Wonder’
11 May 2011
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
Thus our tribulation, without ceasing to be tribulation, is transformed. We suffer as we suffered before, but our suffering is no longer a passive perplexity but is transformed into a pain which is creative, fruitful, full of power and promise. The road which was impassable has been made known to us in the crucified and risen Lord. Karl Barth
18 May 2011
Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3
You must not think that he means by this a room with four walls separating you physically from others, but the room that is within you, where your thoughts are shut up, the room that contains your feelings. This room of prayer is with you at all time, wherever you go it is a secret place and what happens there is witnessed by God alone. St Ambrose