The only thing to remember about prayer is to begin where you are. (Thomas Merton)

Deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie - I found that out. (Mark Twain)

If governments knew how subversive contemplative prayer is, they would ban it. (Desmond Tutu)

Pray as you can, not as you can't. (Father Ted King, Dean Emeritus of Cape Town)

So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray. (Mary Oliver)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

A happiness weapon


"Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air - explode softly - and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth - boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn't go cheap, either - not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with their imagination." 
I know everyone says that this sort of idea is sweet but fanciful. It would never work. The question remains, however, has it ever been tried? And if not, why not?

UPDATE: Here's something Thomas Merton said that seems to go along with the Fulghum passage:
"War represents a vice that mankind would like to get rid of but which it cannot do without. Man is like an alcoholic who knows that drink will destroy him but who always has a reason for drinking. So with war."
Something to think about as events on the world stage are worryingly getting more and more tense.
~~~

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

All sufficient


I want to share with you a few verses from Genesis, chapter 49:
22 Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.

23 With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.

24 But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

25 because of your father's God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty, who blesses you
with blessings of the heavens above,
blessings of the deep that lies below,
blessings of the breast and womb.
Perhaps you have heard the Hebrew words "El Shaddai" before -- maybe because of the Amy Grant song by that title. The usual translation is "Almighty God" but "shaddai" also means "all sufficient" and it is from a root that means "breast". God nurtures us as a mother nurtures her newborn.

One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 131 which contains these words:
But I still my soul and make it quiet
Like a child on its mother's breast.
My soul is quieted within me.
Let us rest on the breast of God. Let us be nurtured by the breast of God.
~~~

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The greatest adventure

(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

People tend not to believe this if they haven't tried it:
"Contemplative prayer is the world in which God can do anything. To move into that realm is the greatest adventure."
 -- Thomas Keating 
 ~~~