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)

Friday, 5 April 2013

Something Merton said

I love this. And I love Merton's allusion to Gerard Manley Hopkins, too.
By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet. 
 - Thomas Merton

Monday, 4 March 2013

A great truth

This is not overly "religious" in one sense. In another sense it is profoundly so.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A question worth pondering

"What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous." 

 ~ Thomas Merton

Monday, 4 February 2013

A wonderful writer explains compassion

I've said before on various online locations how much I value the writings of Frederick Buechner (pronounced beak-ner). I offer the following today:
"Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it's like to live inside somebody else's skin.
"It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too."
Interestingly, this is the same principle as the Bodhisattva ideal in Buddhism.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Wonderfully expressed

What is contemplation?

"Seeing God in everything and everything in God with completely extraordinary clearness and delicacy." 

~ Marie of the Incarnation


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Being humbled before mystery

I am so very, very grateful for the ministry of Richar Rohr:

“People who’ve had any genuine spiritual experience always know that they don’t know. They are utterly humbled before mystery. They are in awe before the abyss of it all, in wonder at eternity and depth, and a Love, which is incomprehensible to the mind.” 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Holy Name

And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb.
--Luke 2:21
Some years ago on the Feast of the Holy Name , I happened to find an article on the CNN website about baby name remorse. That's right. Sometimes parents name a baby and then change their minds. Going through all the legal hassle of assigning the name they finally decide on can be quite an enterprise. There was no question, however, about the name of Jesus. It means "the Lord is salvation". How wonderful. Like many of you, I'm sure, I grew up with the custom of bowing my head slightly at the name of Jesus - especially during the creed. Here's something I just found out:
The custom of bowing the head at the mention of His Name was formally written into law at the Second Council of Lyons, A.D. 1274, convened by Pope Gregory X: "Those who assemble in church should extol with an act of special reverence that Name which is above every Name, than which no other under Heaven has been given to people, in which believers must be saved, the Name, that is, of Jesus Christ, Who will save His people from their sins. Each should fulfil in himself that which is written for all, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious Name is recalled, especially during the sacred Mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head."
Here's something else worth reminding ourselves about:
The IHS monogram is an abbreviation or shortening of Jesus' name in Greek to the first three letters. Thus ΙΗΣΟΥΣ, ιησυς (iēsus, "Jesus"), is shortened to ΙΗΣ (iota-eta-sigma), sometimes transliterated into Latin or English characters as IHS or ΙΗC.
And, remember, in ancient times it was strongly believed that to know someone's true name gave you access to that person's nature and power. Let us honor this name and cultivate genuine devotion to it - today and always.