Thursday, 11 December 2014


Ministry means the ongoing attempt to put one's own search for God, with all the moments of pain and joy, despair and hope, at the disposal of those who want to join this search but do not know how.
Henri Nouwen

Thursday, 20 November 2014


We see things not the way they are, but the way we are.
The Talmud
H/t to Quinncreative

Monday, 17 November 2014

What to do about wickedness

Flee from wicked practices; better yet, preach a sermon about them. 

Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to Polycarp 5.1

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The glory of God

For the glory of God is a living human being;  and life for a human consists in beholding God. (Gloria enim Dei vivens homo: vita autem hominis visio Dei)

Irenaeus, from Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies), 4. 34. 5-7.

Friday, 17 October 2014

A long look at God

Give a long level look at God across the fens and the wolds. God is all and everything else is nothing.

Janet Stuart, with thanks to Silvana at  All This Life And Heaven Too

Monday, 13 October 2014

When all is not going well...

My pattern of bright stars on the floor of heaven did not seem to be shaping well. 
Ralph Richardson 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A second universe

Understand that you have within yourself, upon a small scale, a second universe: within you there is a Sun, there is a Moon, and there are also stars

Origen, Homilies on Leviticus v, 2, ed. WA Baehrens, Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftseller, vol 29 (Leipzig, 1920) p336

Friday, 3 October 2014

Image of God

Invariably we create a God in our own image.
Because we do not love him very much, we are led to think he does not love us much.Because we do not worry much about him, we imagine that he does not worry very much about us.Because we are not very happy with him, we conclude that is not very happy with us.

Gerard Hughes

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Does this count as Agere Contra?

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.

Elizabeth Taylor

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Being seen

The way I most often express it is that there comes a level of prayer where it is no longer a question of ‘are you seeing something?’ but ‘are you being seen?’ – if you like, sitting in the light and of just being and becoming who you really are.
Rowan Williams

Monday, 15 September 2014

Coffee spoons revisited

Not such a bad thing...?

Each pause can be a blessing moment. Sometimes all we need is a freshly brewed cup of coffee. I have often observed people, including myself, chasing coffee cups around all morning - microwaving the coffee again and again and perhaps never really tasting it. Brewing a fresh cup of coffee and attending to it with the kind of presence that allows you to truly taste it is an act of mindfulness and a very good prayer. Thus on some days this kind of morning prayer might be something to consider: a cup of coffee with a moment of interior quiet, or a cup shared...

Sr Macrina Wiederkehr, even acred Pauses - Living Mindfully
Through the Hours of the Day. Notre Dame, IN: Sorin Books, pp 76-77

Friday, 12 September 2014

All alone in desolation

late 14c., "action of laying waste," also "sorrow, grief," from O.Fr. desolacion (12c.) "desolation, devastation, hopelessness, despair," from Church L. desolationem (nom. desolatio), noun of action from pp. stem of desolare (see desolate). Meaning "condition of being ruined or wasted" is from early 15c. desolate (adj.)  Desolate: mid-14c., "without companions," also "uninhabited," from L. desolatus, pp. of desolare "leave alone, desert," from de- "completely" (see de-) + solare "make lonely," from solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). Sense of "joyless" is 15c. As a verb, from late 14c. 
Online Etymology Dictionary

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The silliness of consolation

late 14c., "act of consoling," from O.Fr. consolacion (11c., Mod.Fr. consolation) "solace, comfort; delight, pleasure," from L. consolationem (nom. consolatio-) "consoling, comforting," noun of action from consolat-, pp. stem of consolari. solace (n.) "comfort, consolation," late 13c., from O.Fr. solas, from L. solacium, from solatus, pp. of solari "to console, soothe," from PIE root *sel- "of good mood, to favor" (cf. Gk. hilaros "merry," O.E. gesælig "happy;" see silly). 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Needing a Mother

In Mary, as figure and archetype, the Church again finds her own visage as Mother and cannot degenerate into the complexity of a party, an organization or a pressure group in the service of human interests, even the noblest. If Mary no longer finds a place in many theologies and ecclesiologies, the reason is obvious: they have reduced faith to an abstraction. And an abstraction does not need a Mother.  

Pope Benedict XVI, The Ratzinger Report, Ignatius Press, 1985.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Cupcakes are back!

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What the world needs

Don't ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive

Howard Thurman

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Unintellectual salvation?

There will always be a tendency, more marked in transitional times, for Christians to demand a faith free from the trammels of theology, the processes, star-led and camel-borne, of the human reason. But an unintellectual salvation means an unsaved intellect.

Ronald Knox - quoted by Allan Ronald in a comment on iBenedictines on 28.1.14

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Water that nourishes

Prayer is not only the breath of the soul ... it is also the oasis of peace from which we can draw the water that nourishes our spiritual life and transforms our existence.
Pope Benedict

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Whispering the song

The Logos, the Word... that informs the cosmos - all things great and small - is still spoken in sparrow song, wind sigh and leaf fall... The ocean still whispers the song that originated with the Big Bang. 

Sam Keen, In The Absence Of God (Harmony, 2010) p74. Quoted by  Brian McLaren in Naked Spirituality

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Courageous prayer

How do we pray? Do we pray piously and calmly out of habit or do we place ourselves courageously before the Lord to ask for grace, to ask for what we are praying for? Prayer that is not courageous is not real prayer.
Pope Francis, homily at Mass 10.10.13

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Asking of God

You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.
St Teresa of Avila

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Thank you

If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you’, that would suffice.
Meister Eckhart