Contemplative prayer is essentially a prayer of silence. There are many helpful methods suggested by many writers for ways to enter into this prayer of silence. When all is said and done, the goal is simple: to bring mind and body to stillness so that the divine seed resting in the center of our very being can come to fullness in the silence of our waiting emptiness. As we allow ourselves to BE in the silence, returning gently and firmly to the place of solitude and silence when distractions would pull us away, the mysterious work of spiritual transformation slowly but surely takes place. Transformation, simply stated, is to be moved from where we are to where we might not otherwise go ... to a place we do not know. This is subtle, imperceptible, but so real that, without knowing it, we are different. Contemplative prayer is the growing of the God-given capacity for Communion with God. When you pray, go to your room ... close the door.... pray to God in solitude and silence.
To be people of peace and justice we must first be people of prayer. Our Constitutions say; “Recognizing gospel peace as both gift and task, we believe that prayer is fundamental to our life. Our intimacy with God unifies our prayer and activity, so that we are moved to action by prayer while action urges us to pray.” (Constitution 28) The work for peace calls us to be rooted in God, the source of our peace, for it is only when we come from that source that we are able to sustain our efforts for justice. It is our intimacy with God that compels us to strive to alleviate the poverty and oppression of people. “The weight of suffering and oppression borne by so many people today, especially those who are economically poor, cries out to us for action. Our response demands a firm commitment to work for justice in solidarity with our sisters and brothers.” (Constitution 21) Read more ...
You who are peace for us
came among us into such trouble,
into the Emperor's world of calculations,
straight roads, good money, crucifixions.
You who are peace for us
came among us into a conquered people,
unfashionable stubborn believers
in the promise and the Word.
You came to a serving woman,
who trusted the impossible promise
you who are peace for us
would bring to birth in her,
You came naked and helpless,
you who are peace for us,
asking us to hold you, feed you,
asking us to help you grow
You ask us now to help you
to make a place for you
who are peace for us
among our tangles riches,
our politics, anger and fear,
to be the womb that holds you,
to be the milk that feeds you,
to be peace for you.
My sunhouse is safe
Several elevations above sea level
in St. Beunos Spirituality Centre.
Below the distant fields are awash
from December's incessant rains
Few animals to be seen – the land is bogland.
Contrast the fields above me –
Cattle and sheep grazing in lush pasture as if mid May
Incredible sun ablaze, with warmth too
Most trees bare except for verdant evergreens
Some like Christmas trees shining, twinkling
tall and straight
Others bent and twisted and ageing
Lawns with pleasant smell of dewy grass.
Have to keep reminding myself it is mid January!
Could Spring be mistaken in its leap forward
even if not total in its tumultuous spring-ness?
Daffodils, primroses, daisies, bluebells, buttercups
all adorned in their beauty
While I patiently wait for sleepy snowdrop to appear.
Here in my sunhouse
Peace, Serenity, Stillness, Freedom abound.
Thrush, blackbird, seagull announce their presence
peeping through my windows
Squirrels pose for my attention and food
Even a wasp and butterfly pay a visit to my still centre
Busy A55 Road less than a mile away, yet all is calm.
To my left the Rock Chapel
now with its beautiful stain-glass windows
A gem, saturated in prayer by pilgrims in their thousands.
In the distance my eyes
soak in the exquisite grandeur of snow capped – Snowdon
Together with Llandudno Pier
Reflecting the glory of creation and their Creator
The sea water smooth as polished glass
completes the breath-taking panoramic view
Reminding me of John Masefield's "Seafever"
How can anyone be so blessed
Seeing from here the grandeur of God's Creation
No wonder the Jesuit Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins
could not put down his quill
As I walk my daily path and ponder, leaning on my stick
Walking the labyrinth, carrying you in my heart
I relish the sacredness of this blessed place
The many footsteps of people who have walked this ground
before time began – a history only God knows.
You call my name.
A gentle whisper.
A quiet sigh.
The caress of breeze.
The warmth of sun.
You take my hand.
You lead me on.
You guide my way.
Your heart beats with mine
There is an ancient saying, "When you run out of water, you run out of life." All life came from water. All life depends on water. The water that flows around, over and through Earth is the same water that existed on the planet in the very beginning. This same water has embodied the sacred dynamic that, in an over four billion year process, has brought forth and sustained people and puppies, daffodils and dolphins, maples and mosquitoes.
No wonder all religions understand water as holy. Hindus engage in a holy bathing in the Ganges River. Muslims, in their sacred pilgrimage to Mecca, drink from Hagar's well. Shintoists, have a purification water bowl at the entrance to their shrines. Indigenous peoples, throughout the world, perceive rivers, lakes and oceans as Mother Earth's arterial system pumping life and vitality throughout the planet.
No wonder that water is the element mentioned most frequently in the Bible. The Spirit breathes on the water that brings forth life. The prophets proclaim the life giving power of water. Jesus baptized in the flowing waters of the Jordan. Jesus speaks of "living water." Jesus preaches and heals by water.
No wonder that so many people of faith are opposing movements trying to reduce water to a commodity to be sold for the highest price. No wonder that groups and communities are resisting privatization of water. No wonder we do not drink bottled water. No wonder we do not allow transnational corporations to take control of our municipal water system.
Water is sacred. Water is life.
"So yes, we are forever beginning, and the best we can do is be very grateful that each new beginning is one more chance to grow. "
Margaret Byrne, CSJP