A sacred place for worship and reflection for both the Jersey City and Saint Peter’s University communities.

Faithful love

Posted on November 22nd, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

FAITHFUL LOVE

 

There are days when I reflect

upon the moments of my history

and I taste satisfied fragrance,

like a well-aged bottle of wine.

 

It is easy then to ponder

the beauty of Isaiah’s God:

holding me in tender arms,

etching my name on divine palms.

 

There are other long-spent days

when I chew upon my memories,

only to taste the dry crumbs

of stale and molded bread.

 

How difficult then to perceive

the steadfast love of God;

How empty then is my longing

for a sense of divine embrace.

 

There are yet other days

when I sit at a great distance,

looking at the life that is mine;

threading the loom of my past

with a deep belief in faithfulness.

 

It is then that I see how fidelity

has little to do with fine feelings,

and everything to do with deep trust,

believing the One who holds me in joy

will never let go when sorrow sets in.

 

JOYCE RUPP

Batter my heart

Posted on November 15th, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

BATTER MY HEART

 

Batter my heart, three-person’d God; for You

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your forces to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

I, like an usurp’d town, to another due

Labour to admit You, but O, to no end;

Reason, Your viceroy in me, me should defend,

But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,

But am betrothed unto Your enemy;

Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,

Take me to You, imprison me, for I

Except You enthral me, never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except You ravish me.

 

JOHN DONNE

MULTI-CULTURAL VESPERS

Posted on November 10th, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

To mark the feast of Christ the King, Archbishop Hebda will preside at a multi-cultural service of Vespers, which will take place in St Aedan’s Church on Sunday, 23 November, at 3:00pm.  Everyone is welcome.

Show me your face, O God

Posted on November 8th, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

SHOW ME YOUR FACE, O GOD / Psalm 61

 

At land’s end, end of tether

where the sea turns in sleep

ponderous, menacing

and my spirit fails and runs

landward, seaward, askelter

I pray you

make new

this hireling heart

O

turn your face to me

-winged, majestic, angelic-

tireless,

 

a tide

 

my prayer goest up-

show me your face, 0 God!

 

-DANIEL BERRIGAN, S.J.

Jesus, the world’s true sun

Posted on November 2nd, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

Lord Jesus Christ,

the world’s true sun,

ever rising, never setting,

whose life-giving warmth

engenders, preserves,

nourishes and gladdens

all things in heaven and on earth:

shine in my soul I pray,

scatter the night of sin,

and the clouds of error.

Blaze within me,

that I may go my way without stumbling,

taking no part in the shameful deeds

of those who wander in the dark,

but all my life long

walking as one native to the light.

 

DESIDERIUS ERASMUS

IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Posted on October 25th, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

The meaning of having been created in the image

of God is veiled in a mystery. It is impossible to say

exactly what it means to have been created in the

image of God. Perhaps we may surmise the intention

was for man to be a witness for God, a symbol of

God. Looking at man, one should be able to sense the

presence of God. But instead of living as a witness,

man, in so many ways, has become an imposter;

instead of becoming a symbol, he became an idol. In

man’s presumption he has developed a false sense of

sovereignty which fills the world with terror.

 

RABBI ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL

HEAR, O ISRAEL

Posted on October 18th, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

HEAR, O ISRAEL

 

Hear 0 Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.

Praised be His glorious sovereignty throughout all time.

Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all

your soul, with all your might. And these words which

I command you this day you shall take to heart. You

shall diligently teach them to your children. You shall

recite them at home and away, morning and night.

You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, they

shall be a reminder above your eyes, and you shall

inscribe them upon the doorposts of your homes and

upon your gates.

 

DEUTERONOMY 6:4-9

 

 

The twice-daily recitation of the “Sh’ma” is one of the fundamental elements of Jewish worship. Its recitation is an affirmation of the unity of God and a reminder lovingly to infuse one’s life, in all its aspects, with God’s word.

GOD’S GRANDEUR

Posted on October 11th, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

GOD’S GRANDEUR

 

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

 

And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs-

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah’ bright wings.

 

GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS, S]

Discernment

Posted on October 4th, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

DISCERNMENT

 

Discernment is the process of making choices, from within the context of faith, between competing alternatives that seem good. For St. Ignatius, the process involves prayer, reflection and openness to the advice of others. While the rational consideration of pros and cons is important, special attention is paid to the movements of various spirits as experienced in one’s feelings, emotions, and fundamental desires. Do they lead toward God or away from God?

 

For Ignatius, a prerequisite for good discernment is freedom from attachments to all things, except of course, to God. To what are you attached? Consider all the “things,” desires and assumptions that shape your life today or your ambitions for tomorrow. But consider also how attached you are to the “world” which your imagination constructs, or to your imagined “self’ — your ideas, your worldviews, your ambitions and dreams. How do these “attachments” cloud your judgment as you try to make the choices that keep you on the path to God?

THE FOCUS OF PRAYER

Posted on September 28th, 2014 by Rev. John Hyatt, S.J.

The focus of prayer is not the self. A man may
spend hours meditating about himself, or be stirred by
the deepest sympathy for his fellow man, and no prayer
will come to pass. Prayer comes to pass in a complete
turning of the heart toward God, toward His goodness
and power. It is the momentary disregard of one’s per-
sonal concerns, the absence of self-centered thoughts,
which constitute the art of prayer. Feeling becomes
prayer in the moment in which one forgets oneself and
becomes aware of God. When we analyze the con-
sciousness of a supplicant, we discover that it is not
concentrated upon his own interests, but on something
beyond the self. The thought of personal need is absent,
and the thought of divine grace alone is present in his
mind. Thus, in beseeching Him for bread, there is one
instant, at least, in which the mind is directed neither to
one’s hunger nor to food, but to His mercy. This instant
is prayer.

In prayer we shift the center of living from self-
consciousness to self-surrender. God is the center
toward which all forces tend. He is the source, and we
are the flowing of His force, the ebb and flow of
His tides.

 

RABBI ABRAHAM ]OSHUA HESCHEL

 

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1901-1972), educated in Germany, emigrated to the United States in 1940, fleeing Nazi persecution. His religious philosophy brings together traditional Jewish texts and modern questions to explore the reality underlying religion, including the living and dynamic relationship between God and humanity.