I am surprised that I am beginning to pray daily. I
began because I had to. I just found myself praying. I
can’t get down on my knees, but I can pray while
I am walking.
If I get down on my knees I think, “Do
I really believe? Whom am I praying to?” And a
terrible doubt comes over me, and a sense of shame,
and I wonder if I am praying because I am lonely,
because I am unhappy ….
But, I reason with myself, I am praying because
I am happy, not because I am unhappy. I did not turn
to God in unhappiness, in grief, in despair – to
get consolation, to get something from God. And
encouraged that I am praying because I want to
thank God, I go on praying.
No matter how dull the
day, how long the walk seems, if I feel low at the
beginning of the walk, the words I have been saying
have insinuated themselves into my heart before I
have done, so that on the trip back I neither pray nor
think but am filled with exultation … .It is so hard to
say how this delight in prayer has been growing on
Two years ago, I was saying as I planted seeds in
the garden, “I must believe in these seeds, that they
fall into the earth and grow into flowers and radishes
and beans. It is a miracle to me because I do not
understand it. The very fact that they use glib tech-
nical phrases does not make it any the less a miracle,
and a miracle we all accept. Then why not accept
You, neighbor God, if sometimes in the night
I rouse you with loud knocking, I do so
only because I seldom hear you breathe;
And I know: you are alone.
And should you need a drink, no one is there
to reach it to you, groping in the dark.
Always I harken. Give but a small sign.
I am quite near.
Between us there is but a narrow wall,
and by sheer chance; for it would take
merely a call from your lips or from mine
to break it down,
and that without a sound.
The wall is builded of your images.
They stand before you hiding you like names.
And when the light with me blazes high
that in my inmost soul I know you by,
the radiance is squandered on their frames.
And then my senses, which too soon grow lame,
exiled from you, must go their homeless ways.
RAINER MARIA RILKE
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) was a German lyric poet who wrote works heavily influenced by mysticism.
Oh Mother, You are present in every form;
You are in the entire universe
and in its tiniest and most trifling things.
Wherever I go and wherever I look,
I see you, 0 Mother, present in your cosmic form.
The whole world – earth, fire, water, air -
All are your forms, Mother,
the whole world of birth and death.
Mountains, plants, animals living on land and in the water,
All moving and unmoving beings in this beautiful world
are full of Divine will, says Prasad.
Ramprasad, an 18th century Bengali poet-saint, addressed God as his own Mother. He had a vivid sense of God’s enormous power and universal presence.
What I want to achieve—
what I have been striving and pining to achieve these thirty years—
is self-realization, to see God face to face, to attain Liberation.
I live and move and have my being in pursuit of this goal.
All that I do by way of speaking and writing,
and all my ventures in the political field,
are directed to this same end.
I worship God as Truth only.
I have not yet found God, but I am seeking after God …
Often in my progress I have faint glimpses of the Absolute Truth, God.
Daily the conviction is growing upon me
that God alone is real and all else unreal.
MOHANDAS K. GANDHI
Attention — all Catholics from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. You are always welcome in our parish church, and we invite you to the NOVENA OF OUR LADY OF VAILANKANNI, which will begin on Saturday, 30 August, and will take place every night at 7:00pm, until it concludes with a special Mass on Sunday, 7 September, at 7:00 pm. Please make your plans now and tell others
IN MY SOUL
RABIA OF BASRA
SUFI (C. 717-801)
In my soul
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church
where I kneel.
Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or
Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is
where ecstasy gets poured in itself
and becomes lost,
where the wing is fully alive
but has no mind or body?
In my soul
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church
that dissolve, that dissolve
This Thursday, 31 July, is the feast day of St Ignatius Loyola, the 16th century Spanish mystic and visionary who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The University will celebrate in St Aedan’s, the University Church, with a special Mass at 12:10 pm, followed by a festive barbecue in the church yard.
God is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
His light may be compared to a niche in which is a lamp,
the lamp in a glass,
the glass as it were a glittering star kindled from a Blessed tree,
an olive that is neither of the East nor of the West
whose oil would almost shine forth though no fire touches it.
Light upon light, God guides to His light whom He will.
God speaks in metaphors to me.
God has knowledge of all things.
QUR’ AN 24:35
The Qur’an is the complete compilation of the Prophet Muhammad’s (d.632) revelations from the One God.
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brindled cow;
all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced –
fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; a dazzle, dim;
He fathers – forth whose beauty is past change:
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS, S]
This phrase sums up Ignatian spirituality. Ignatius experienced every circumstance of his life as an encounter with God acting for him in his life. As heirs to the Ignatian tradition we are invited to pay attention with clear eyes to reality and engage it as it is, here and now. We must see, hear, and feel reality in all its particularities and show it reverence because it is an expression of an Absolute creative and sustaining love for us. As we allow our hearts to be touched by this love we experience faith as a living reality, our trust finds its steady ground, and we discover the courage to explore courageously the mystery of creation.
Thus, for Ignatius, to know the world better is to know God better. This is why education at Saint Peter’s eagerly embraces all intellectual disciplines. Truth is found not just in the sciences, but in theater, literature, music, history, art, economics, dance, philosophy, and theology. Because these things deepen our humanity, we participate more fully in the divine who embraced our human experience to its fullest.
Ignatius saw no contradiction between human knowledge and faith. If there seems to be from time to time, it’s a matter of our failure to understand, to probe deeply enough for the truth, and is, finally, a call to greater research and prayer.