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Let your light shine!!!

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In today's Gospel, Jesus teaches. There are crowds listening to him as he teaches about discipleship. What he says is challenging and demanding. Being his disciple is hard, but it is not impossible. Today, these words may give heart to struggling disciples ...                                                                                                                         ... let your light shine. More than once in John's Gospel, Jesus declares: ' I am the light of the world'. Here, Jesus declares: ' You are the light of the world'. That's us - we are the light of the world! Listen to what he says next. He encourages those who hear him to 'let your light shine'. Listen to what Jesus doesn't say. Jesus doesn't say: when you feel you are ... bright enough, strong enough, brave enough, confident enough, gifted enough, ready enough ... let

Pointers to God

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This beauty is ridiculous! This detail! This is just one flower from a horse chestnut tree 'candle'      ~ c andles are the flowers that appear at this time of year and cover the tree ~ there must be at least 25 of these on each candle.   God is an artist - and an amazing one! God is in the details. So many pointers to God!   How should tasting, touching, hearing, seeing, breathing any Lifted from the no of all nothing Human merely being doubt unimaginable You? Now the ears of my ears awake And now the eyes of my eyes are opened ~ ee cummings #GodIsAnArtist #TheWorldIsMyCloister #IMetGodToday

'God is Love' ... Here endeth the lesson!

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'God is love'  This is what St John writes in 1 John 4:8.  Just three words but they say everything.  John continues to write about God's love for us, rather than write about our love for God.      God is love      ~ Just three words.      God loves us      ~ Just three more. What more can be said? Nothing more needs to be said! If we can rest in these words, if we can believe them, if we can live from them ...  ... knowing we are loved by God. Everything else falls into place -  surely and simply       God is love and God loves us           Here endeth the lesson!  

Quench that Dark Fire

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Winter is not letting go of life easily this year. In the wake of its death throes, we are showered with hail, sleet, even snow – in temperate Ireland in April – and cutting winds too. But, Spring is taking hold, irrepressibly: buds bursting, trees greening, flowers unfolding their colours, birds ever-more-insistently singing. Like old hatred that burns high, easily kindled,       Winter is fighting back, biting back, at signs that its time is past. But as love is stronger than hate,       Spring cannot, will not, be stopped. Light will come, days grow longer. Resurrection is fact. Death and hate have no place in a resurrected world. Life, light, love, peace, unity will reign in God’s space. In ours’ too we hope. Quench that dark fire      for the Light that cannot go out. Jesus is still risen. Death has been defeated.      

A Burning Heart

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Emmaus  “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:13-25) Where will you meet the Risen Lord today ... look for Him, listen for Him, be surprised by His presence! He is risen! He is still risen! Watch for Him on the road! Feel your heart on fire! Emmaus is everywhere. All roads lead to Emmaus.  I met God today. My heart is burning still. #Emmaus #WeWalkHisWay #WeWalkByFaith credit: claudiarndt

God so loved the world - God so loved you

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Fourth Sunday of Lent - - - ‘God loved the world so much’       ‘God loved the world so much’ In a very real sense, these six words from this Sunday’s Gospel say more than enough and there is nothing further to be said, nothing more one can add! While short, today’s excerpt is packed tight, complex and rich in meaning. It contains a summary of John’s Gospel and the opposites or polarities presented in it are found here too: darkness and light; acceptance and rejection; his own and not his own; belief and unbelief (see John 1:1-13). There is much with which one might spend time. But, let’s remain with God’s love.      God so loved the world Assertions of God’s love echo throughout the Scriptures from their beginning, from the first moments of creation: ‘God saw … it was very good’ (Gen 1:31). In today’s readings, God’s love is very much in focus. From Chronicles, written in the time of exile, we hear that God ‘wished to spare his people’ and ‘tirelessly sent them messenger after mess

All things must

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Belfast, 24 Feb 2021 All things must We have cocooned and the world of nature with us Or rather we have taken its class, perhaps not learned and absorbed its lesson yet -      the graces of rest      not found in being busy for the sake of seeming busy - but sat grudgingly through the class, lived the lesson nonetheless And now Nature invites us to look again to turn the page alongside it and to study the next chapter unfolding like a butterfly but everywhere because not only winged insects cocoon All the earth does. To some extent if not completely soaking up the grace on offer to let it shine when the time to cocoon reaches its end as all things must. Only eternity does not. God only is without end.                                         Unfurl                                                        slowly                                                                       step outside                                                                                      when it is

Simeon - taking God in his arms!

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Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple  Mass today begins with these beautiful words of prayer:   Dear brothers and sisters,  forty days have passed since we celebrated  the joyful feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Today is the blessed day  when Jesus was presented in the Temple by Mary and Joseph.  Outwardly he was fulfilling the Law,  but in reality he was coming to meet his believing people. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, Simeon and Anna came to the Temple.  Enlightened by the same Spirit,  they recognised the Lord and confessed him with exultation.  So let us also, gathered together by the Holy Spirit,  proceed to the house of God to encounter Christ.  There we shall find and recognise him in the breaking of the bread,  until he comes again, revealed in glory.  Today’s Gospel (Luke 2:22-42) tells of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple and recounts the reactions of an older man and woman, Simeon and Anna, to this baby, Jesus. I love to pray the Canticle of Simeon

One Day (John 17:21)

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One Day Now more than ever, our world needs prayer, needs healing, needs beauty, needs reminders of its saving. Now more than ever, we need prayer, need healing, need beauty, need reminders of our saving, to save us from ourselves Open your mind and you will find those reminders. Open your eyes and you can see them Open your ears and you can hear them. Open your mouth and you can speak them or sing them. Open your heart and you will be them – for yourself, for others. Read the words the people in this video are singing and watch their faces - this is a prayer - for peace, for oneness, for an end to ‘othering’, for an end to division and violence and hatred, for us to know ourselves as brothers and sisters. One day, we will all be one ... may that day be soon  This is Jesus' prayer: 'that all may be one' (John 17:21). It is my prayer.   Make it your prayer too. One Day. That all may be one. Koolulam | One Day - Matisyahu | Haifa | Feb. 14th, 2018 "One day this all will

Beauty will save the world?

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Beauty will save the world? "I believe the world will be saved by beauty."  So says Prince Lev Nikolyaevich Myshkin, the protagonist in Fyodor Dostoevsky's, The Idiot . Of course, that this is not true in the absolute and literal sense is something of which Dostoevsky was fully aware.  It is God who saves the world - only God: 'for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life' (John 3:16). In these days, our world is filled with much that is intensely ugly - violence, corruption, division, racism, anger, poverty, gaping inequality, hunger, war, displacement of peoples, exploitation, diminished respect for life, out-of-control consumerism, climate change and destruction, an ongoing pandemic.  There is so much pain, so much hurt, so much heartache. So much is broken. So much seems beyond repair. We are tired and we are raw from all the ugliness. Darkness threatens to overwhelm the li

Maranatha

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Darkness is not forever ... the light will come ... Maranatha, come Lord Jesus. 'The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world ...  ... and the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory' (John 1:9, 14) 'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means 'God with us')' (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23) Belfast, December 23, 4.20pm

Longest, darkest night

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No matter what, God On the morning of the longest night, we pray the words God speaks through Isaiah: I will turn the darkness before them into light (Isaiah 42) On the evening of the longest night, we pray the O Antiphon: O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis. O Rising Sun,  you are the splendour of the eternal light and the sun of justice.  O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. For all who are in darkness, remember these words. Hang onto them.  For all who are in darkness, remember God's presence. Hold onto him.  He is with us. He is light.  He will come. He will bring us light.  Stay awake. Be ready. Welcome him. For all who are in darkness, remember this:  no matter what, God.  

Thus says the LORD, 'In your old age I shall be still the same'

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  I read these poetic and comforting words last night - words from the LORD through Isaiah - it's from today's Office of Readings. What a motto to live by! I know many people who are struggling in these days and need to hear this and to believe it ... replace 'House of Jacob' with your name because God speaks this to each one of us. God IS with us. #Godiswithus ‘Listen to me, House of Jacob,  all you who remain of the House of Israel,  you who have been carried since birth,  whom I have carried since the time you were born. In your old age I shall be still the same,  when your hair is grey I shall still support you.  I have already done so, I have carried you,  I shall still support and deliver you.’                                                                                 ~  Isaiah 46:3-4

Annunciation - one woman's yes

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ANNUNCIATION Mary’s yes  (Luke 1: 26-38)               A      angel’s N       news - N      not expected U      unsettling N       nerve-wracking C      confusing I        incomprehensible T      terrifying - I        imparted to O      one young woman, alone, who does not say N      no but ‘let it be with me according to your word’  

Advent Calendar by Rowan Williams

* words by Rowan Williams * images by me ** full screen recommended for viewing! #IMetGodToday #Advent #Godiswithus

I met God again today

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I met God again today I met God again today. Out walking, still close to my convent. "On the Falls Road?" I hear you say, the quizzical tone hinting doubt, even disbelief. In a built-up urban space, I imagine you thinking, questioning my declaration. But, yes. I met God today and, yes, on the Falls Road and why not? God-with-us is God-with-us. 'where you are, there I may be'  Jesus' promise in reverse Where we are, there God may be also - on the Falls, doing Pana (but, of course!), along the Champs Elyssees, in Grand Central Station, in the barrio and the shanty town, behind the gates of that affluent gated community, at the mountain top, on the motorway, along the canal bank, in the church, at the beach, in the coffee shop, on the rain-sodden grey footpath, in the fields, God is with us God is with me God-with-us, God-with-me, is everywhere I am. It is only for me to see Him If only I could open my eyes keep awake  

Convents are no different! Or are they? A poem-prayer for my sister ... and for me ... and for all who doubt

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a poem-prayer for my sister ... and for me ... and for all who doubt Convents are no different! Or are they? Any situation where human beings come to live or work together involves rules and conventions, often informal and unwritten, that somehow make the act of being together work to a greater or lesser extent. Think of those places familiar to you: communal rooms in your apartment or house shared with friends or family, a staff room, the office kitchen, university library, the factory floor, public bathrooms, doctors’ waiting rooms, public transport. Even lifts and escalators have unwritten codes of etiquette. Have you ever dared to face the ‘wrong way’ in a lift? Now, think of those instances where these informal conventions are broken.  I’m minded of those online threads filled with photos of passive aggressive post-it notes.  These are amusing because they resonate with our experience of negotiating those spaces we share with other people and the repercussions that can arise from

I saw God today!

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I saw God today! No, let me rephrase that! What I saw were glimpses, darting into my vision and then gone just as quickly - a kingfisher, not once, not twice, but three times - a trinity of reminders, if they were ever needed, of the beauty of God's holy creation. I say ‘reminders, if they were ever needed’ because all afternoon I had been bathed, washed, drenched in green, above and below, things in themselves and in canal bank reflections ... beauty and wholly, wholly aware of the holy, of God’s holy presence with me and around me, making everything a glimpse, making everything radiant, making everything radiate, making everything a prayer yes, I saw God today!                                                                                                                                                                                       19.07.2020

Longest, darkest night

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Tonight, we set our clocks back an hour.  Autumn is reaching its end. Winter is approaching. The sun is further away from us each day and its warmth lessens. The trees are ever more rapidly shedding their vividly-coloured tapestry of leaves. The migrating birds are gone. Outside my window, our two squirrels are hoarding horse chestnuts all day long. The light is changing and colours are fading. Nature is entering into its time of rest.  We've come to the point of the year when the nights are longest, when we have more time in darkness than in daylight.  This year, perhaps, we are each living that longest night with a greater intensity. These are dark times in the life of each and every person. This long, seemingly endless, time of pandemic and repeated lockdowns, is not easy. And my spirit is jangled - often.  Tonight, as I sat in our convent chapel in the darkness, my spirit was not at peace. I cried. I told God what God knows already. In a quiet whisper, I poured out my pain: &q

Time to hold firm #HOLDFIRM

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Apt words for these times from today's Evening Prayer: "Hold firm and take heart" - Ps 26(27) Who would ever think that advice on motorway signs would one day quote the Psalms!? #holdfirm  #trustinGod  #keepthefaith  #allwillbewell  #covid19  #Godiswithus