Tag: meditation

A Meditation on Light

Light is the source of everything – light energy, positive energy.

Light can represent goodness, aspiration, transcendence – what we long for, what we may be at our best.

Light may also represent ethical and decisional guidance – which may come through reason, or through intuition, or perhaps by revelation.

Light is transformation. We not only see light, but we see differently according to the light that we see in. Light changes everything.

Light is hope.

Light is faith.

Light is love.

God is light.

‘Sun Setting Over a Lake’, Turner
The Spiritualities of Christianity – Creation Spirituality

The Spiritualities of Christianity – Creation Spirituality

Challenges to faith in God today sometimes come from atheism and secular materialism.  What I call “creation spirituality”, stands in opposition to these challenges for several reasons.

Firstly, atheism and secular materialism can create huge doubts in the minds of people about the purpose and meaning of their lives.  If human beings are merely the random outworkings of scientific principles, then what is the point of life? 

Yet a focus on the idea of creation makes me appreciate that life has a supernatural source, that the universe has a purpose and a meaning, and that every person who has ever lived, and who ever will live, has something unique about them  – we are all special “creations” – of our biological parents, of course, but even more importantly, of a supernatural parent whom we know as God.

And then there is the whole issue of nature, the world and the universe.  Is it a cold, unfeeling universe that we inhabit that cares nothing whether we continue in existence or are extinguished as a species?  What is the point of the birds, the trees, the flowers, the clouds, the hills, the mountains, the skies and the stars? Why do we respond to them the way that we do?

Creation spirituality answers these questions. 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. 

I respond to nature – to creation – because I, like creation, am created. 

“God saw all that he had made and it was very good”. 

The world around us can be dangerous and destructive of human life; but it is also a daily blessing, and we depend on our environment for survival, as we could not live without oxygen, water and food.

For me, living today in our 21st century world, a spirituality that has a clear focus on human beings as significant creations, the earth as a unique creation and the universe as an awe-inspiring context for life, is essential for living with purpose, meaning and some daily joy.

“Let there be light!”

Meditation on Beginnings

Still staying with Theme 1 of 30 Days Spiritually Wild – Beginnings – this would work as a meditation or prayer, read slowly. It could be memorised and used repeatedly.

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In the beginning

In the beginning God

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In the beginning

God created

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God created

The heavens and the earth

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In the beginning

God created

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The heavens

And the earth.

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The Stepping Stones to Eternity

This sequence was inspired by St. Bonaventure’s work, ‘Journey of the Mind to God’.

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I came upon his words

and set my mind to understanding

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how the world could teach me

the mystery of God

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steppingstones toeternity JTG1

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I had heard of nature

as the book of God

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But never had the notion

rooted deep in my mind

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Now I was confronted

by the words of a saint

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For whom this was a grace

to be received

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A journey to God

through the vestiges

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Of his glory

in the living universe

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gloryliving universe JTG1

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So let us begin

with the beginning

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The source of all

from whom streams all

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Energy

matter

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Being

all of creation

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allenergy JTG1

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The Father

of lights

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From whom is every good

and perfect gift

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We pray to the Father

the invisible one

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to enlighten our mind

in the ways of peace

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which surpass

all humankind

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enlightenmind

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We pray

to the God

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of beginnings

and the Father of all

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That from eternity

somehow our understanding

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even if slowly

perhaps imperceptibly

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As our eyes adjust

gradually

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to the dawning light

will grow

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We do not know

who else may be praying

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for us at this time

perhaps many people

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perhaps no-one on earth

but heaven may be inclining

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even now

and whispering in the ear

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Remember Francis

who greeted in peace

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Announced peace before all

prayed in ecstasy for peace

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Following the man of peace

we worship

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Whose honour was

nailed to a post

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in spite of all the love

and the healing he gave

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For Francis, grace came

in a revelation

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of meaning

of vision

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For me it is gleaned

from these words

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in another tongue

in the soaring of contemplation

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to be still

silent

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attentive

pondering over and over

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to consider and take to heart

a truth for today

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To escape

the merely active life

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And dwell

in imagination

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Allowing God

to brush the spirit

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with the Spirit

of Consolation

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His call is to pass beyond

to peace

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Through the most ardent love

of the crucified

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Like Paul

who was raised

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to the highest heaven

yet nailed to the cross

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the heart of Christ

beating within

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Francis bore the signs

of the passion

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On his body

in his soul

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For us to follow

devote ourselves

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To the suffering saviour

so spurned today

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In prayer

I throw my heart

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at his feet

and wonder why

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it must be this way

Heaven is silent

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yet images of crucifixion

linger in the mind

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I realise the hidden faith

of love giving himself

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again and again

stretching out

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offering an open heart

which is lashed by an evil world

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No other way

has this man at the centre

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The crossroads

the X that marks

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the new beginning

the intersection

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of heaven

and humanity

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Incarnation

in a tortured death

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How strange

yet how universal

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There are stages of illumination

and they say

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We must very often return

to our beginning

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as we grow our wings

like the seraph Francis saw

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who pierced his soul so tenderly

there are stages of progression

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as we climb heavenwards in heart

from creation to Creator

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from nature to nothing

we can imagine

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And we enter by this door

to find pasture

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and the tree of life

it is by prayer

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that our desire is kindled

prayer and the mind

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turning intensely to God

who is our light

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So the first call

is to prayer

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and that through the crucified Christ

for the spiritual life

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does not consist merely

in study or meditation

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there must also be fervour and devotion

wonder

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joy

grace

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humility

and love

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To any who are disposed

to seek for grace in all humility

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To those with the desire

for wisdom

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Who wish to glorify

saviour God

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These words are meant

remembering that the soul herself

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Must first be cleansed

if the eyes are to see

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Beyond the window of the world

to look to God

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Exercise your heart

in reading these things

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as well as your mind

take your time

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for these words

are the stepping stones

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To

Eternity.

Lectio Divina on a Psalm (1) – You have searched me and known me

This is the text:

O LORD

you have searched me

and known me

Psalm 139 v1 (NRSV)

I use a similar structure to what St. Ignatius of Loyola set out in his Spiritual Exercises. It stops me rushing, which is part of the point! The guidance I give just that – guidance I used when I did the meditation myself.

  1. PREPARATORY PRAYER:

i) Ask God for understanding of the verse above

ii) Ask for wisdom and for grace

iii) Pray that the thoughts of my deepest heart, my intentions, and my actions may be warm, loving, wholesome and good, and directed to the love of others and of God

iv) Help me to learn more deeply what it means to be known by God

2. PRELUDE 1 – a mental representation – using your imagination of the verse:

i) God looking at me

ii) God knowing me

iii) God seeing the errors I make and the harm I do to others sometimes, and the harm I do to myself by my choices

iv) God seeing me using my talents and gifts for the good of others

PRELUDE 2

i) What do you want and desire in meditating on this verse?

ii) Is it something like having a better sense of being known by God, a better sense of being loved by God, a better sense of how to use your life – or something else?

3. FIRST POINT

O Lord

4. SECOND POINT

You have searched me

5. THIRD POINT

And known me

6. COLLOQUY

This is about talking to God – what do you want to debate or wonder about with God?

It might be – How can God search and know all human beings? How does God know both good and evil? How does God feel? What else do you want to discuss with God?

7. PRAYER

Now what do you want to pray?

Is it about being more careful with my faults? Is it about growing into God’s love more? Is it about having a better awareness of God’s presence? What is it?

There is no image deliberately. God is a God of love and compassion. He has searched us and known us in love. What ideas are you left with, and what can you do, or who can you talk to about this experience?