Tag: nature

Breeze of Blessing

The breeze

Brings blessing

.

From hills

And fields and sky

.

As if

The inspiration

.

Were the true

Vocation of the soul

.

Seeking wisdom

Unity.

Inspired by “The Prelude”, Wordsworth, Book 1, Lines 1-6

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Blessing in this gentle breeze

“OH there is blessing in this gentle breeze,

A visitant that while it fans my cheek

Doth seem half-conscious of the joy it brings

From the green fields, and from yon azure sky.

Whate’er its mission, the soft breeze can come

To none more grateful than to me; escaped

From the vast city, where I long had pined

A discontented sojourner: now free, Free as a bird…”

From The Prelude by William Wordsworth

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Image by Lucian Aeris from Pixabay

The Stepping Stones to Eternity

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

.

I came upon his words

and set my mind to understanding

.

how the world could teach me

the mystery of God…

steppingstones toeternity JTG1

I had heard of nature

as the book of God

.

But never had the notion

rooted deep in my mind

.

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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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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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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We pray

to the God

.

of beginnings

and the Father of all

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That from eternity

somehow our understanding

.

even if slowly

perhaps imperceptibly

.

As our eyes adjust

gradually

.

to the dawning light

will grow

We do not know

who else may be praying

.

for us at this time

perhaps many people

.

perhaps no-one on earth

but heaven may be inclining

.

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

.

Following the man of peace

we worship

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Whose honour was

nailed to a post

.

in spite of all the love

and the healing he gave

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For Francis, grace came

in a revelation

.

of meaning

of vision

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For me it is gleaned

from these words

.

in another tongue

in the soaring of contemplation

.

to be still

silent

.

attentive

pondering over and over

.

to consider and take to heart

a truth for today

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To escape

the merely active life

.

And dwell

in imagination

.

Allowing God

to brush the spirit

.

with the Spirit

of Consolation

.

His call is to pass beyond

to peace

.

Through the most ardent love

of the crucified

.

Like Paul

who was raised

.

to the highest heaven

yet nailed to the cross

.

the heart of Christ

beating within

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Francis bore the signs

of the passion

.

On his body

in his soul

.

For us to follow

devote ourselves

.

To the suffering saviour

so spurned today

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In prayer

I throw my heart

.

at his feet

and wonder why

.

it must be this way

Heaven is silent

.

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

.

offering an open heart

which is lashed by an evil world

.

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

.

Incarnation

in a tortured death

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How strange

yet how universal

.

There are stages of illumination

and they say

.

We must very often return

to our beginning

.

as we grow our wings

like the seraph Francis saw

.

who pierced his soul so tenderly

there are stages of progression

.

as we climb heavenwards in heart

from creation to Creator

.

from nature to nothing

we can imagine

.

And we enter by this door

to find pasture

.

and the tree of life

it is by prayer

.

that our desire is kindled

prayer and the mind

.

turning intensely to God

who is our light

.

So the first call

is to prayer

.

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

.

joy

grace

.

humility

and love

.

To any who are disposed

to seek for grace in all humility

.

To those with the desire

for wisdom

.

Who wish to glorify

saviour God

.

These words are meant

remembering that the soul herself

.

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

.

as well as your mind

take your time

.

for these words

are the stepping stones

.

To

Eternity.

 

Inspirers: St. Bonaventure

You may or may not know this beautiful painting by William Blake:

jacob-s-ladder.jpg!Large

…or this older icon…

ladderofdivineascenticon

They both take up a very ancient idea that goes back over thousands of years.

He saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” is another version (Jacob’s dream, from The Book of Genesis).

St. Bonaventure seized my interest with his own account of life as an upward journey in one of my favourite books: “Journey of the Mind to God“:

the material universe is a ladder by which we may ascend to God”.

St. Bonaventure goes on to describe three ways we can seek God – remarkable in their clarity and accessibility.

1. “First…we must pass through vestiges which are corporeal and temporal and outside us” (he means “nature”!)

2. “Next we must enter our mind, which is the image of God, an image which is everlasting, and spiritual and within us”

3. “Finally we must go beyond to what is eternal, most spiritual and beyond us.”

I find that so amazing:

  1. Find God through appreciating the beauty, awesomeness, otherness, power, peacefulness (and more) of nature
  2. Find God through understanding the power of the human mind to think beyond time, to reason, to understand, to empathise (and more)
  3. Find God through what transcends this world: heaven and eternity

Do all three ring true with you, or one especially, or none at all?

What follows is one of a number of poems I have written, inspired by St. Bonaventure:

.

The three

Ways of seeing

.

Firstly the world about us

our senses perceive

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Secondly the soul within

which only the spirit knows

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Thirdly the mind

venturing beyond itself

.

Into new worlds

unseen and unknown.

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“Wisdom and Spirit of the universe”

” WISDOM and Spirit of the universe!
Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought!
And giv’st to forms and images a breath
And everlasting motion! not in vain,
By day or star-light, thus from my first dawn
Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
The passions that build up our human soul;
Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;
But with high objects, with enduring things,
With life and nature; purifying thus
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying by such discipline
Both pain and fear,–until we recognise
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart. “

by William Wordsworth