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


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

unity Ww

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


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


For whom this was a grace

to be received


A journey to God

through the vestiges


Of his glory

in the living universe…

gloryliving universe JTG1

So let us begin

with the beginning


The source of all

from whom streams all






all of creation

allenergy JTG1

The Father

of lights


From whom is every good

and perfect gift


We pray to the Father

the invisible one


to enlighten our mind

in the ways of peace


which surpass

all humankind


We pray

to the God


of beginnings

and the Father of all


That from eternity

somehow our understanding


even if slowly

perhaps imperceptibly


As our eyes adjust



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


Remember Francis

who greeted in peace


Announced peace before all

prayed in ecstasy for peace


Following the man of peace

we worship


Whose honour was

nailed to a post


in spite of all the love

and the healing he gave


For Francis, grace came

in a revelation


of meaning

of vision


For me it is gleaned

from these words


in another tongue

in the soaring of contemplation


to be still




pondering over and over


to consider and take to heart

a truth for today


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


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


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


I realise the hidden faith

of love giving himself


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


The crossroads

the X that marks


the new beginning

the intersection


of heaven

and humanity



in a tortured death


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


does not consist merely

in study or meditation


there must also be fervour and devotion







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


Beyond the window of the world

to look to God


Exercise your heart

in reading these things


as well as your mind

take your time


for these words

are the stepping stones





Inspirers: St. Bonaventure

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


…or this older icon…


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


Secondly the soul within

which only the spirit knows


Thirdly the mind

venturing beyond itself


Into new worlds

unseen and unknown.

outsidewithinbeyond JTG2

“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