What to do this Sunday – 27 April 2014

Not able to go to church this Sunday – don’t worry. Here is a short act of worship.

 

Firstly still your minds, concentrate on breathing slowly and letting go of the future.

 

Focussing on the ‘now’  by relaxing into the music clip below.

 

Read the story of Christ appearing to disciples articularly Thomas who doubted that Jesus had risen.

 

If you don’t have a Bible hand, please click here.

 

Imagine yourself as being in the story.

 

Remember how quickly you bolted the doors

against the authorities

that were roaming the streets outside.

 

Feel the fearful anxiety of all

that seems to oppress you

at the moment.

 

Now see Jesus just standing there.

 

Do you believe?

Do you believe he is real?

Do you believe that he can help?

 

Tell him what you need help with in your life.

 

Then think yourself into being Doubting Thomas.

 

Bring to the surface all your doubts

about the risen Jesus

and his ability to help you.

 

Tell him about them

and give him time to reassure and to promise.

 

Hear him say ‘stop doubting and believe’!

 

When you are ready – whisper

‘My Lord and my God’

 

Slowly return to the world that waits you

but keep in your heart the thought – I believe.

 

Please now pray:

 

I lay my head to rest
and in doing so
lay at your feet
the faces I have seen
the voices I have heard
the words I have spoken
the hands I have shaken
the service I have given
the joys I have shared
the sorrows revealed
I lay them at your feet
and in doing so
lay my head to rest

Read more at: http://www.faithandworship.com/Celtic_Blessings_and_Prayers.htm#ixzz3000DiONT
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

 

 

A Short Prayer

If you want a short, straightforward and gentle prayer for your everyday, here is one…

8766 Days and Counting!

Lord, let me not ask you about anything at all. Let me take a little of your time to thank you for everything that you have done – for me and my family. I know you keep me safe… always even if I don’t ask you to. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I assure you that you won’t be just a memory. I love you and you know I always do. Hold my heart and hold my hand. Let me see this world only through your eyes and help people realize how beautiful life really is. Please never ever let go of my hand. Amen.

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Imaginative Meditations – Listen Anywhere

Want to meditate while you commute?

 

If you have enjoyed the Christian imaginative meditations on this blog, why not listen to the daily meditations available at the Catholic Jesuit’s site – Pray as you go.

 

You can either listen online or download an mp3 file for use on the train, bus or in the park at lunchtime.

Either way, a few moments in meditation makes you feel refreshed spiritually for the world that awaits.

 

 

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What to do this Sunday – Easter Day

crosses and lamb

crosses and lamb

Easter is not like Christmas! Since, over Easter we encounter all that is good and bad about being human. For we see cruelty, corruption and pain. But we also see compassion, accompaniment and sacrifice. Above all, we see God in the unbelievable acceptance of human nastiness and His ability to defeat the worst of all evils – death itself.

 

Please then walk with me into the Easter Morning Experience.

Take time to still the mind, slow your breathing and find quiet in your heart. You may want to contemplate the picture to the right.

Read about Jesus’ resurrection in Matthew’s Gospel (28.1-10)

If you haven’t a Bible handy – please click here.

 

You are walking towards the tomb in the very early morning.

  • Do you feel the earthquake?
  • Are you frightened of the guards or still just numb from the murder of your friend Jesus?
  •  You see the now open tomb – what are you thinking?
  •  Now imagine what the angel  and listen to his unbelievable news
  •  Rushing back to tell the others – are you joyful, perplexed or still scared?
  •  Suddenly, Jesus is in front of you – think what the meeting is like.
  •  You are holding on to him for all you are worth – then he tells you to do something.

What is it?

 

Slowly return to the waiting world and think about what Jesus asked.

 

Start by praying

Halleluia!

Jesus is risen!

He is risen indeed!

 

May this declaration

resound not only in these walls

but touch the lives

of all we meet

and forever be

the truth of which we speak.

 

Your love,

once sown within a garden,

tended for your own people,

neglected and rejected,

now spreads its sweet perfume

in this place

and wherever it is shown.

 

Halleluia!

Jesus is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Read more at: http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Easter.htm#ixzz2zKPxKKBV

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

 

Good Friday – Day of Crucifixions


We laughed and laughed and laughed. How indeed did we laugh!

 

It was at that classic British sitcom –  Fawlty Towers. Set in a chaotic hotel in some English seaside resort, it was run by the manic Basil Fawlty who got into also sort of scrapes. Take the time his car wouldn’t start. So he took a hairy fit and thrashing it with a tree branch. He would butter up aristocratic guests only to find out they were con artists. Miguel the long suffering Spanish waiter was Basil’s foil, regularly getting bashed on the head with a frying pan. Yet Basil’s nemesis was that shrew of a wife – Sybil. She always summoned her ludicrous husband  with an ear drum stabbing shriek of – Basil!

 

Yes we laughed and laughed and laughed.

 

Well Sybil was played by Prunella Scales. Recently, she appeared on TV as herself. For, with her husband, the actor Timothy West,

she presented a documentary series on their common love  of canal boating.  At each episode’s start, Tim explains Pru is having problems with her memory.  In fact, her son tells the camera that his dad is seeing the person  he loves slipping away from him. In a way, it is a slow even gentle but inevitable crucifixion.

 

Nevertheless, we are all surrounded by crucifixions  in our own circle; the young father dying of cancer, the mother fearing an abusive father and the old man now widowed  trying to find some companionship  even purpose  in living.

 

Where then on Good Friday  is there a clue to coping with crucifixions?

 

Well, some ideas  come from those  who were there for Christ

at his passion those Good and ordinary people who stood at the foot of the cross. Since, the passion journey  is not just about the suffering of the son of God – supreme as that might be –

it is also a story of accompaniment.

 

In fact, it is very much the story of those who loved Jesus as his community of friends and family. And so it is about the disciples who had been with him  for three years.It is about the women who followed Jesus from Galilee and provided for him, who anointed him for death  and who accompanied him  on the way of the cross and watched from a distance as he suffered his terrible agony and death. It’s about John,  the beloved disciple, and Mary  the mother of Jesus giving comfort to one another.  It’s about Mary Magdalene, watching and waiting.

 

The passion story then is very much about the accompaniment in suffering, of just being there and doing small, ordinary and important practical things.

 

Therefore, it is really about being alongside people  in compassion and care; watching through long nights with them, preparing food for those too weary or ill or despairing to do it themselves, looking after the children for a while or just offering  a  hug or shoulder to lean on.

 

Ultimately, this ministry of presence and compassion  is not the particular preserve of Christians,  or of any one nationality or culture,  but it is at the heart of each and every one of our responses to our risen Lord.

 

Let us try to respond this way, today.

 

 

Can you see God?

A small boy once approached his slightly older sister with a question about God.

“Susie, can anybody ever really see God?” he asked. Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied: “No, of course not, silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him.”

Time passed, but his question still lingered, so he approached his mother: “Mum, can anybody ever really see God?” “No, not really,” she gently said. “God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see him.”

Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his saintly old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip. They were having a great time together — it had been an ideal day. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendour as the day ended.

The old man stopped fishing and turned his full attention to the exquisite beauty unfolding before him. On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment as he gazed into the magnificent ever-changing sunset, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly: “Granddad, I – I wasn’t going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I’ve been wondering about a long time. Can anybody, can anybody ever really see God?”

The old man did not even turn his head. A long moment slipped by before he finally answered. “Son,” he quietly said. “It’s getting so I can’t see anything else.

 

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What to do this Sunday – 13 April

circle of believers round the light

If church is out for this Sunday, here is a short act of worship that can keep the spiritual tanks topped up!

 

faith is the light in your heartTake a few moments to find peace – maybe contemplate the words  in the box to the left.

 

Next read Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in Matthew 21.1-11

If you don’t Bible to hand, click here.

 

 

 

 

Now see the scene in your imagination; think about the heat, the press of the crowd and the overpowering feeling of excitement.  Ask yourself – how close are you standing to Jesus on the donkey?

 

Notice out the corner of your eye the secret police and informers taking note of who is there. Do you want to stay or get away fast? 

 

Suddenly, Jesus looks straight at you, what do you ask from him?

 

What does he want you to do in return? 

 

Take a few moments having a last look at the scene, then pray: 

 

 

Lord, sometimes I find it very hard to do the right thing as I know it to be in Your eyes.

I know it will hurt or disadvantage me, destroy my reputation or impoverish me, and I am afraid.

Strengthen me by the example of my fellow Christians of old who have been true to You to the end, and show me, as You showed them, that You will never leave me nor forsake me.

Amen