Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tired - a Haiku

We know you love us,
But God we are so tired,
Give us peace tonight.

I think that pretty much sums up how most of us felt as we met last night. Need I say more?


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I have been rediscovering the meditative tradition via Evelyn Underhill, Antony De Mello and of course Thomas Merton (Who actually doesn’t say much about how to meditate/contemplate but wrote so much about it that it is really a given).

I don't actually think I left it behind - but the last few years I have read more about the Liturgy of the Hours, Communal Prayer and the Benedictine way than about meditation in particular. Contemplative prayer is not opposed or at odds with any of this. In fact I now find that it deepens both my experience of communal prayer and of Lectio to have a large period of silence either before or after the more formal part of the prayer. Last night at Vespers we had a lovely period of silence before we prayed - well, before the children began fighting over their dinner ...

I also find that sacred space helps. In our space at home we have a little incense burner, a lovely Taize cross Icon (as Pictured) and a seasonal candle from Jamberoo abbey. Our kids get the idea that when the candle is on its prayer time – and that means shhhh!

Shared silence together is amazing. Last night the four of us (Chris and Coralie, Matt and Shelle) just sat. Four friends together gathered for prayer in the presence of the Lord. What a privilege. We could hear the traffic, the birds, the children – and through all our great, mysterious God surrounding us.

I have really enjoyed looking around the World Community for Christian Meditation Site. Its director, Dom Laurence Freeman has visited Australia many times, and is a wonderful advocate for the importance of meditation and contemplation in contemporary life. They also have a wonderful article on meditation with children here and at this site.

Yours in hopeful silence


Friday, August 25, 2006

Prayers please...

For Noah, (ages 4) who is going into Hospital in Early September to have his fourth set of grommets and his tonsils out (He has very narrow airways and this should all help him out...)

For Michelle, as she embarks on some new adventures..

For Chris, as he considers career change

For Coralie...

For Matt and Linda...

For The Smiths...

For Pete...

and all of our friends, family and benefactors (to be very Benedictine!)

With Love


Monday, August 21, 2006

Now this is Interesting

Radical Indian Jesuit always make me smile.
This one made me think ...

I have come to a position where most prayer, as we traditionally understand the word, is a pure waste of time. It merely caters to the fantasy needs of the people who have a compulsion to placate a Deity. What a tragedy to see so many hours wasted in worship that could have been better spent in reading a good book , and even better, in advancing self-understanding and self-knowledge....

(From We heard the Bird sing: Interacting with Tony De Mello)

I'm not sure I agree but I can see his point...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More from Evelyn Underhill

Great community meeting last night.
Pizza, wine, frank and honest conversation with usual silliness and camaraderie!
Good luck tonight Shelle!

The contemplative ... is by nature a missionary. The vision which he has achieved is the vision of an intensely loving heart; and love, which cannot keep itself to itself, urges him to tell the news as widely and as clearly as he may. In his works, he is ever trying to reveal the secret of his own deeper life and wider vision, and to help his fellow men to share it...

From "Practical Mysticism"
(With apologies for the non inclusive language)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Beyond and other grumbling...

I don't want a small God.
I don't want a God who is just a mega me.
I want a God beyond me.
I know my words can't describe God adequately. They let me down.
Whatever I say, it is not enough. Or incomplete. Or often plain wrong.
When I say God is good, I want good to be beyond anything I can understand.
When God is merciful, I want mercy beyond my wildest imaginings.
I am tired of books and people and sermons which "understand" God.
Which reduce God to little theories and ideas and 3 points to take home.
God is bigger than that.

The Eucharist is more than bakery products and port.
Baptism more than a splash.
Marriage beyond what any of us can see.

I will wait for this God beyond me.
Just for a glimpse.
In the silence.
In the unexpected moment.
Within and outside of me.
Beyond me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I don't know about you, but I seem to have a cycle with books.
An initial reading and then deeper readings, sometimes at much later dates.
I have recently rediscovered Evelyn Underhill's "Practical Mysticism".

This quote has stuck with me for days...

" The artist is no more than the contemplative who has learned to express themselves., and who tells their love in colour, speech, or sound:

The mystic on the one side of their nature is an artist of a special and exalted time, who tires to express something of the revelation they have received.

Both have exchanged the false imagination ... For the true imagination which pours itself out, eager, adventurous, and self giving."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Soldiering On

Community life is just carrying on.

The Smith kids are sick. Eliza has been involved in Wakakirri . Noah has ear and throat infections. Matt and Linda are busy as. Michelle keeps on driving over 100 kms a day to and from work.

This is the stuff of life.

God present with us in the midst of all our business and family and illness and fun and prayer.

The boys are off to New Norcia at the end of the month for the weekend. We can bearly wait.

Have updated our books and listening tastes. Check 'em out.

Two local interesting church links.

The Living Room

Small Boat, Big Sea

Blessings to you. Whatever is happening.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


This is great. You can find the source and other great cartoons here.