What makes life beautiful?

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Some reflections from Brother Roger of Taize who I once met when I spent a silent retreat there. He was a good and kindly man, and outlines here an approach which can shape our whole attitude to this day and to life:

Are there realities which make life beautiful

and of which it can be said that they bring a kind of fulfillment, an inner joy?

Yes, there are. And one of these realities bears the name of trust.

Do we realize that what is best in each of us is built up through a simple trusting?

This is something even a child can do.

Br Roger of Taize

photo nicor

The gift of presence

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Some reflections on love, for the day that is in it…

The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved.

It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is.

When we make that kind of deep bow to the soul of a suffering person, our respect reinforces the soul’s healing resources, the only resources that can help the sufferer make it through.

Parker Palmer, The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice

There is no way into presence except through a love exchange.

Rumi

photo Ian McKenzie

Still the mind and practice freedom

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A new month.

A lot of anxiety and dysfunction all around. The challenge: Not to be a victim of the frantic world in which we live in, or of the way in which our nervous systems respond.

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water,

and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

Sunday Quote: Listen

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Very mild weather in Ireland these days. Even the daffodils are starting to bloom. Quiet signs of growth and hope everywhere. Better to listen to these than to the angry voices all round.

The silence of creation will speak louder

than the tongues of men or angels.

Thomas Merton

photo paul gilmore

The wonder of this day

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All that is eternal in me
Welcomes the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shells of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today
To live the life I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

John O’Donohue, Morning Prayer