Pray With Us

Dear All,

Following the Feast of the Epiphany on Wednesday, the reflections – two of them – are reflections on those Wise Men. There is a special new year blessing & the sung blessing today is ‘Bless to me, O God’ (Heavenly Peace CD – Geoffrey Nobes).

May the week ahead bring you & our world that ‘heavenly peace’.

With love



A New Year’s Blessing

                                                                                          from enfleshed

In threshold places, where endings meet beginnings,
we listen backwards as we move forward.

What can we learn from the year past –
from how evil played its cards,
or from relationships gained and lost?

What brought you deep delight, when everything was swirling?
To whom were you able to turn to and who challenged you to grow?

Individually and collectively,
none of us are the same.

For some of these changes we weep and for others we rejoice
but from each we carry something forward
– a feeling, a lesson, a memory, a challenge, a call to solidarity…

Collectively, we acknowledge a closing and an opening;
A fresh start that offers only as much meaning as we need from it.
Inviting us not to wage war on ourselves,
but just to pause,
pay attention to our longings and our pain,
and what we might learn from them
about how we wish to live.

A new year does not need to mean “a new you.”
You do not need to make demands of yourself
grounded in messages that are only meant
to make you feel inadequate or unlovable.

Your worth is ineffable,
that is a constant that carries from year to year.

Move gently with yourself into 2021,
speaking instead words of possibility,
committing to that which calls you,
letting yourself be lured by the Sacred
in the direction of your most powerful becoming.

Make only resolutions that will lead to more flourishing of life, yours and others.

Reject individualistic notions of success (or “failure”)
and channel your growing
in the directions
of what we can create
of what we can divest from
of what we can abolish
of what we must claim
of what we must fight
of what we can become.




Reading: Jane Williams on the Wise Men.


There is something about the Wise Men that captures the imagination.  Although we know so little about them, somehow we identify with them. We do not know from where they came, or what they did for a living, or when they first saw the star, or with what instruments. We don’t even know how many of them there were.  Traditionally, we assume that there were three of them because they give three gifts. The Wise Men seem to get there under their own steam & by their own cleverness.  They know how to watch the heavens, & they know that the star they see is unusual & highly significant.  They know how to set about a long journey, & they

have enough self-confidence to call on kings.  They have good reason to think well of themselves, & they are both nearly right & profoundly wrong. But if when they set out they are only quite wise men, their wisdom is still enough to recognise the greatness of what they see & worship it.




The Feast of the Epiphany


This feast tells us that for God there are no foreigners, no strangers, no aliens, no outsiders.  We all belong to our God no matter what external physical or cultural differences there may be between us.  We all belong to God no matter what religious convictions or lifestyle differences there may be between us.  Our God is inclusive, unpredictable, imaginative, compassionate, forgiving, & God desires a personal encounter with us.


This feast means that we are called to be ‘epiphany people’.  There is no turning back – just an on-going commitment to ‘shine forth’ with courage, compassion, vision, & to hope & to seek again & to live with a restless spirit, so as to be intensely engaged with humanity each in our own unique way.


What this feast tells is that although most religious discourse begins with a notion of a transcendent God up there in heaven, & then we try to explain everything down here in relationship to that transcendent God, in fact, as Jesus taught us, it is something more akin to ‘from the bottom up’.  In other words, Jesus taught us to find God incarnate in this world, in our neighbour, in the eucharist – that is, in the ordinary elements of this earth.  That is a very different notion of religion.  It turns everything on its head.  That is why this week we have celebrated three kings paying homage to a poor baby in a feeding trough.