Pray With Us

Dear All,

As we approach Lent 2021, maybe this is the year to make resolutions to be kind to ourselves.  This might be an unusual way into the traditional season for ‘penance’ but we have had so much ‘penance’ in the last year – it has really been a year-long Lent & so perhaps we need to look forward now with hope to better times. It was difficult to celebrate Easter & Eastertide last year, lets hope it is easier this year??

We are including an unusual reflection on ashes just to mark next Wednesday.  The other pieces are a follow-on from last week – silence as a prerequisite for listening. One, ‘I weave a silence’ is set to music by Margaret Rizza & so we are including that as well.

The blessing this week is ‘My Peace’ from ‘Sacred Dance’ – let’s ask that this coming time of Lent will bring us peace – in our hearts, in our immediate family & beyond.

With our love



Lent formally begins February 17 th  with ashes placed on the foreheads of those attending church services. A somber message of “Repent and believe the good news,” or “Dust you are and to dust you shall return” usually accompanies those ashes. A completely new view of ashes arrived when I read the following about the Jewish Holocaust in  Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent  by Isabel Wilkerson. It greatly expanded and deepened my perception. 


“ The ash rose from the crematorium into the air…and settled onto the front steps and geranium beds of the townspeople living outside the gates of death at Sachsenhausen, north of Berlin. The ash coated the swings sets and paddling pools in the backyards of the townspeople.  There was no denying the slaughter and torment on the other side of the barbed wire. …The people had ingested the lies…that these prisoners—Jews, Sinti, homosexuals, opponents of the Reich—were not humans like themselves, and thus the townspeople swept the ash from their steps and carried on with their days. Mothers pulled their children inside when the wind kicked up, hurried them along, to keep them from being covered in the ash of fellow human beings .”  


This appalling reality led me to consider how ashes in our era continue to hold stories of suffering. These stories beg us to change our ways, to be honest about the missing pieces of love and human kindness meant to be rooted in our lives. 


Ashes are grimy, dirty, not easily washed off.  Like ashes sticking to our foreheads, the greyness of suffering clings to ourselves and our society. These ashes show up everywhere. Crematoriums today are filled with the remains of thousands and thousands of loved ones who’ve died from Covid-19. The charred ruins from wildfires tell the suffering of humans, creatures, and nature. The ashes of small campfires in the woods warming homeless persons remind us of the millions of humanity without homes or the warmth of a welcome. Even the blessed and burnt palms of Ash Wednesday speak silently about suffering, cut indifferently from their green home and without thanks for how they are to be used. 


I think, too, of the grey film of illusion and indifference that coats and adheres to the minds and hearts of a culture destroying itself by extreme individualism, beliefs of superiority over other humans, religious hypocrisy, destructive violence, absorption in self-adulation and consumerism. I ask myself about the ashes in my own heart as Lent approaches. How is it that I might be contributing to the suffering that exists? What will I do to ease this? 


Fasting in order to lose weight or “giving up” certain foods—these are rather worthless activities in affecting the quality of our mind and heart. When Easter arrives we pat ourselves on the back and go on our merry way.  But focusing on the lessening of suffering both near and far away by our deliberate decisions such as complying with Covid-19 restrictions to protect people from dying, ceasing negative words and actions, caring for the environment, listening generously to the distressed, comforting ill and grieving persons— these Lenten actions gradually release what clings to our unloving. They reveal the divine goodness that shines free of all ashes within our compassionate hearts.   


Abundant peace,

Joyce Rupp 





The wise tell us that God abides in silence-

that God speaks in the silent serenity of the heart.

Let us not speak of silence;

rather, let silence speak to us of God.


let us enter, through the door of serenity,

the silence of our heart.





I weave a silence onto my lips.

I weave a silence into my mind.

I weave a silence within my heart.

Silence, silence, silence, silence ……

Text: David Adams.  Music: Margaret Rizza.






In the silence;

In the stillness of the Spirit,

We move, we move,

We move in the ocean of God.

We are called by name;

We are already known & loved;

Already known & loved in our mother’s womb;

Here in the mystery of silence,

We allow ourselves to be loved.

For when the light & the Kingdom dawn in our hearts,

For then it touches all we touch.

We must not fear the light;

It must dawn & burst forth in our hearts,

Until it becomes the full dawn of the Risen Christ.

John Main.




Be silent,

Be still,

Wait before your God.

Say nothing.

Ask nothing.

Be still.

Let your God look on you.

That is all.

God knows.

God understands.

God loves you with an enormous love.

God only wants to look on you with love




Let your God love you.

Edwina Gately.