Pray With Us

Dear Friends,

February can be a long time coming!  January can seem long ….. but with February we begin to see lighter mornings & evenings. And light is today’s theme – inner light and outer light, the oil that enables the lamp to give light, the light that comes as winter begins to loosen its grip.  There is also a prayer to go with the lighting of a candle – you may like to use this.

The blessing this week is ‘Let the Peace of the Father’ from Sacred Weave.  Let’s remember those people caught up in conflicts & wondering when – or even if – they will see the light again.

This comes with our love & prayer for you.

 


 

Such is the grip of winter – we long to escape;

such is the darkness of winter – we yearn for the sun.

Yet in the grip of darkness

restless seeds struggle towards the light;

from the darkness of the earth buds will burst forth

and dull landscapes will be splashed with colour.

Spring invites us into expectation,

kisses us in anticipation,

awakens us from the quiet months

and enlivens our yearning hearts.

As life breaks out from the earth

the Lord of Spring

working amongst us

calls us to new hope.

As life breaks out from the earth

the Lord of Spring

working in our world,

calls us to new vitality.

 


 

This is what the great choice comes down to – the great conflict between first-hand experience and tradition, between spontaneity and decorum, between compassion and obligation. Other life forms have no part in this. It’s strictly a human affair. The sapling doesn’t look to its elders for approval, it just grows toward the light. The bee feels its hunger and finds its honey. 

When I speak of these things, distrustful minds, against all intention of getting involved, blurt out: but we have to live in the real world. After a long silence, I offer: you must meet the outer world with your inner world or existence will crush you.

And so it begins, continues, ensues: Who will live your life? The answer is obvious. Yet the difficulty is not in knowing the course, but in accepting the many ways we give our life away, accepting the many ways we abdicate the one outright gift we have.

Too often, we’re told that to live in the real world we must give up our dreams in service of a survival that looms as pragmatic. In truth, it’s the opposite. Living in the world in a real way requires the evolution of an interior life, and much of our health depends on how we, at our porous best, negotiate the infiltration of outer and the release of inner.

Kabir, the great mystic poet of India, suggests that the soul is merely a portion of ocean gathered in our pitcher of a life:

Take a pitcher full of water and set it down on the water – 
now it has water inside and water outside. 
We mustn’t give it a name, 
lest silly people start talking again 
about the body and the soul.

When we tend our soul, we tend to our portion of ocean. When we give complete attention to our portion of God’s Being, we take up space and emanate the depths of our original energy. It’s how we shine within. And at the edge, where the individual soul meets the world, where the pitcher meets the ocean, where inner light meets outer light, there is a kinetic border we can’t resist, a rim called wonder that draws us back into the Whole.

Mark Nepo, Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness (2015)

 


 

The Essential Tagore, a reflection by Rabindranath Tagore

The lamp contains its oil, which it holds securely in its close grasp and guards from the least loss. Thus is it separate from all other objects around it and is miserly. But when lighted it finds its meaning at once; its relation with all things far and near is established, and it freely sacrifices its fund of oil to feed the flame.

Such a lamp is our self. So long as it hoards its possessions it keeps itself dark, its conduct contradicts its true purpose. When it finds illumination it forgets itself in a moment and holds the light high. This revelation is the freedom which Buddha preached. He asked the lamp to give up its oil. But purposeless giving up is a still darker poverty which he never could have meant. The lamp must give up its oil to the light and thus set free the purpose it has in its hoarding. This is emancipation. The path Buddha pointed out was the widening of love.

 


 

To Light a Candle.

Lord, may this candle be a light

for you to enlighten me in my difficulties and decisions.
May it be fire

for you to burn out of me all pride, selfishness and impurity.
May it be a flame

for you to bring warmth into my heart

towards my family, my neighbours

and all those who meet me.
Through the prayers of Mary, woman & mother, I place in your care those I want to remember, especially …………….
In leaving this candle, I wish to give you something of myself.
Help me to continue my prayer into everything I do this day.
Amen.