Thursday, September 30, 2010

Simone Weil in her own words

A hurtful act is the transference to others of the degradation which we bear in ourselves.

A science which does not bring us nearer to God is worthless.

A self-respecting nation is ready for anything, including war, except for a renunciation of its option to make war.
A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs to dreams

 All sins are attempts to fill voids.

An atheist may be simply one whose faith and love are concentrated on the impersonal aspects of God.

As soon as men know that they can kill without fear of punishment or blame, they kill; or at least they encourage killers with approving smiles.

Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.

Culture is an instrument wielded by teachers to manufacture teachers, who, in their turn, will manufacture still more teachers.

Difficult as it is really to listen to someone in affliction, it is just as difficult for him to know that compassion is listening to him.

Equality is the public recognition, effectively expressed in institutions and manners, of the principle that an equal degree of attention is due to the needs of all human beings.

Evil, when we are in its power, is not felt as evil, but as a necessity, even a duty.

For when two beings who are not friends are near each other there is no meeting, and when friends are far apart there is no separation.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


see the living water post for St Micheal and all the angels: Michealmas

graphic: Rapheal

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cowper's Onley Hymns (1)

 Jehovah-Nisi: The Lord is My Banner

(Exodus, xvii.15)

By whom was David taught
To aim the deadly blow,
When he Goliath fought,
And laid the Gittite low?
Nor sword nor spear the stripling took,
But chose a pebble from the brook.

'Twas Israel's God and King
Who sent him to the fight;
Who gave him strength to sling,
And skill to aim aright.
Ye feeble saints, your strength endures,
Because young David's God is yours.

Who order'd Gideon forth,
To storm the invaders' camp.
With arms of little worth,
A pitcher and a lamp?
The trumpets made his coming known
And all the host was overthrown.

Oh! I have seen the day,
When with a single word,
God helping me to say,
"My trust is in the Lord,"
My soul hath quell'd a thousand foes
Fearless of all that could oppose.

But unbelief, self-will,
Self-righteousness, and pride,
How often do they steal
My weapon from my side!
Yet David's Lord, and Gideon's friend,
Will help his servant to the end. 

William Cowper

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fredrick William Faber (1814-1863)

Born  June 26th 1814 the son of an Anglican cler­gy­man,  Faber developed a deep understanding of the love and Grace of God, enblazened with a mystic heart and driven by his love for his fellow man he went on to become a noted Hymn writer, poet, theologian.  Fa­ber grad­u­at­ed from Bal­li­ol Coll­ege. In 1836, He won  the Newdigate Prize for a poem on "The Knights of St John," 

By 1837 he had given up the Calvinistic views of his youth, and had become an enthusiastic follower of Cardinal John Henry Newman;

In 1841, a travelling tutorship took him to the continent; on returning, he published Sights and Thoughts in Foreign Churches and among Foreign Peoples (London, 1842), which he dedication to his poet friend William Wordsworth.

Or­dained an An­gli­can min­is­ter, in 1843, Faber,  be­came Rec­tor of Elton in Huntingtonshire. However, a strong Methodist presence existed in the parish and Dissidents packed his church each Sunday in an attempt to ridicule his Catholic leanings. Few were surprised when in November of 1845, after a long and painful internal struggle, he left Elton and joined the Roman Catholic Church.

He founded a religious community at Cotton Hill, called Wilfridians over which He presided until his death. In spite of his weak health, an almost incredible amount of work was crowded into those final years. He published a number of theological works, and edited the Oratorian Lives of the Saints.

Faber put pen to paper to create some of the most profound and beautiful verse:

"For the heart only dwells truly dwells with it's treasure
And the langour of love capptive hearts can unfetter
And they who love God cannot love Him by measure
For their love is but hunger to love him still better"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Desert Wisdom (7)

A brother who was insulted by another brother came to Abba Sisoes, and said to him: "I was hurt by my brother, and I want to avenge myself". Abba tried to console him and said: "Don't do that, my child. Rather leave vengeance to God". But he said: "I will not quit until I avenge myself". Then Abba said: "Let us pray, brother; and standing up, he said: "Our Father... forgive us our trespasses as we forgive NOT those who trespass against us..." Hearing these words, the brother fell at the feet of the Abba and said: "I am not going to fight with my brother any more. Forgive me, Abba."

Friday, September 10, 2010

The four conponents Lectio Divina

The art of lectio divina begins with cultivating the ability to listen deeply, to hear "with the ear of our hearts" as St. Benedict encourages us in the Prologue to His  Rule. The goal is to become people  who are able to listen for the still, small voice of God (I Kings 19:12); the "faint murmuring sound" which is God's word for us, God's voice touching our hearts. This gentle listening is an "atunement" to the presence of God in that special part of God's creation which is the Scriptures.

The cry of the prophets to ancient Israel was the joy-filled command to "Listen!" "Sh'ma Israel: Hear, O Israel!" In lectio divina we, too, heed that command and turn to the Scriptures, knowing that we must "hear" - listen - to the voice of God, which often speaks very softly. In order to hear someone speaking softly we must learn to be silent. We must learn to love silence. If we are constantly speaking or if we are surrounded with noise, we cannot hear gentle sounds. The practice of lectio divina, therefore, requires that we first quiet down in order to hear God's word to us. This is the first step of lectio divina, appropriately called lectio - reading.

The Reading or listening which is the first step in lectio divina is very different from the speed reading which modern Christians apply to newspapers, books and even to the Bible. Lectio is reverential listening; listening both in a spirit of silence and of awe. We are listening for the still, small voice of God that will speak to us personally - not loudly, but intimately. In lectio we read slowly, attentively, gently listening to hear a word or phrase that is God's word for us this day.

Once we have found a word or a passage in the Scriptures which speaks to us in a personal way, we must take it in and "ruminate" on it. The image of the ruminant animal quietly chewing its cud was used in antiquity as a symbol of the Christian pondering the Word of God. Christians have always seen a scriptural invitation to lectio divina in the example of the Virgin Mary "pondering in her heart" what she saw and heard of Christ (Luke 2:19). For us today these images are a reminder that we must take in the word - that is, memorize it - and while gently repeating it to ourselves, allow it to interact with our thoughts, our hopes, our memories, our desires. This is the second step or stage in lectio divina - meditatio- meditation. Through meditaio we allow God's word to become His word for us, a word that touches us and affects us at our deepest levels.

The third step in lectio divina is oratio - prayer: prayer understood both as dialogue with God, that is, as loving conversation with the One who has invited us into His embrace; and as consecration, prayer as the priestly offering to God of parts of ourselves that we have not previously believed God wants. In this consecration-prayer we allow the word that we have taken in and on which we are pondering to touch and change our deepest selves. Just as a priest consecrates the elements of bread and wine at the Eucharist, God invites us in lectio divina to hold up our most difficult and pain-filled experiences to Him, and to gently recite over them the healing word or phrase He has given us in our lectio and meditatio. In this oratio, this consecration-prayer, we allow our real selves to be touched and changed by the word of God.

Finally, we simply rest in the presence of the One who has used His word as a means of inviting us to accept His transforming embrace. No one who has ever been in love needs to be reminded that there are moments in loving relationships when words are unnecessary. It is the same in our relationship with God. Wordless, quiet rest in the presence of the One Who loves us has a name in the Christian tradition - contemplatio, contemplation. Once again we practice silence, letting go of our own words; this time simply enjoying the experience of being in the presence of God.

compiled from several sources