God Alone Suffices

Nada te turbe, Let nothing disturb you,

nada te espante Let nothing frighten you,

todo se pasa, All things pass away:

Dios no se muda, God never changes.

la paciencia todo lo alcanza, Patience obtains all things

quien a Dios tiene He who has God

nada le falta Finds he lacks nothing;

solo Dios basta. God alone suffices.

The Hebrew word for Love is Hesed.

The Greek word for Love Agape.

The Arabic word for Love is Habibi. Whoever has God lacks nothing.

In the original writing of Teresa

A Psalm: The Lockdown of Covid

Psalm 137 Covid Version:

In the lockdown of Covid,

Indoors we stayed, and wept,

When we remembered friends, family, sanity and jobs.

In the churches we silenced our tongues, and muzzled our faces,

For the Government required of us fearful obeisance to the gods of bureaucratic scientism & the spin of half-truths.

Why should we so meekly comply and not sing the LORD’s song in this ‘new normal’?

If I forget you, O Christ, let me throw away my own heart upon the ash heap;

If I forget you O Church, cast me upon the rocks of ruin,

Let not my highest joy in Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Be subordinated to whimsical diktat of conflicting authoritarian pronouncements.

Remember LORD, in previous actual plagues of old

Twas the Church that fought like lions,

And preserved the communities and society.

O Covid, destroyer of civilisations, doomed to be destroyed,

May the LORD repay those whose courage failed.

May the LORD repay those whose courage roared.

Let not the future prove to be the rocks upon which we have dashed our little ones.

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In Love and Adoration

Having participated in two funerals in the last week, I offer this prayer that I have adapted to allow for two perspectives: the beloved one who has died and the beloved ones who are grieving.  I wanted to share this because the experiences have been so unusual given the social distancing and other attendant Coronavirus limitations, that loss and grief have been made more complex and our grief more exposed.

I offer it here for those who have lost loved ones, for whatever reason, and are grieving, whether in the UK or around the world.

Continue reading “In Love and Adoration”

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

One of my great joys is reading Blaise Pascal’s writings (1623-1662). He made huge contributions to the sciences of the 17th c., as a pioneer, especially in what we now call computers – he was a very smart young man.

After his premature death aged just 39, a collection of his thoughts and writings were printed in what is called Pensees, and they amount to a brilliant apologetic defense of Christianity.

He is most famous I guess for what we call ‘Pascal’s Wager’ – the argument that on the balance of probability, it is better and wiser to choose Christian faith in God than not.

He has many brilliant insights into human nature, and one of his most famous thoughts perfectly sums up the core of his argument, especially apt during this enforced slowing down of our way of life:

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

Pascal

Continue reading ““All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.””

Storm Centres of History: HMS Victory & Trade and Empire

BBC Radio Devon – Pause for Thought:  Storm Centres

During the Pause for Thought recently, I’ve been talking about 7 places I have been to:  Storm-centres of history.

Today, we will go to Portsmouth.

Last year I returned with my dad, to the dry-dock in Portsmouth that holds a very special piece of maritime history.  

We went for a couple of days to enjoy HMS Victory and King Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose.

Unlike my dad, I’m not a military person; and yet the sight of this magnificent ship – a wonder of 18th century ship-building and engineering, is breathtaking.

Continue reading “Storm Centres of History: HMS Victory & Trade and Empire”

Praying for Palestinian Justice

The Wave of Prayer ministry enables local and international friends of Sabeel to pray over regional concerns on a weekly basis. Sent to Sabeel’s network of supporters, the prayer is used in services around the world and during Sabeel’s Thursday Communion service; as each community in its respective time zone lifts these concerns in prayer at noon every Thursday, this ‘wave of prayer’ washes over the world.
 
Sabeel Wave of Prayer – Thursday 31st May 2018
During the ninth consecutive week of the ‘Great March of Return’ more than 100 Palestinians, including seven children were wounded by Israeli snipers along the border in Gaza. There is a desperate shortage of drugs and medication for the treatment of the wounded in Gaza as a result of the ten year Israeli blockade.
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Lord, we continue to pray for the safety of the Palestinian protesters and their commitment to non-violence. Dear God, we pray that those who have been injured in the protest may soon recover and that the families who are grieving for their loved ones may find solace.
Lord in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer.
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The Israeli Knesset has proposed a new bill which would make it a criminal act to film or photograph an Israeli soldier on active duty. The bill is supported by the right-wing Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and if passed, those found in violation of the law could face a prison sentence of up to five years. Palestinian journalists view the law as an attempt by the Israeli government to ‘escape punishment and international justice’.
Lord, we pray for the safety of all people who risk their lives to document the human rights violations of the powerful. We pray that journalists may still be able to report the truth of all they witness in the occupied territories.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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Last Friday, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition from six human rights groups to declare that ‘the Israeli military’s regulations that allow soldiers to open fire at unarmed civilians is unlawful’.
Lord, we continue to depend on your mercy and justice as Israel validates the use of violence against Palestinians through legislative means. We pray for the protection of those who exercise their right to protest against the occupation.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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On Thursday, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Defence Minister, said in a statement that he plans to seek approval for the construction of 2,500 Israeli settler homes in the occupied West Bank.
Lord, the Israeli government continues to demolish the homes of Palestinians and ruin their crops as well as appropriating their land to build illegal settlements for Israelis. We pray that the international community would undertake to hold the Israeli government to account for flouting international law. We ask that due process would be brought to bear on any attempts to colonize the West Bank.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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Last Sunday, May 20th, the Palestinian residents of the village of al-Aqaba received demolition orders from the Israeli forces. They were informed that twenty homes would be demolished within a period of sixty days as they were alleged to have been built without the requisite Israeli construction permits.
Over the weekend, Israeli settlers raided Palestinian vineyards in the Hebron area and used electric saws to cut down over 1700 vines. The settlers also spray-painted threats on the walls around the vineyards.
Lord, Palestinians continue to fall victim to the policies of the Israeli army and politicians. We pray for the safety of Palestinian villages and for renewed strength for the farmers who have lost their vines just months before the grape-harvest. Have mercy on the Palestinian people Lord, as they grow weary.
Lord in you mercy . . .
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Three toddlers were found dead in the Palestinian town of Bethany east of Jerusalem. Initial investigation by the police shows that the three children, two sisters and a friend, trapped themselves in an abandoned car while playing and died as a result of suffocation during a heat wave.
Lord, we pray for the families of Youssef, Raneem and Rahaf as they mourn the deaths of their beloved children and ask that they would find comfort in their grief.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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A Palestinian teenager died on Wednesday after succumbing to wounds sustained during protests in Ramallah.  Adi Abu Khalil was only fifteen years old when shot in the stomach by an Israeli soldier last week.
Lord, the Israeli occupation continues to target Palestinian children and teenagers. We pray for your spirit to comfort the family of Adi as they grieve for their loss. We pray that soldiers firing live ammunition at children would, one day, be held accountable for their action.
Lord in your mercy . . .

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