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I Do Not See the Road Ahead

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and will never leave me to face my perils alone. –Thomas Merton

Celtic Knot

A Celtic Prayer on Joy

As the hand is made for holding and the eye for seeing,
You have fashioned me for joy.
Share with me the vision that finds that joy everywhere.
In the wild violet’s beauty;
In the lark’s melody;
In the face of a steadfast man;
In a child’s smile;
In a mother’s love;
In the purity of Jesus.

A Maclean, Hebridean Altars, Moray Press, Edinburgh, 1937

LATE HAVE I LOVED YOU

Late have I loved you,
O Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.


In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you;
yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all.
You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me;
I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

–St. Augustine

Old Irish Blessing

You are the peace of all things calm
You are the place to hide from harm
You are the light that shines in dark
You are the heart’s eternal spark
You are the door that’s open wide
You are the guest who waits inside
You are the stranger at the door
You are the calling of the poor
You are my Lord and with me still
You are my love, keep me from ill
You are the light, the truth, the way
You are my Saviour this very day.

Methodist header

From The Violence of Love

A  church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle,
a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that
doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being
proclaimed – what gospel is that? Very nice, pious considerations that
don’t bother anyone, that’s the way many would like preaching to be.
Those preachers who avoid every thorny matter so as not to be harassed,
so as not to have conflicts and difficulties, do not light up the world
they live in.

Oscar Romero –practicing liberation theology

Fall in Love

Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will  get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what  breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.
Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples,

The web that is woven over all nations;

he will destroy death forever.

The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,

and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,

for the Lord has spoken.

From Isaiah 25

Is not this the fast that I choose:

to loose the bonds of injustice,

to undo the thongs of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free,

and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,

and bring the homeless poor into your house;

when you see the naked, to cover them,

and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,

and your healing shall spring up quickly.

Isaiah 58: 6-8

Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801–1890)

Lead, Kindly Light

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home—
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now,
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blessed me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent,
till The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory