Dear Lord There is so much anger, hatred and hurt happening in our world In Egypt. In Syria. In Zimbabwe. In Israel. In Palestine. In our own country, through poverty, homelessness, and crimes of desperation linked to both. Help us to remain strong in our conviction of the need for prayer. Help us to love Help us to be kind Help us to accept. Help us to look for a peaceful world, with love not fighting, bombs or guns from any side, group or country Help us to invisage everyone living together and loving each other Let people throughout the world speak Without facing punishment or social ostracisation. Help us, with Your love and Grace, to open our arms and our hearts to one another and to all.
Griff (the hostel’s Volunteer Coordinator) is going to be dressed at the infamous Jay the Dog, a costume bought by the charity, and it gets used all the time! He and others (not me, bit too far) are walking between The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Beacons on the Malvern Hills. If you would like to sponsor Griff, then please click on the following JustGiving.com link. Thank you!
I am not going to give certain sites the privilage of being named on here. They do not deserve it. All I can say is that it is not just the existence of sites that is sick. It is the people who use them, or post abuse on sites like Twitter when they know full well people can be identified and have been dealt with by the police. Why does the human race feel it needs to insult and knock down fellow humans? Those suffering, and those who admit a problem, should be admired for their bravery not encouraged to do themselves damage. People who tell people to kill themselves are, in my opinion, messed up in the head, even more than I consider myself to be. All I can do is to pray and hope that somehow, the human race will realise that many of the bad things in the world are caused by it. War, economic issues, deforestation, reduction and extinction of animal species; we are culpable. If we are the superior race, compared to animals for example, then, quite frankly, our status needs to be questioned, because we certainly aren’t demonstrating it. We are demonstrating complete insensitivity and complete lack of understanding of feelings and emotions, something that is supposed to set us apart from animals.
I believe that feathers lying on the ground where I’m walking are a communication from my late grandmother. I thought she would be scathing of my suffering from depression. If anyone was going to say the worst thing you can ever say to a depressive (“Oh grow up and pull yourself together”) to me, I thought it would be her. For weeks now I’ve seen feathers everywhere! Coincidence or not, I always say hello and thank her for being with me. That’s where this poem came from:
A path Any path A route Any route
Slight Light, like gossamer A whisper in the wind
How could she know? Wherever I am Whatever place I am walking She is there…
There is so much anger, hatred and hurt happening in our world
In Egypt. In Syria. In Zimbabwe. In Israel. In Palestine.
In our own country, through poverty, homelessness, and crimes of desperation linked to both.
Help us to remain strong in our conviction of the need for prayer.
Help us to love
Help us to be kind
Help us to accept.
Help us to look for a peaceful world
With everyone living together and loving each other
With people throughout the world being able to speak
Without facing punishment or social ostracisation.
Help us, with Your love and Grace, to open our arms and our hearts
to one another and to all.
The Assumption commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay–a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. This was declared by Pope Pius XII, on November 1, 1950.
I am not Catholic, but I am fascinated by the lives of the saints, and Anglicans do have a commitment and recognition of Our Lady, although Catholics pray through her and the saints as intercessors between them and God, as they do not see themselves has being worthy to communicate with God directly. I do pray to God directly, but I also look to the saints also, and certainly do not see myself as more worthy, necessarily, to speak to God directly. I seem to do a combination of everything. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, calls himself a spiritual magpie. I suppose I’m one too!
The traditional image of the Virgin is one of ultimate motherhood. She is gentle, loving, kind, ready to pull the whole world into her embrace. I look at this image and, with so much hurt and anger happening in our world, feel comforted by it. I hope and pray that through grace, peace and kindness, something positive can and will occur.
Father in heaven, all creation rightly gives you praise, for all life and all holiness come from you. In the plan of your wisdom she who bore the Christ in her womb was raised body and soul in glory to be with him in heaven. May we follow her example in reflecting your holiness and join in her hymn of endless love and praise.
Maximillian Kolbe was a Polish franciscan monk, who died in Auchswitz having volunteered to take the place of a man who had a family, who was in a group that had been chosen to be starved to death as a punishment for the actions of others. After two weeks of starvation, Kolbe was the only one still alive and was injected with carbolic acid by guards. His remains were cremated on 15th August, which marks the Assumption, which commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay–a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. Kolbe was canonised by Pope John Paul II as a martyr, and is known as the Apostle of Consecration to Mary. His willingness to take the place of a stranger who was facing death remains an incredible action that I do not know how many people would be able to do, whatever the situation. We remember Kolbe on August 14th, his feast day, and give thanks to God for his actions, simple but incredible.
Heavenly Father, You inflamed your priest and martyr, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, with love for the Immaculate Virgin and filled him with zeal for souls and love of neighbours. Through his prayers grant that we may work unreservedly for your glory in the service of men and thereby become like Christ your Son until death. Amen.
Well, I did it. I didn’t just survive Iona. I experienced it, and came back with memories and achievements under my belt. It wasn’t easy; I had one major panic attack, and had only myself to comfort me. I managed to come out of it on my own, although I’m not totally certain how. We stayed in the Mac (Macleod Centre), and I think I was very lucky because the group staying there that week gelled very well and very quickly. I don’t think that always happens. I did things on my own, which is a challenge for me. Normally I can be on my own for two hours tops before I start to panic. I completed the shorter pilgrimage round the island, which is about 2-3 miles. I did not think I would complete it. The Abbey was beautiful, and I read a reading from Scripture during a service. The Healing Service which happens every Tuesday evening was a very moving experience, with laying-on of hands, which I really like. We were there in a non-programme week, so I believe there was fewer timetabled sessions. I liked that, but it would be interesting to experience both.
I achieved lots and I’m glad I didn’t spend the entire week panicking, but I found it more difficult that I expected to settle back into “normal life” when I returned. Many have said that you don’t always know what affect Iona has had on you until weeks or months after. I shall continue to pray to God to guide me in my life. I’ve posted a picture of Iona Abbey from further up the road, looking back. I hope this works, as I’ve never posted pictures on here before.
Please check out this blog, written by an ex-student and now friend of mine, who is currently a undergraduate at Nottingham Trent Uni. I am very proud of what he’s achieved, and that I can call him a friend now! Go to http://richardbromhall.wordpress.com/
or use the link on the Blogroll.