Monday, 24 March 2014

A Pause in Lent 3

Having spent the afternoon in the garden today in the lovely weather tidying up and pruning back trees I found this poem to be very true. We often fill our lives with noise without really hearing or listening.

Listening Day - Stephen Cherry

Lord, let this be a listening day
Let me be attentive.

Start me with silence.

Let me put my ear to the breeze,
the sky, the hum of traffic, the distant work.

Let me connect with birdsong, irritating insect buzz
with school playground in the distance,
river under bridge, rain on glass.

Let me read the off-stage sounds.
Let my mind follow my ear.

Help me use the "off-switch".
Ration my exposure to noise.

When I am listening to others, let me
use my eyes, my heart.
Let me hear tone of voice, inflection,
Give me the calm that winkles the
stammering thought from the frightened tongue.

When music comes, let me
enter into its texture, its depth.
When there is singing, let me hear the soul.
If there is applause, open me to its energy, delight and warmth.

When reading, slow me down, on screen
or page, from book or report.
Let me imagine the writer, in haste or in deep thought;
it off or editing carefully and with sorrow.
Give me some sense of what lies
behind the passage I see.
Let my eyes read between the lines,
around the words, above
and below the paragraphs.

Return me to silence again.
Let me hear my footsteps, my
heartbeat, my breathing.
Let me hear your Spirit
as it broods over all.

Monday, 17 March 2014

A Pause in Lent - 2

This week has been busy, in fact life just seems to be speeding up again, despite my aims for it not to! I have been starting to feel a bit overwhelmed again at everything that is waiting to be done and at the things I want to do. So when I read this poem it spoke to me, this is my prayer for this coming week.

The Day Looks Dull - Stephen Cherry

The day is planned.
Its priorities established.
The diary, like a section through a landscape,
has been built up over time.
Layers laid down.
But that does not make it
or in any way promising.

To be frank, this day looks dull.
The diary looks too full.
I wish there were more gaps,
A little white space for creativity,
or recreation, perhaps.

So my prayer is serious.
I need a lifeline of spirit;
an injection of hope.
I need to see the possible in the
I need to see the space in the congestions.
I need to see again the
humanity of the people I will spend
the day with; the spirituality of those
I encounter across the meeting table.
Refurnish me with a sense of
purpose for these all-so-slowly-burning
projects and
quietly unfolding plans.
Replenish me with vision.
Renew me with hope of
transformative action.
Rekindle in me the passion that long since
got me involved in all this.
Rouse my sense of responsibility for
my time, and rid me of the
fantasy that a day in your service
could be dull.

The day is planned Nonetheless let it be

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Pause in Lent 1

This is my first post for Floss's A Pause in Lent - you can find posts by other people here

I see Lent this year as a journey for me, a journey to Easter and the Power of the Resurrection. At my prayer course this week we were thinking through some ideas of what Lent means to each of us. What struck me was that it is a time of listening to the voice of discontent, that "holy discontent" that only God can bring in our lives. A time of listening to deep desires of our heart for ourselves and a time to follow those desires. A time of awakening. We planted seeds as a symbol of this.

This is the poem for today from the book Barefoot Prayers by Stephen Cherry


As the sum brightens the sky,
revealing the greens of the day,
touching the clouds with pink,
beckoning the birds to their wings
and ourselves to work...
Let our hearts rise within us.
Let our bodies unwind for activity,
Let our wills be trained to your purpose.

Let our dreams form our minds
and our minds sift our dreams.

Help us to be your servants this day.
To do your will and walk your way
with humility, care and true,
true, joy.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Lent ideas

Well we missed making pancakes yesterday - we just bought some instead this year. I was wondering what you are all doing for Lent this year, which starts today. I have got a couple of books to follow during Lent which are a bit different this year.

The first one is using the exercies of Ignatious. I have been doing a Growing in Prayer course which is based on Ignation Spirituality, so I though this would be interesting.

The second one is a book of prayer meditations.

Also for Lent there is this idea, which is gives you an idea/suggestion for each day of something to do. I might dip into it.

I am pleased to say that Floss is running A Pause in Lent again this year, so I hope to join in with that as well. There will be a post every Sunday/Monday in Lent. You can find the details on her blog

What, if anything, are you doing for this season of Lent?
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