I respond to a decrease in overall satisfaction with life during the pandemic and a challenge from a listener. I draw from Ignatian Spirituality to explore the mellow flame of love that sustains us through the ups and downs of life. While acknowledging the natural highs and lows, I look to an Ignatian rule of vigilance after experiencing a consolation without a preceding cause. Continue reading “Mellow flame of love”
A three-minute guided meditation (and a one-minute introduction) on facing one of the biggest challenges in the spiritual life. Acedia, also known as the ‘noonday demon’, is a kind of listlessness or restlessness that leaves us without a sense of divine presence. It was experienced by the desert mothers and fathers who were tempted to turn to distractions during their normal routine. We can also experience acedia during the Covid-19 crisis when we are restricted in our movements around work and leisure. Continue reading “When the walls close in”
I imagined being in a quiet land outside of the city and suburbs during the Covid-19 crisis. Jesus and I had our hands on each other’s shoulders while we looked at a statue in front of us. I heard a wind come and go, I smelled and tasted the earth, I tried to be present. As I delved deeper, I saw a gentle expression on the statue’s face. I saw a blanket of cloud and I got in touch with the movement of the wind. Continue reading “Contemplative nothingness”
I was invited by Jesuit.ie to write a story about my website. The article was called ‘New Ignatian-inspired website’ because I was inspired by Ignatian Spirituality (‘finding God in all things’) to write on contemplative wisdom for wellbeing. Here I introduce my ‘Bursting Out in Praise’ triangle – a dynamic process of transcendence even during the pain or suffering of the Covid-19 pandemic. I also sing my own personal prayer called ‘The Magnificent Magnificat of Mary’, joining with Mary in saying ‘Yes’ to God. Continue reading “‘Bursting Out in Praise’ triangle”
This week I offer a three minute meditation (with a one minute introduction) on the theme of praise. Drawn from my blogpost ‘Bursting Out in Praise’, there is an initial focus on mindful breathing followed by the repetition of a word of praise that arises from our hearts. It aims to encourage us to develop a habit of praise that seeps into our souls. Continue reading “Contemplative joy”
“I don’t sing because I’m happy. I’m happy because I sing.” – William James
As I was writing a blogpost last week, I noticed a lack of conviction on my topic. I felt tired and unmotivated, and I needed some inspiration. So, I got in touch again with a Poor Clare contemplative nun who reminded me of the importance of turning to praise on a regular basis. She told me that her community does the Divine Office – consisting of hymns, psalms, readings and prayers – seven times a day and that it actually seeps into your soul after a while. This motivated me to set a schedule and pray and sing it over a few days. Continue reading “Bursting out in praise”
Using mindfulness and a well known Bible passage, I guide the listener through a three minute meditation on experiencing God in nature and in the sound of sheer silence. I also reflect on my own experience of connecting with nature during the Covid-19 pandemic. Continue reading “Elijah on the mountain”
“The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes” (John 3:8).
As I contemplated the bird’s nest in my garden, I began to realise it was not as fragile as I first thought. Sure, individually the feathers, twigs, moss and leaves could be blown away by the wind. But together along with small branches that acted as support, it was actually quite sturdy and secure. There was even one branch towards the back of the nest that formed part of its structure. It was protected from many angles and was just the right weight in the tree. Likewise, we are fragile and vulnerable on our own but we can support each other and find peace in our circumstances and world right now, for example, we can check in regularly with those who are cocooning and feel less lonely and more connected ourselves. Continue reading “A bird’s call”
I introduce my new website, Gratitude in All Things, offering blogposts and meditative podcasts to tune into what we have in a loving way and to deepen our sense of reality, even in the midst of pain or suffering.
There is a story this week about how two disciples do not initially recognise Jesus after his resurrection when he walks with them on the road to Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. It would seem they are so caught up with noise around what had happened to him that they forget to stop, take time to notice, and see the beauty in front of them. When they eventually recognise Jesus, they are able to look back and see that their hearts were in fact burning within as he walked with them and opened up the scriptures. It may have been an ordinary moment but something extraordinary was happening to them. Continue reading “The extraordinary ordinary”