Monday, 27 October 2014

Only God I saw

In the market, in the cloister, only God I saw,
In the valley and on the mountain, only God I saw.
Him I have seen beside me oft in tribulation;
In favour and in fortune - only God I saw.
In prayer and in fasting, in praise and contemplation,
In the religion of the Prophet - only God I saw.
Neither soul nor body, accident nor substance,
Qualities nor causes, only God I saw.
Myself with mine own eyes, I saw most clearly,
But when I looked with God's eyes, only God I saw.
I passed away into nothingness, I vanished,
And lo! I was the All-Living, only God I saw.

                                                           by an 11th. century Sufi poet.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Our Mother

This is the statue of Diana of Ephasus in the Sir John Soan Museum,London which inspired the following words by Norman Iles as published in She magazine April 1986.

Our Mother, which art in earth,
Heart-loved is thy name.
Thy kindness come, thy way be known,
On earth, as in sea and sky.
Give us this day thy daily bread,
And encourage us to our fruition,
As we encourage our own children.
Lead us into happiness,
And deliver us from despair.
For thine is the creation,
The power, and the beauty,
For women, and men,Forever.

                                         Artemis and Fawn.  Statue in the Vatican collection.
                               The Greek Goddess Artemis was known to the Romans as Diana.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Beatitudes for Friends of the Deaf

Blessed are they who seem to know
            That lip-reading is difficult and slow.
Blessed are they who shake my hand
            And write notes to help me understand.
Blessed are they who know that I long
            To hear voices, music and song.
Blessed are they who seem to see
            When I'm lost in a group of two or three.
Blessed are they who take time out
            To explain to me what they're talking about.
Blessed are they who are patient and kind,
            That gives me comfort and peace of mind.
Blessed are they who have a smile,
            That makes my life more worthwhile.
Blessed are they who make it known
            By faith in God's promise "I'll not walk alone".
Blessed are they who understand
            As I journey to that City "not made with hands".

                                                   Anon - from my big green scrap-book.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


" But the fourth kind of healing is produced through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This does not depend on contact, nor on sight, nor upon presence; it is not dependent upon any condition.  Whether the disease be light or severe, whether there be a contact of bodies or not, whether a personal connection be established between the sick person and the healer or not, this healing takes place through the power of the Holy Spirit."

                          Extract from 'Baha'i Revelation' - writings of  'Abdu'l-Baha.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A Prayer for those who live Alone

I live alone dear Lord, stay by my side.
In all my daily needs, be thou my guide.
Grant me good health, for that indeed I pray,
To carry out my work, from day to day.
Keep pure my mind, my thoughts, my every deed.
Let me be kind, unselfish in my neighbours needs.
Spare me from fire, from flood, malicious tongues,
From thieves, from fear, from evil ones.
If sickness or an accident befall,
Then humbly Lord, I pray, be thou my call,
And when I'm feeling low or in despair,
Lift up my head and help me in my prayer.
I live alone dear Lord, yet have no fear
Because I feel your presence ever near.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Four Kinds of Merit

There was a rich man who used to invite all the Brahmans of the neighbourhood to his house, and, giving them rich gifts, offered great sacrifices to the gods.

And the Blessed One said: "If a man each month repeat a thousand sacrifices and give offerings without ceasing, he is not equal to him who but for one moment fixes his mind upon righteousness."

The world-honoured Buddha continued: "There are four kinds of offering: first, when the gifts are large and the merit is small; secondly, when the gifts are small and the merit small; thirdly, when the gifts are small and the merit large; and fourthly, when the gifts are large and the merit is also large."

"The first is the case of the deluded man who takes away life for the purpose of sacrificing to the gods, accompanied by carousing and feasting.  Here the gifts are great, but the merit is small indeed."

"The gifts are small and the merit is also small, when from covetousness and an evil heart a man keeps to himself a part of that he intends to offer."

"The merit is great, however, while the gift is small, when a man makes his offering from love and with a desire to grow in wisdom and in kindness."

"Lastly, the gift is large and the merit is large, when a wealthy man, in an unselfish spirit and with the wisdom of a Buddha, gives donations and founds institutions for the best of mankind to enlighten the minds of his fellow-men and to administer unto their needs."

                                                                   Extract from the Gospel of the Buddha

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Gifts from the Holy Spirit

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them.
There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served.
There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to everyone for all services.
Each one is given some proof of the Spirit's presence for the good of all.
The Spirit gives one man a message of wisdom, while to another man the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge.
One and the same Spirit gives faith to one man, while to another man he gives the power to heal.
The Spirit gives one man the power to work miracles; to another, the gift of speaking God's message; and to yet another the ability to tell the difference between gifts that come from the Spirit and those that do not.  To one man he gives the ability to speak with strange sounds; to another he gives the ability to explain what these sounds mean.
But one and the same Spirit who does all this; he gives a different gift to each man, as he wishes.

1 Corinthians Ch.12 v 4-11   'Good News for Modern Man (1971 edition)