Saturday, 29 November 2014

Camphill Prayers 3

Be present at our table, Lord,
Be here and everywhere adored.
Thy creatures bless,
and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee.


Bread does not nourish thee,
What feedeth thee in bread
Is God's eternal Word,
His Spirit and His life.


Earth who has given all this to us,
Sun who has ripened all this for us,
O earth so dear, O Sun so dear,
We never shall forget you here.


Wednesday, 26 November 2014


When I was young I always asked -
When and how and what and why?
How many stars? Why skylarks sing?
How far away the sky?

When I grew up I did not like
The questions youth asked me:
How can I know the truth of God?
How solve this mystery?

When will the world have justice?
When will the world see peace?
How can a loving God allow
Cruelty to increase?

Now I am old; my hair is white;
I totter on the brink.
No questions come to taunt me now.
I only have to think....

Where will I go, when I go?
What will happen to me?
What is salvation, nirvana, moksha?
What then will I see?

A voice comes through the cloud ahead -
A voice so clear and true -
'Relax, my friend, my dear old friend,
I will take care of you.'

So now I do not ask or wonder,
I do not even think.
I just relax in His dear arms,
From His sweet peace I drink.

                                             Fr Roger Lesser - Catholic priest in India.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Thought for Today

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar.

                               Wm. Wordsworth.  Ode - Intimations of Immortality (1807) st.7

A pebble, thrown into the mighty sea,
Sinks, and disturbs not its tranquillity:
No ocean, but a shallow pool, the man,
Whom very little wrong disquiet can.

Two more small entries in my scrap-book.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Saint Hilda

Saint Hilda (or Hild) of Whitby (c614 - 680), born an Anglo-Saxon princess, 2nd. daughter of Hereric, nephew of Edwin of Northumbria, and his wife Breguswith. She was an important figure in the conversion of the English to Christianity She is the Patron Saint of learning and culture, particularly poetry.
The Venerable Bede tells us that she died on 17th.November 680AD so in the Roman Catholic Church her feast-day is the 17th., but in some of the Anglican Communion it is the 18th. and in the Church of England it is the 19th. of November.  Whichever date you choose please celebrate, and learn more about, the life of Saint Hilda.

O God whose blessed Son became poor that we through His poverty might be rich: deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that, following the example of Thy servant Hilda, we may serve Thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the world to come.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

O God of peace, by whose grace the Abbess Hilda was endowed with gifts of justice, prudence and strength to rule as a wise mother over the nuns and monks of her household, and to become a trusted and reconciling friend to leaders of the Church.  Give us the grace to respect and love our fellow Christians with whom we disagree, that our common life may be enriched and Thy gracious will be done through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


                                               Photo of Mount Everest by Kerem Barut

God, the mountains point to your glory.
Their vastness and wildness remind me of your power and my weakness.
I trust in your protection and your guidance.
Your love reaches into the skies.

                                        Marcus Braybrooke (Clergyman, interfaith activist and author)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday

Today is Remembrance Sunday in the UK; services and parades are being held at Cenotaphs and War Memorials all around the country.  Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) or Veterans' Day in the USA is on Tuesday 11th..

Poppy Cascade, MetroCentre Gateshead. Photo by MMB

     "We Shall Keep the Faith."  (November1918)

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of the dead,
Fear not that ye have died for nought,
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

Written by Moina Belle Michael (1869-1944)  US professor and humanitarian who conceived the idea of using poppies as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in World War 1.

The poem was inspired after reading John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Field"  (see my blog of November 11th.2013)

White Poppy for Peace

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

In All Shrines

O Spirit, I worship Thee in all shrines.  Into the temple of peace come Thou, O Lord of Joy!  Enter my shrine of meditation, O Bliss God, Sanctify me with Thy presence.

Eternal Allah, hover over the lone minaret of my holy aspiration.  The mosque of my mind exudes a frankincense of stillness.

On the altar of my inner vihara I place flowers of desirelessness.  Their chaste beauty is Thine, O Spirit.

In a tabernacle not made with hands, I bow before the sacred ark and vow to keep Thy commandments.

Heavenly Father, in an invisible church built of devotion granite, receive Thou my humble heart offerings, daily renewed by prayer.

                                                             Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The day Thou gavest,Lord

A family member, in the USA, shared on Facebook that a local school had stopped pupils from holding a prayer meeting before morning lessons because of the objection of the parent of one of the pupils.  No one was obliged to join in.  I understand that the School Board have now reversed that decision.  Common sense has prevailed.
This brought me to reflect on my own school days (1941-51) when the whole school would gather in the hall for morning prayers before lessons and then gathered again at the end of the afternoon for a prayer and a hymn.
In one school I attended the last hymn of the day was always the same - it was sung in a quiet, gentle way after which we filed out in silence.  This is the hymn I so fondly remember.

The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
the darkness falls at Thy behest;
to Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank Thee that Thy Church unsleeping,
while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world her watch is keeping,
and rests not now by day or night.

As o'er each continent and island
the dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun, that bids us rest, is waking
our brethren 'neath the western sky,
and hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord: Thy throne shall never,
like earth's proud empires, pass away;
Thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever,
till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.

                                                             John Ellerton (1826-93)