to help you discover the God you already know

Tag: anxiety

Lass auch Dir die Brust bewegen, Liebchen, höre mich!

Thrush (photo by Julian Maddock)

Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.

Mary Oliver: In Blackwater Woods

I was listening to Radio 3 over breakfast on Wednesday. Bryn Terfel was interviewed and asked to recommend a recording. He chose Schubert’s Ständchen sung by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau partnered on the piano by Gerald Moore – “the definitive recording for many people,” the presenter said. Listen to it on YouTube, or BBC Sounds at about 1’12” in.

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Praying together

a review and an invitation

Stand of trees
Photo by Annette Kaye

Breakup

In September 2010, I started on an 8-week, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) class. My father had died on Easter Day, I was struggling to hold it together as a hospital chaplain, and, though I was blind to it then, my marriage was about to end. I had long wanted to do one of these courses since dipping into Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living, but when I signed up for it two months earlier, I had not anticipated that this course would frame the nexus of disintegration that brought 2010 to an end.

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Thoughts in a time of plague

Desert, Newberry Springs, CA (photo by Julian Maddock)
Desert, Newberry Springs, CA (photo by Julian Maddock)

I wrote a short piece for the London Centre for Spiritual Direction‘s May newsletter. Then a few days later I was invited to give a reflection at a Holy Communion Service on Zoom. I used the original piece as a springboard to engage with the scripture. Here is the delivered product.

This time of plague is a desolation for many: loss of work, loss of income, loss of health, loss of life; traumatic, dangerous front-line work; and decimated support services. Those of us not so endangered still suffer desolation. There is overwhelming uncertainty: where will we be next year, or next week!? How are we to live now? What is God’s call now?

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