Saturday, 27 October 2007

Prayer

Just a small reflection on prayer on my blog.
Prayer is where we meet God and we can talk with him. A time of peace and silence, being with our Lord.

My problem has often been that I start to rush through my prayers. I don't have that problem as much anymore now, as I am a novice and much more time to pray, although I said a rosary in record time today just before vespers. When I was still working though, I sometimes, or maybe not so sometimes, I tried to say my prayers when I didn't really have enough time. An good example is the rosary, where I just squeezed one in before going somewhere.

Reflecting back on these times, and now being able to pray more at ease, I think one has to be careful not to go for quantity, but more for quality. If you have 10 minutes spare in the evening, say one decade slowly or, what I sometimes did, reflect on an image of the define mercy for the 10 minutes. In pure silence...

Silence is, I think, the most important aspect of deep prayer. In the silence of our heart our Lord speaks to us. It is very hard nowadays to get this silence. There is always noise, phones ringing, things to do which occupy our minds etc., but we should try to find silence for prayer.

I think 'silence' should also come into our own actions. I might have made the mistake that I tried to communicate with the Lord, as in, with a great effort form my side. This however might render result sometimes, but recent experiences have shown me that that is not the best way. The Lord is already with us! We don't have to climb up to him. By climbing up we might leave him behind, right on the place were we were.

A better way would be in my way, to try and dwell in Christ. To open ourselves up to him, to open the door. This sounds easier than it is on first reflection, but maybe it is easier than we think once we understand it. Meditation on Christ, through our own reflections, an image or scripture, might help us to dwell in Christ. This deepening of prayer will give us a deep sense of peace or presence in our whole being...

In the beginning it might be very difficult, and we quickly lose this moment of dwelling in Christ.
That is were I am at! But in time we will be able to dwell with him for longer and deeper. It can be explained by walking on a wire, we quickly fall off. But with practice, walking the wire might become as easy as walking on a motorway.

Off course we won't always find this peace. If we would we might become addicted to it, and start praying, not to be with Jesus but to get an emotional experience. I belief however, that if we are seriously trying to find a way to be with Jesus, he will help us and show us. We then know that we are with him, even when we don't get emotional highs. Faith is important as well, but I belief that we are not asked to have blind faith. Our God is not a dead God, but a very alive God, very present in our lives, and we see him in the face of Jesus.

Just some thoughts...

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Reflection on Genesis

I was studying the book "Genesis as dialogue" by Fr. Brodie OP, and there was one observation that stroke me.

Quoting he says, derived from sources mentioned in the book, "Genesis apparently is not describing creation ex nihilo, creatino from nothing" (p. 133). Personally I am not too concerned about this, as I don't see the need to have to interpret Genesis literary, but I trikes me that that is a very useful argument, and possibly helps us to be able to more closely link Genesis with scientific observances and as such get a deeper understanding of our being (although this can be dangerous as Genesis is NOT a science book)

I am holding the belief that the question if macro evolution is true or not is not really relevant, but that it is much more interested to think how life started. I cannot belief that life started randomly after having done some research on this topic, just because that theory goes in against a lot of the scientific and biologic facts we nowadays have (Dr. Behe among many others did some very interesting research on this). Anyway, even if life 'sprong' out a puddle of mud, where did this original puddle from, or whatever was the cause of the puddle to exist.

I would be a supporter of an "intelligent design" theory. I quoted "intelligent design" and used "an", as the term "intelligent design" can have different interpretations and emotions attached to it in different parts of the world. In a nut shell I would hold the view that God had a guiding hand in the development of the world. I personally don't have a particular view as yet on how this would be (as in, created everything as is with only micro evolution since, or with an aspect of macro evolution as well). I do strongly belief that humans as they are, are different from animals as we have "knowledge of good and evil" and have a soul.

Anyway, not to get too carried away with the above I will returning to genesis, I like the suggestion that the might already have existed, and that the account describes the forming of life, and the interaction of God with first life. Obviously even if the earth already existed for some time it has to be grounded in a creative act from God. My observance doesn't really change anything to my view, but I like the idea of the possibility that the earth was already in it's primitive form, but without life (maybe as a result of the big bang), and that God breathed over the earth to bring life to it.

I haven't reflected on the above, and it has many flaws, but the part that I enjoy is that every time I find that the scriptures are so deep and can give us so much information to pounder on!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Water of life

I was just reading an article on the possible discovery of an ancient dried-up lake in Darfor, which potentially has a huge reserve of water stored in the bedrock underneath (www.catolicnews.com). The Egyptian archaeologist who found it mainly using satalite imagery and has found an ancient lake before now providing the main water supply of a region in Egypt. It is said that if the data is correct, and wells can be dug successfully that this might be a big help to work towards peace in the region.

While reading the article (which I found very interesting being an engineer) I was thinking about the "water of life" and the woman at the well (Jn 4). In the dessert water is surely one of the most scarce and precious source of life, where in the western world clean water is commonly not a problem (although, more and more strains are put on clean water supplies as people in Galway, Ireland can confirm). There is however maybe a scarcity of the water of Life. This life might not directly be the life of the body but it is surely the life of the soul.

Sometimes when I walk through the city I am looking at the people that walk past, and a lot of them don't seem terribly happy. This might just be my interpretation, but I it strikes me that there is something missing. Would it be possible that one of the reason's has do with the thirst of the soul for the water of life.

Being a convert I don't understand why the gross of God's children don't want to know Him on a deep and personal note. For me it does just not make sense! The only thing we have to do is to say yes to God, and make a commitment to spent some time with him. Jesus promises that "the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water, welling up for eternal life." (Jn 4.14). This is the well of joy and peace, which will fill our whole being, giving us hope, faith and love!

Again, these are my personal reflections, but I think a lot of people are a bit lost in modern society. There might be a lack of purpose in their lives, and they might feel that they are running around without getting anywhere. It is a pitty that most of them probably don't know the real message of the gospel of life. They don't drink of the living water of love, of faith and of hope, which will give them joy, peace and a sense of direction in these turbulent times.

Monday, 15 October 2007

National Dominican Pilgrimage to Knock

Just a quick note on the annual Dominican Pilgrimage to Knock, and my first time I attended the Dominican pilgrimage.

I don't have any photo's of the occasion, but I must say that I really enjoyed it. The attendance was very good and I thought there was a great prayerful atmosphere.

The mass was quite long because the occasion of 800 years Dominicans. There were a few added parts like a short history of the order and talks of the different groups in the Dominican family. There wasn't much time afterwards to chat to people, but overall it was a great occasion.
I will definably be going again next year!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

800 years celebrationwith the Dominican nuns

A bit late, but I just want to put on a quick note about the celebration with the Dominican nuns in Drogheda. Members of all the Dominican family joined in the celebration, and it was a very prayerfully and enjoyable experience!
Now being a month in the Dominican order as a novice and having had a chance to have more time spent in the presence of the Lord myself through contemplation I more and more understand the beauty of contemplative life. Is was a real blessing being there and seeing the love and joy literally radiating from the sisters.

It was also very nice to meet the nuns ones more, now in the habit. I really thank them for all the prayers which brought me so far! For more information on the sisters in the Siena convent, please have a look at their website http://www.dominicans.ie/siena

Monday, 8 October 2007

Some news

I haven't put any posts up for some time now as I decided to really use my novitiate year as a novitiate :-).
This means that I devote a lot of time to private prayer, and I must say that I really makes the days enjoyable.

Before I started I was afraid that the 'enclosure' would have been to much for me. Enclosure is a big word nowadays are we are fairly free, but we are supposed to be in the novitiate for the full year. After the first three weeks are over now I really feel home, and I would really encourage anyone who half thinks that God is calling him or her to any vocation to give it at least a thought and maybe a try! I am amazed, and most of all that I would actually be ok with even being more enclosed.

I think I now start to understand contemplative nuns and monks who are enclosed their whole life. Before I couldn't really image how that would be, but I think I am starting to understand it now!

It is a blessed time, and I am really happy that I am doing this! Before I usually lived with a look to the future, to holidays or the weekend. Now I can say that I am happy where I am today and what I am doing now at this moment!

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The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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