The Quality of Life…

Wednesday August 23 It is very hard to accept an early death. When friends die who are seventy, eighty, or ninety years old, we may be in deep grief and miss them very much, but we are grateful that they had long lives. But when a teenager, a young adult, or a person at the height of his or her …

Living Our Passages Well…

Tuesday August 22: Death is a passage to new life. That sounds very beautiful, but few of us desire to make this passage. It might be helpful to realise that our final passage is preceded by many earlier passages. When we are born we make a passage from life in the womb to life in the family. When we go …

Taking the Sting Out of Death…

Monday, August 21: Dying is returning home. But even though we have been told this many times by many people, we seldom desire to return home. We prefer to stay where we are. We know what we have; we do not know what we will get. Even the most appealing images of the afterlife cannot take away the fear of …

The Treasure of the Poor…

Sunday, August 20: The poor have a treasure to offer precisely because they cannot return our favours. By not paying us for what we have done for them, they call us to inner freedom, selflessness, generosity, and true care. Jesus says: “When you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; then you will be blessed, …

Meeting God in the Poor…

Saturday, August 19: When we are not afraid to confess our own poverty, we will be able to be with other people in theirs. The Christ who lives in our own poverty recognises the Christ who lives in other people’s. Just as we are inclined to ignore our own poverty, we are inclined to ignore others’. We prefer not to …

Our Poverty, God’s Dwelling Place…

Friday, August 18 How can we embrace poverty as a way to God when everyone around us wants to become rich? Poverty has many forms. We have to ask ourselves: “What is my poverty?” Is it lack of money, lack of emotional stability, lack of a loving partner, lack of security, lack of safety, lack of self-confidence? Each human being …

Focussing Our Minds and Hearts…

Thursday, August 17: How can we stay in solitude when we feel that deep urge to be distracted by people and events? The most simple way is to focus our minds and hearts on a word or picture that reminds us of God. By repeating quietly: “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want,” or by gazing …

Clinging to God in Solitude…

Wednesday, August 16: When we enter into solitude to be with God alone, we quickly discover how dependent we are. Without the many distractions of our daily lives, we feel anxious and tense. When nobody speaks to us, calls on us, or needs our help, we start feeling like nobodies. Then we begin wondering whether we are useful, valuable, and …

Protecting Our Hiddenness…

Tuesday August 15; If indeed the spiritual life is essentially a hidden life, how do we protect this hiddenness in the midst of a very public life? The two most important ways to protect our hiddenness are solitude and poverty. Solitude allows us to be alone with God. There we experience that we belong not to people, not even to …

Hiddenness, a Place of Purification…

Monday, August 14 One of the reasons that hiddenness is such an important aspect of the spiritual life is that it keeps us focused on God. In hiddenness we do not receive human acclamation, admiration, support, or encouragement. In hiddenness we have to go to God with our sorrows and joys and trust that God will give us what we …