two yellow roses called wedding day

48. Thanks to Fr. John Foley for his understanding that, 'Faith is Openness to God's Love.'

47. Please pause and reflect during Holy Week on the thought that Jesus went through his passion and death without resentment that is unresentfully.

46. A thought from Thomas Merton (1915-1968), "In prayer we discover what we already have. You start from where you are and you deepen what you already have, and you realise that you are already there. We already have everything but we don’t know it and don’t experience it. Everything has been given to us in Christ. All we need is to experience what we already possess.”

45. A thought for Advent from Simone Weil, 'Humility is attentive patience.'

44. G.Maloney in ‘Why not become totally fire?’(1989, p.28.) wrote "Prayer is experiencing [the] intimate, creative presence of God within you, calling you into more complete being by inviting you to surrender yourself totally to His creative love within you. God looks at you with His gaze of perfect love, infinite tenderness, the closest intimacy through self-emptying love on God's part toward you. He looks at you with all the possibilities to which He is calling you. He sees your sins and potential for future good and evil, for nothing can be hidden from Him. Yet you have an overwhelming experience that God tenderly, intimately loves you."

43. Meeting Evil with Mercy is not only an excellent prescription for the evils of our present world, it may also be read as a ‘How to’ book on how spiritual growth really can and does happen in people of the twenty-first century.See our review here.

42. Have you ever thought that compassionate listening is spiritual accompaniment?

41. An account of one of Teilhard de Chardin's mystical visions can be read here.

40. An Order of Service for a healing service, of a more radical style, is available for download here.

39. A review of a book on God and Ghosts written by an independent mind is available for download here.

38. A simple Order of Service for a healing service, in the 'hymn sandwich' tradition, is available for download here.

37. How do you understand the relationship between Christian spirituality and the human soul, or psyche? Confused? Bamboozled? Unsure? A booklet, new to this website, may be of service to you. Have a look at it here.

36. A new download shows a style of 'Praying with God' that I and others have found helpful. It was given by the Revd Dr Martin Israel.

35. Henri Nouwen writes on page 125 of Reaching Out, (1976)

"Contemplative reading of the holy scriptures and silent time in the presence of God belong closely together. The word of God draws us into silence; silence makes us attentive to God's word. The word of God penetrates through the thick of human verbosity to the silent centre of our heart; silence opens in us the space where the word can be heard."

34. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote

Are we not at every instant living the experience of a universe whose immensity, by the play of our senses and reason, is gathered up more and more simply in each one of us? Are we not experiencing the first symptoms of an aggregation of a still higher order, the birth of some single centre from the convergent beams of millions of centres dispersed over the surface of the thinking earth?

33. John Ortberg writes, quoting Dallas Willard on page 23 of Soul Keeping, (2014)

"The most important thing in your life is not what you do; it's who you become. That's what you will take into eternity. You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God's great universe."

32. Rowan Williams writes on page 81 of Being Christian, (2014)

"...prayer from our point of view is about fidelity, faithfulness, sticking to it. I may not quite know what is going on; as prayer deepens in me I am less and less likely to know what is going on. I may be baffled, I may be depressed, and I may feel that absolutely nothing is happening; fine. Just stay there and if in doubt say. 'O God, make speed to save me.' Prayer is your promise and pledge to be there for God who is there for you. And that, essentially, is where prayer for the Christian begins and ends."

31. Have a look at our new page of Teilhard in Hastings photos.

30. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote

At a certain time in your life you realize that you have only two choices: genuflect before something greater than yourself or begin to self-destruct.

29. A saying of St. Therese of Lisieux.

Everything is grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love. Everything is grace because everything is God's gift. Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events -- to the heart that loves, all is well.

28. Human weakness and healing love.

It was the Church of His time that conspired to crucify Jesus, not the common people around Him, who were weak rather than evil. And yet we are not to indulge our weaknesses or those of other people. They are to be confronted, seen for what they are, and given to God in humble confession so that they may be healed. This is love in action; it is not simply a benevolent attitude but a way of life that works towards the healing of all things in God. Love is warm, but it has its chill also — for it demands everything we possess. Love endures all things, but it also works with impatience for the resurrection of folly to wisdom, for the maturing of selfish attitudes of juvenility to the self-giving sacrifice that crowns a life of creative experience. Self-love is no static ecstasy of self-approval. It is simply the first essential stage in an arduous re-creation of the personality into something of the fullness of the stature of Christ. In the same way, only when we love the perversity that lies at the heart of another person’s soul, can we effect a relationship with him. But the end of that relationship is a regeneration of that individual into a real person, one who has an alert, functioning will capable of choice, decision and action. Only when we have come to terms with the perversity within ourselves can we start to relate in earnest with the other person. The Revd Dr. Martin Israel.

27. For Remembrance Sunday.

Written by a young, unarmed volunteer stretcher bearer in the trenches of France in 1916. He was twice decorated for Gallantry and went on to become one of the great visionary priests of the twentieth century.

Observed in isolation, pain is inexplicable and hateful; but as soon as we attribute to it its proper place and role in the cosmos, we can read its features and distinguish its smile. It is pain that, by stimulating beings to react against conditions that are inimical to their full development, forces them to leave unprofitable roads; it stimulates them to undertake fruitful work and induces them to attain common harmony and to adapt themselves to one another in such a way as to avoid conflicts that injure and encroachments that reduce them. It is pain again that, by detaching man from lower delights, forces him to seek joy in considerations and objects that 'worm and rust do not consume', that makes his soul return to the higher reaches of being, and keeps the vital pressure continually at work against the present limits of his development. It is pain, finally, that automatically punishes any transgressions of life's laws, and sees to it that they are expiated. Suffering stimulates, spiritualizes, and purifies.

His name is Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.Writings in Time of War p.43.

26. The CFPSS has just published my 28 page booklet on Psychic Awareness: An Introduction.

25. The power of the Holy Spirit is spelt L O V E.

24. William Law’s Triune God.

CREATOR, REDEEMER, and LOVE, are the one true unchangeable, triune God, that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which from everlasting to everlasting have only one will, and one work of heavenly life, light, and love in, and towards the creature. And as true as this is, so true is it also, that from the first to the last man, no one was, or ever will be any further from this essential operation of the holy deity in his soul, but so far as he hath withdrawn himself from it. "God hardened the heart of pharaoh"; this saith neither more nor less, than that pharaoh had withdrawn his heart from God.

24. "Absolute self-giving is the only path from the human to the Divine" wrote St John of the Cross.

23. The delightful, and saintly, Revd Robert Llewelyn was a patron of our charity for many years. I am pleased to be able to recommend a new website dedicated to him at Light for the Journey

22. Have a look at our new page of William Law photos.

21. Mission is love in action.

20. Do you know where the human soul lives?

Download The Soul Lives where it Loves.

19. Global Warming and Overpopulation.

Download the book review Judgment Day The Struggle for Life on Earth.

18. An intermediate dimension to reality?

Have you ever wondered if there is anything between the physical, material everyday world and the essentially invisible spiritual world? Does anything lie beyond the five senses? The answer is ‘Yes’; there is an intermediate dimension to reality which is the realm of the parasenses or the psychic. ‘Psychic’ means to do with the human soul and the Bible has much to say about this which is positive. Many seekers are not interested in the psychic believing it to be unscientific, too nebulous or too dangerous. If you wish to consider further this topic, have a look at our The Psychic: A Brief Bibliography page.

17. Archbishop William Temple wrote this beautiful prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated to thee; and then use us we pray thee, as thou wilt, but always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

16. 'God asks of us only one thing',writes Meister Eckhart, 'that we dethrone the creaturely self and let him dwell in us.'

15. What does Sozein mean?

The word Sozein is a verb from the Bible signifying the setting free, delivering from danger, making safe and healing of people. It refers to God’s work on behalf of us all. It leads to making whole, thus making holy.

14. Answering the question, 'Is anybody there?'

The Church Times gives a responsible and revealing answer to this age-old search.

13. Have you ever "felt" the presence of God?

Do you ever "know" what others are thinking?

Have you ever had a vivid impression of someone who has died?

Have you ever had premonitions that came true?

Do you long to explore and to share the reality of the spiritual dimension that lies within us all?

Has your minister or priest dismissed your experience? If so, take a look at the CFPSS.

exists to promote the study and the integration of psychical and spiritual experience within a Christian context. Founded in 1953, it continues to serve churches and individuals with many and varied backgrounds, particularly helping those who may have encountered an event which was outside their understanding or those who may have received a 'gift of the Spirit' and found little encouragement and support in finding a way forward.

12. No Faith in Religion

“If religion is characterised by the recruitment of God to serve our agendas, and faith is about putting our agendas at the service of God, then clearly there is too much religion in the world, and not enough faith.” writes the Rt Revd Dr John Saxbee, Bishop of Lincoln, in his book 'No Faith in Religion'.

11. Why is the Eucharist so important to the Church?

Jesus instituted the Church at the Last Supper. It is a celebration, a thanksgiving to God for what He has done for all humanity in Jesus’ offering of his own life to save us from our self-centredness. It is the ultimate free gift of self-giving love. It is a re-presentation, an assembling together within God’s infinitely compassionate mercy of all the brokennesses of the whole of creation. To share in Holy Communion is to be inwardly and spiritually lifted up into the fullness, the completeness of healing, of salvation which has already been achieved for all of us together.

10. Archbishop William Temple on Faith

Archbishop William Temple described faith as the transfer of interest from Self to God.

9. The spirit of Contemplation

Swami Abishiktananda wrote in his: Hindu-Christian Meeting Point "As more and more Christians become deeply familiar with the mystics and their writings, the contemplative dimension of the faith, which, though latent, is present at the heart of the church will gradually be brought to light. Then her rites, institutions and formularies, the life of her members—in a word, her whole 'epiphany,' the entire 'revelation' of the Lord which by her very calling she exists to show forth in the world—will be increasingly permeated with the spirit of contemplation and interiority.

Only at this depth of interiority will it be possible for the Church to solve realistically and effectively the problems with which she is faced today."

8. We are living in God

"We have to learn in practice what we always knew in theory: everything that happens is God's Will. God’s Will always intends our good. God's Will is carving us into the likeness of His Son.

Every moment is the message of God's Will; every external event, everything outside us, and even every involuntary thought and feeling within us is God’s own touch. We are living in touch with God. Everything we come in contact with, the whole of our daily circumstances, and all our interior responses, whether pleasures or pains, are God's working. We are living in God—in God’s action, as a fish in the water. There is no question of trying to feel that God is here, or to complain of God being far, once He has taught us that we are bathed in Him, in His action, in His Will."

Abbot John Chapman,2003, Spiritual Letters p.143. Archbishop Rowan Williams wrote, in The Tablet, 'Spiritual Letters was probably the single most influential book for me in my twenties, and still is.'

7. The Meaning of the Incarnation

"The meaning of the Incarnation, therefore, is simply that we do not have to attain union with God. Man does not have to climb to the infinite and become God, because, out of love, the infinite God descends to the finite and becomes man. Despite man’s refusal of God, despite his pride, his fear, his helpless and hopeless involvement in the vicious circle of sin, God’s nature remains unalterably love—the agape which consists in giving oneself wholly and without reservation to the beloved. Therefore the eternal Word, the Logos, becomes flesh, making our nature his nature; he assumes our limitations, suffers our pains and dies our death. More than this, he bears the burden of our sins: that is, he remains in union with us even though we crucify him and spit on him; he continues to dwell within us and to offer, or sacrifice, our lives to God even though we commit every imaginable form of depravity. In short, God has wedded himself to humanity, has united his divine essence with our inmost being “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health” for all eternity, even though we elect to be damned.

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there also.

All that remains for us to do is to say, “Yes—Amen” to this tremendous fact, and this is still within the power of our fallen nature. Our motive for saying it, however perverted by pride and fear, makes not the least difference, because the fact is the fact: we have been given union with God whether we like it or not, want it or not, know it or not. Our flesh has become his flesh, and we cannot jump out of our own skins. And once we realize the futility of our pride, that we can neither ascend to God nor, by reason of pride, prevent his descent to us, the proud core of egoism is simply dissolved—overwhelmed by God’s love. The function of Christian morality and spirituality is not to earn or deserve this gift of eternal life, but rather to appreciate and express it. The saint is holy not to attain union with God, but to give thanks for it."

The Revd Alan Watts, 1972, Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion.

6. Download a subscription form to The Christian Paprapsychologist.

5. Quakers study Life after Death

A Friend has kindly introduced me to this website. You may find it helpful.

Download the homepage of the Quaker Fellowship for Afterlife Studies.

4. Fr. Gerard Hughes on Healing and Spirituality

In his book God of Surprises we find "Our treasure lies in our inner life. It is our inner life which affects our perception of the world and determines our actions and reactions to it. … in religious language this inner life is called "the soul", and the art of knowing it, healing it, and harmonizing its forces is called spirituality. Religion should encourage us to become more aware of this inner life and should teach us how to befriend it, for it is the source of our strength and storehouse of our wisdom."

3. The Church Times on Near Death Experiences

Download Light at the end of the tunnel?

2. An interview with one of our patrons, the Reverend Canon Dr Michael Perry

Download An Interview with Canon Dr Michael Perry

1. Christian Teaching on Life after Death

Death is the one absolute certainty ahead of us all. Conscious of the lack of recent publications from within the church on this topic and believing it is an ongoing concern shared quietly amongst groups of trusted friends the world over, may I raise a question which I sometimes ask groups during a quiet, or a discovering, day at our charity?

I start by showing our visitors a book, a dark blue hardback, on which the title is stamped in silver: Our Life after Death. I explain that its author was a clergyman, the Revd Arthur Chambers, and that the sub-title reads 'The Teaching of the Bible Concerning the Unseen World'. I explain that my copy is from its one hundred and ninth impression and was printed in 1909. It was first published in 1894.

Lest anyone is tempted to dismiss this volume as a one-off, I then show them another book,a red hardback from 1896, entitled After Death. Its subtitle is 'An Examination of the Testimony of Primitive Times respecting the State of the Faithful Dead, and their Relationship to the Living'. Before anyone screams "Spiritualism!", I hurry on to tell them the author is one Herbert Mortimer Luckock, Doctor of Divinity and Dean of Lichfield Cathedral. Sometimes I throw in a third title, There is No Death, by the Venerable Basil Wilberforce, Doctor of Divinity, (eighth edition, 1932).

To a group of bemused, or suspicious, Christians my question is "Why don't we see similar titles in bookshops today?"

There are the positive writings of the Revd Dr Martin Israel and the Revd Canon Dr Michael Perry but the general public are unlikely to hear of them.

In the meantime, I offer this download as a small contribution towards adding a Christian dimension to this perennial concern.

Download a leaflet on Life after Death.