Don’t Need No Ticket

People get ready
There’s a train a comin’
You don’t need no baggage
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels hummin’
You don’t need no ticket
You just thank the Lord.

Curtis Mayfield, People Get Ready

 

‘Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again

…Get your bags together, go bring your good friends too
Cause it’s getting nearer, it soon will be with you

Now come and join the living, it’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer, soon it will all be true.

Cat Stevens, Peace Train

 

Somewhere there is sunshine
Somewhere there is day
Somewhere there is Morningtown
Many miles away

Rocking rolling riding
Out along the bay
All bound for Morningtown
Many miles away.

Malvina Reynolds, Morningtown Ride

 

I hear the train a comin’
It’s rollin’ ’round the bend,
And I ain’t seen the sunshine
Since, I don’t know when
I’m stuck in Folsom Prison
And time keeps draggin’ on
But that train keeps a-rollin’
On down to San Antone.

Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison Blues

 

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

John 14:16

 

We are all on that train, travelling steadily through the night, towards dawn.

The prisoners will be set free, and the train will stop for them,

and they will join us.

When we reach the last stop,

Love

—who is both our journey and our destination—

will be waiting for us at the station,

even though, at the same time,

He has been with us all along.

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I Can Never Be Thrown Away

God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me
which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission—
I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
… I am a link in a chain,
a bond of connection between persons.

He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good;
I shall do His work;
I shall be an angel of peace,
a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it,
if I do but keep his Commandments.

… Therefore I will trust Him.
Whatever, wherever I am.
I can never be thrown away.

If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;
in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;
in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.

… He does nothing in vain.
… He knows what He is about.

John Henry Cardinal Newman

 

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I am meant to be here. I have a purpose.

It is right in front of me, wherever I happen to be, every passing minute.

I am not a mistake.

I am not surplus to requirements.

I am here for a reason.

We Live At Depth in the Particular

“It is worth considering the ‘particular’ in life. If I want to dance with another person I  need to learn particular steps. If I need to be healed, I go to a particular doctor, look at particular symptoms and have a particular treatment… If I am lost, I use a particular map to find my way home. When I grieve it is because I have lost someone I particularly love… ‘Particular’ is the way I live at depth, the way I search with focus, the way I heal, the way I find, the way I enjoy, the way I choose and the way I act in union with Christ and others.”

from a meditation published by Campion Centre for Ignatian Spirituality on The Particular Examen, an exercise from the Ignatian tradition

 

“You cannot devote your life to an abstraction. Indeed, life shatters all abstractions in one way or another, including words such as ‘faith’ or ‘belief’… The meanings that God calls us to in our lives are never abstract. Though the call may ask us to redefine, or refine what we know as life, it does not demand a renunciation of life in favour of something beyond it. Moreover, the call itself is always composed of life. That is, it is not some hitherto unknown voice to which we respond;  it is life calling to life… If God is love, Christ is love for this one person, this one place, this one time-bound and time-ravaged self.” 

Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss

 

“You can’t love roses. You can only love a rose.”

Adam Gopnik, “The Strange Triumph of ‘The Little Prince’“, The New Yorker

 

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Outsiders are Insiders

God is an infinite circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference nowhere.

Nicholas of Cusa

In most religious traditions, the heart of God is honoured as the centre of the natural world and as the centre of ourselves. A spirituality of heart is thus one that cherishes three hearts as one: God’s heart, our heart, and the heart of the universe… Where is the Sacred Heart? The answer is mystical, as Nicholas of Cusa says of the divine life: “Its centre is everywhere; its circumference is nowhere.” He adds: “The universe is in us in such a way . . . that everyone in the universe is the universe.” This is why we can speak of the Sacred Heart of the world.

David Richo, The Sacred Heart of the World

 

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:35-40 King James Version 

 

Those on the margins are in fact at the centre.

If you are on the periphery, you are at the heart.

 

9c6a99826072da2fa3604b938429cd98“For me a stained glass window is a transparent partition between my heart and the heart of the world.”  Marc Chagall

The Journey Out is the Journey In

“It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall, I have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in…”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now… Come further up, come further in!”

C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

 

hop0715_1The Heart of Peace Labyrinth