This is a well-known story that challenges an examination of conscience when it comes to listening.
The Parable of the Sower
Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
To continue the thought, Monty Don gives practical advice for the garden and growing.
Anthony Gormley has described his sculptures as, “an attempt to materialise the place at the other side of appearance where we all live.” In his work can be found tranquility, spirituality and comfort. Take a look at the sculpture Sound II which can be seen in Winchester Cathedral.
|Come in; let us bow and bend low;|
let us kneel before the God who made us:
for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice!
‘Harden not your hearts …….’
Today’s reflection is a rather lovely Buddhist saying:
This is a summarised passage from Gerard W. Hughes’ book “Oh God, Why?” For those of who find meditation challenging: the stillness offering time to worry.
It is interesting to note how our thinking mind will not allow us to concentrate on the immediate present, but rather is constantly drawing us into the future or the past. We then begin to see how destructive of life this habit is, because we only give a fraction of our attention to the immediate present, which is the only reality we have at the moment. The past is gone; the future not yet so we tend to spend most of our time escaping from reality.
A very good penance for Lent would be to try and live as fully as possible in the present moment.
God is where we are, and there is no other place where we can find him. This is an obvious truth which we so often forget in practice, putting God out there, or in the church or some other holy place.
What is God’s will for you now? It is precisely where you are at this moment. This does not mean we have to stay where we are and as we are. Our feelings of discontent are his nudgings, encouraging us either to change our situation or change the way we perceive it. The only way we can find him is by starting from where we are, otherwise we are like the person, who on being asked directions to a village began with, “If I were you, I wouldn’t start from here.”
This early Christian prayer seems modern and poignant for today:
Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom.
All our desire is known unto thee,
therefore perfect what thou hast begun,
and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face,
turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.
Augustine, 354 – 430
This short film encourages thoughts and challenges an opening of the mind about faith and what it means in every day life.
Why are we hear? What are we searching for and what is our purpose? Hear Christians talk about what they’re seeking in their life and how their Christian faith makes at impact in how they live each day.
‘Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’
‘Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing’
Listen to the beautiful tune by Vaughan Williams and the lovely words about the spirit of God in the hymn:
This is a lovely story about being moved to help people in need. All of us can be torch bearers. We can carry the light through volunteering, serving and participating.
Accredited to Church In Wales.org.uk
whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain,
and entered not into glory before he was crucified:
mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross,
may find it none other than the way of life and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The words of this hymn give a sense of being saved when sinking.
Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring!
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like me His praise should sing?
Praise Him! praise Him!
Praise the everlasting King!
Praise Him for His grace and favor
To our fathers in distress!
Praise Him still the same for ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless!
Praise Him! praise Him!
Glorious in His faithfulness.
Fatherlike He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him! praise Him!
Widely as His mercy flows!
Frail as summer’s flower we flourish;
Blows the wind, and it is gone;
But while mortals rise and perish,
God endures unchanging on,
Praise Him, praise Him!
Praise the high eternal One!Angels, help us to adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face:
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise with us the God of grace!