Light in dark times

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Light in dark times

Postby GregB » December 10th, 2012, 8:46 am

From Donagh O'Shea's daily reflections:

Light can be contemplated for itself, but its practical purpose is to illuminate a path. Ultimately it is “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Lk 1:79). As members of Christ’s body, the Church, we are living through a time of great crisis. The road ahead often looks dark and frightening. We don’t know what it will be like in another generation, or even in another decade. We need light, which gives us courage to move in dark times. Many seem discouraged. But that light is guaranteed. Christ promised to be always with us. “I will not leave you orphaned” (Jn 14:18). He did not promise that everything would be clear and easy. Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP often notes that the Church was born in crisis (the death of Jesus was a shocking crisis for the disciples); from the earliest times it has known one crisis after another; so in living with crisis, he says, “we are being faithful to tradition!”

We use the expression “losing one’s faith”. It would be good if we realised that losing one’s hope is just as serious a matter as losing one’s faith and losing one’s love.
"The wiles of dissembling fate afford us the illusion of freedom, yet in the end always lead us into the same trap."
- Jean Cocteau
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Re: Light in dark times

Postby Poncho » December 10th, 2012, 12:12 pm

My hope lies in my faith, Greg, so I would have difficulty separating them, but I do realise that in a country such as mine that there are those without faith who do still need hope, and hope is key to most of our resilience (blind stupidity in some cases, but definitely hope in others).
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Re: Light in dark times

Postby Sweet Peace » December 10th, 2012, 11:38 pm

I meet online a few times a week with a handful of internet friends, and on Mondays we type for half an hour, at our own pace, the Jesus Prayer. Yesterday I started the session thinking that not only was I at the end of my tether regarding family tensions, but my tether was wrapped around my neck several times and choking the life out of me.....by the end of the session resilience had kicked in, hope was restored, and I had the strength to continue - in fact I felt relaxed and confident. Without faith I'd be a crumpled heap. I would go so far as to say that it is in the midst of trials that my faith is often strongest.
Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
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Re: Light in dark times

Postby Lyn » December 11th, 2012, 7:15 pm

I was interested in your post SP. I had never heard of "The Jesus Prayer", and looked it up. It is basically, "Jesus Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner", something most of us say if not in quite the same words.
I read quite a bit about it on various sites. I was thinking it might help me sleep but read that, if you feel sleepy (which is natural), it is best to say it standing up! I must say I wouldn't do that, I would be glad if it sent me to sleep, and what better way to go to sleep than speaking to Jesus.
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Re: Light in dark times

Postby Sweet Peace » December 12th, 2012, 3:22 am

Yes, it becomes a mantra that almost says itself at times, humming along in the background or else sometimes when i feel I'veI don't spend much time each day saying it as I had my fill of mantras and formulas before I became a Christian but started about 5 years ago on the St Pixels online church doing it as a weekly shared meditation, and then when St Pixels went through changes that a few of us didn't like we started our own small group with weekly meetings and a website.
Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
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Re: Light in dark times

Postby Lyn » December 12th, 2012, 4:37 am

Well I was dreaming that I was saying it, as well as having said it before I went to sleep, and woke up twice with nightmares.
I'm not sure about mantras.
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Re: Light in dark times

Postby GregB » December 12th, 2012, 8:36 am

In that case, Vix, go back to the opening post and try, at least, to draw some comfort from Donagh O'Shea's wise words and the promise of light in great darkness. Trite as it sounds, we must never lose the hope we have. If we lose that, we lose everything. As Poncho rightly says, our hope is inextricably bound up with our faith.
"The wiles of dissembling fate afford us the illusion of freedom, yet in the end always lead us into the same trap."
- Jean Cocteau
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Re: Light in dark times

Postby Lyn » December 13th, 2012, 11:58 am

Yes thank you Greg and I had no wish to divert this section of the forum but there was something about me actually saying "The Jesus Prayer" in my sleep. Most likely because it was my on mind as I went to sleep. I actually woke up three times feeling scared, with a nightmare, and had been saying it in my sleep but I am not superstitious and usually realise I am asleep and wake myself. I also have pleasant, intriguing and amusing dreams so no big deal. They are generally a mix up of thinking,reading or heard during the day & the evening so it is not surprising. It will not stop me saying, "Dear Jesus, have mercy", which I am sure we will do at various times but I am not going to repeat it over and over, I seriously believe it does not help me to have any sort of mantra and I haven't ever been good at meditating.
This is a good forum I often read the wisdom in it though I rarely comment, however please keep it going because I love it.
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Re: Light in dark times

Postby Sweet Peace » December 13th, 2012, 10:55 pm

I woke from a nightmare once saying rapidly, Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy - and that was years before I became a Christian. I went on to have a vision of the return of Christ, but that's another story.
Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
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Re: Light in dark times

Postby Lyn » December 14th, 2012, 9:58 pm

I've also had religious dreams and science fiction dreams, sp.
Dreams mean very little, they are just a mish mash of what we have heard, read or seen.
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