This year I’m using a book called ‘Sacred Space’ to give some shape to my spiritual life. It’s very simple – each week starts with a short reflection, then there are some suggestions about using the time to draw closer to God and listen to him. Each day there’s a short Bible passage, followed by a couple of points to ponder.
Today’s introduction to the week was so simple and yet it packed a punch. The writer says:
“About eleven years ago, I began to study as a mature-age student – and an angry one at that. The anger was because of a perceived absence of God in the suffering of people I have loved. I hoped that my study might resolve my problem, but … cancer attacked me. Thus, as it turned out, the last essay I wrote was on Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane” (where he prays that his Father would take the cup of suffering away from him).
“The night before the operation was possibly the worst experience of my life. I was alone and terrified. There was the operation ahead, the possibility that I might not come out the other side of it, and the reality that there was no escape. Then suddenly I was in Gethsemane, and there was a Presence, a very powerful Presence, beside me, which lifted and supported me firmly and gently. It was not a cosy Presence, but one that sustained me and gave me courage and assurance that no matter what the outcome, all would be well. That Presence was still with me when I came to after the operation.
The experience of that Presence remains with me, and I now know that God is with us always, but particularly in tthe dark moments when there is nothing else.
So, you see, I have had the answer to my furious questions, not through reading, listening and writing but through a personal experience that I would never have chosen and indeed, never expected.”
It reminds me of what Archbishop Justin said, when he was talking about the time his baby daughter died:
Sacred Space is also a website at http://www.sacredspace.ie. It has over 5 million visits each year from Christians of all denominations. It’s updated daily and compatible with smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
(image from manifestedharmony.com)