Scenes During A Winter Retreat in Loyola House,
Loyola House from across the bridge
on small pictures to enlarge in a separate window)
speed walk or ski for exercise and enjoyment,
some stop and savour the
beauty of nature in silence,
some are simply compelled
to sigh with the sentiment of G. M. Hopkins:
“The world is charged with
the grandeur of God.”
The Humble Hut
God, my heart has no lofty
my eyes do not look
I am not concerned
with great affairs
or marvels beyond
Enough for me to keep
my soul tranquil and quiet
like a child in its
as content as a child
that has been weaned ...
-- psalm 131
How amazing is Your artistic
The barn is the same, yet
Your lighting has created
such a difference in mood.
Each is beautiful in its
ingenuous is Your way of tutoring us!
We are the same, yet
in desolation and in consolation
You move our spirit and
Each experience is precious
in its own way.
The Hay Stack
The hay stack stays still
in the field,
changing its look with every
watch of the day.
In silence and in solitude,
You infuse us with Your
the dining room there hangs a beautiful photograph of a forest covered
with Triliums. The dining room lights cast an interesting reflection on
its surface. What is more real, the image of the trees and flowers, or
that of the reflection of the lights?
In the process of
discernment of the Spirits, I too, am often puzzled by what is really God’s
will. Which is the finger of God, which is the tail of the Serpent? Or
are they all just tails of the Serpent?
One morning I looked outside but could not see. The rain from the evening
before had turned into a layer of ice. On closer look it gave an interesting
wavy pattern of objects beyond.
Though sometimes I cannot find You, the process of searching for you is
in itself sweet.
are blessings, blessings are obstacles.”
-- John Govan S.J.
My Lord God, I have
no idea where I am going. I do not see the
road ahead of me. I cannot know for
certain where it will end. Nor do I really
know myself, and the fact that
I think that I am following your will does not mean that
I am actually doing so. But I believe that
the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that
I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will
never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that
if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know
nothing about it Therefore I will
trust you always though I may seem
to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear,
for you are ever with me, and will never
leave me to face my perils alone.
-- Thomas Merton
wonderful is the pattern formed by the water and the wind!
"Art demands an artist.
Random chance has never explained a waltz or a symphony, a physical equation
or an epic poem. It cannot. ... "
-- from The Evidential Power of Beauty by Thomas Dubay S.M.
the ice crystals that are formed in the cold dark night and last only till
mid morning reflect the beauty of the Sun.
Cut evenly and ready to be burned,
pieces of wood are showing
beautiful they have been touched
the Creator over the years
we not more precious than these?
Of Creation Bears Witness To God
Question the beauty
of the earth, the beauty of the sea,
the beauty of the
wide air around you, the beauty of the sky;
question the order
of the stars, the sun whose brightness lights the day,
the moon whose splendour
softens the gloom of night;
question the living
creatures that move in the waters,
that roam upon the
earth, the fly through the air;
the spirit that lies
hidden, the matter that is manifest;
The visible things
that are ruled, the invisible that rule them;
question all these.
They will answer you:
“Behold and see, we
Their beauty is their
confession of God.
Who made these beautiful
if not one who is
beautiful and changeth not?
-- St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
was celebrated daily at 11.30 am during the retreat. People appeared quietly
a short while before and waited in silence. The sun would cast a long shadow
on the carpet carrying the hues of the windows.
We too, reflect the Glory of God, carrying all our experience.
Unlike the windows, each of us is uniquely and exquisitely made.
Far too often
the Cross is presented for our adoration, not so much as a sublime end
to be attained by our transcending ourselves, but as a symbol of sadness,
of limitation and repression.
-- from The
Divine Milieu by Teilhard de Chardin S. J.
Farmers plough the field
in the Fall, fertilize and till the soil in the Spring.
Beneath the thick snow,
God heals while the land is taking its rest.
If God does not build
in vain the masons
if God does not guard
in vain the sentries
In vain you get up earlier,
and put off going to bed,
sweating to make a living,
God provides for those beloved
in their slumber.
-- psalm 127
are dear to my heart. I walk and talk with those gone before.
I am mindful to look at
the ups and downs of this life with a different light. There is more to
death and dying than apparently to the eye.
“In the darkness of the
tomb we are reborn in the Spirit.” -- John Govan S.J.
Finding God in everything
is both a gift and a discipline to be cultivated.
The temptation to stay with
the finger that points to God
rather than following its
direction is a constant challenge.