Thought For The Week

"I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed to the highest steeple, but God declared: 'Go down again - I dwell among the people'." ~John Henry Newman

Last Sunday night many people got up early to see the eclipse of the moon which peaked at 5a.m. The effect of the eclipse created an orange glow which is called a "Blood moon". The moon has fascinated people for thousands of years. We know it has a strong pull on our planet earth, creating the ebb and flow of our tides. Another interesting aspect of the moon is that there is one side of the moon that we never see. They call it 'the dark side of the moon' and it is the side of the moon where the sun never shines. It is the side of the moon which faces the cold, black expanse of space.

The 'dark side of the moon' also has spiritual meaning as well. It can happen when a person of faith experiences darkness and uncertainty. Instead of God being an anchor in their lives, they now experience darkness and emptiness. Old and trusted certainties are now questioned. What once was a steady source of strength and consolation is now empty. It can happen over a period of time or quite suddenly. Events like the loss of loved one through death or an unexpected illness of a family member can be overwhelming and can be the trigger for the winter of the soul.

Spiritual writers from all walks of life agree that this happens occasionally and does not mean it is going to last forever. It is difficult when it happens, it can be confusing and frustrating. But every winter is always followed by spring, growth, renewal and new beginnings. The constant message of scripture is that God is not on the rooftops or up on steeples but is very much with people as they are. God is with us in the sunshine but very much with us in our darkness too. The 'dark side of the moon' can represent so many difficulties and struggles in our lives. Whatever the darkness may be God is there holding the light for us and helping us through one step at a time.

Thought For The Week is updated each Monday

Thought For The Week

'You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.' ~Swami Vivekananda

It would be great if there was a simple formula in our search for God. We are often unsure where to start and how to begin. Our searches are many, from our local church, attending Mass and saying prayers that vary from traditional to deeply personal. Some find that these simply are not for them and search elsewhere. These searches include finding God in the humdrum of daily life, music, reading, reflection, meditation, relaxation and so on. Whatever and wherever our search, it is good that we are searching.

This coming week marks a week of prayer for Christian Unity. It happens every year during the third week of January. The common link between different faiths and religions is that any connection with God can only be built, if we believe in ourselves first of all. This means believing in our own uniqueness, believing in our special gifts and talents, believing in how special we are and so much more. Believing in ourselves is something we can struggle at times with but it is probably one of the most important things we can do each day.

As we begin Christian Unity week it is good to know that there are so many overlaps and so much common ground. So much energy can be wasted trying to highlight differences and 'that we are better than you'. It is the same loving God we follow and during Christian Unity week we pray for guidance, direction, light and hope in everything we do.
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