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Monday, 27 September 2010


For many, many years I loved a particular prayer written by John Henry Newman. It is such an exceptionally beautiful prayer but one that I now see a little differently. Perhaps that is because it was written over a hundred years ago and, if one believes in any form of Divinity/God, everything evolves into something still more beautiful.

The prayer begins as evoking something separate from ourselves: it is 'your' fragrance and depends upon the external idea of God/Jesus and then involves such total self-abasement as to be unseen so that the person praying is insignificant. There's the rub. If the person praying is so self-abasing, how can he/she love the glory of the person or people for whom they are praying? How can one pray that people no longer see the you, but see only God, unless one sees that the perceiver is also God? Is not every single being an expression of God/Life? Why then debase ourselves in our prayers?

I love this beautiful prayer, and I think it would be even more beautiful if the line: "Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul..." were to read: Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come into contact with, may feel the power within his/her own soul..."

It's so clear that the more one delves into the essence of life, the more one sees that any form of evangelisation is merely ego-centricity or fear. If people believe God is omnipresent, then surely every life is Divine and there is no need to correct or change it.
Dear Jesus,

Help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul...

Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus!

Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others;

the light, O Jesus, will be all from You;

none of it will be mine: it will be You shining on others through me. Let me thus praise You in the way You love best: by shining on those around me.

Let me preach You without preaching, not by words, but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for You.

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