Tablet Newsletter

July 2013

Newsletter: 

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“We believe that the divine presence is everywhere and that “the eyes of the Lord are looking on the good and evil in every place”. St Benedict goes on to say that we should believe this even more strongly when we are at prayer so that we may be wholehearted in that essential activity of the human person – with mind and voice in harmony.

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June 2013

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Tolstoy, who was rather short-sighted, cut short the legs of the chair at his desk so that he could sit closer to the page he was writing. Looking at the chair is enough to visualise his large bearded bulk hunched in passionate concentration over his words.

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May 2013

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One of the worst things about prison, he told me, was the time-wasting. We were standing in a huge barren hall, or maybe it was a baseball court, where we had just meditated with a large group of his fellow-prisoners. 

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April 2013

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Not far away from it, the great stone on Bere Island is much more impressive as it presides, in local belief, on the exact physical centre of the island.

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March 2013

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I punctuate my schedule with times of retreat, in solitude, on the edge of the Irish Atlantic. The weather oscillates between the blue Aegean and the grey Arctic. People speak about the day’s weather as a form of mutual therapy, not just for small talk. It reveals your mood and how you are handling things.

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February 2013

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Some things lie too deep for tears. The sadness they embody is beyond easy explanation and defies neat solutions. The media news love these things – tragedies like Newtown or 9-11 - as they are rare and have an unforgettable impact.

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January 2013

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The oldest living city in the world, there is nowhere like Varanasi. Settled in a loop of the Ganges it teems with faith so intense that even the sceptic becomes religious for the duration.

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December 2012

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Coldly, cruelly came the news that there had been a crash. Three young men had been killed on the highway. One father said with relief that it could not be his son because he had forbidden him to drive on the highway for another year.

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November 2012

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I was watching her from the car. A thin agitated young woman. With a makeover she would have been pert and pretty. But she was shabby and unkempt, frantically packing and unpacking the contents of her bag on the steps of the church.

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October 2012

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Early in the morning, as the thick Amazonian night was being redeemed by the light of day, I would go down to the small jetty to meditate beside the river. In Sao Paulo or Los Angeles, Sydney or London the working day also begins at this time as people begin their commute, read their newspapers, grab a cappuccino, gearing up for the business of survival.

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