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  Echoing the Word Prayer Ideas  

The Absolute Mystery of God
Clare Hay


Print Version - Word

Theology in the Christian Tradition affirms the absolute mystery of God. The human mind can grasp ideas and images about God but will never know the fullness of the mystery that is God. St Augustine in his writing explored the depths of the mystery that is God. In this prayer you are invited to contemplate on this mystery and at the same time reflect upon the ideas and images of God that we meet in everyday life.

Preparation:

  • You may wish to prepare the sacred space with the following items, all are optional:
  • words for the song ‘Everyday God’
  • a large candle or a flame for the centre of the sacred space (an effective way to have a large dancing flame is to fill a terracotta pot with sand, pour in methylated spirits and light, otherwise cotton wool soaked with methylated spirits works just as well)
  • copies of the quotes from St Augustine laid out in the sacred space (David Winter, The Wisdom of St Augustine. Oxford: Lion Publishing, 1997)
  • copies of the outline for those reading
  • the song ‘Everyday God’ on Bernadette Farrell, Restless is the Heart. OCP Publications, 2000.

Prayer Outline:

  • Invite people to read the quotes before you begin.

  • Invite someone to light the candle or flame before you begin.

  • The prayer begins with time for people to gather, set aside the busyness of life and be still. Let people know that when the music begins, the group will enter into a space of still and quiet.

Gathering:

Play quiet music as people gather in the sacred space and the candle is lit.

Leader:

As we gather we reflect on the words of St Augustine who contemplates the absolute mystery of God.

Pause for quiet reflection between each of the quotes from St Augustine.

Reader One:

God is an infinite circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

Reader Two:

You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.

Reader Three:

Only God is seen to be eternal, only God remains forever. Therefore true happiness can only be found in holding on to God

Reader Four:

Too late I loved you, beauty so old yet always new! Too late have I loved you! And Lo, all the while you were within me – and I, an alien to myself, searched for you elsewhere.

Reader Five:

The order, arrangement, beauty, change and movement of the visible world declare that it could only have been the work of God, who is indescribably and invisibly great and indescribably and invisibly beautiful.

Song:

Everyday God

Leader:

Creator God we encounter you in the beauty of creation.

Companion God we encounter you in the warmth of friendship.

Loving God we encounter you in the embrace of a loved one.

Merciful God we encounter you in the search for justice.

Mysterious God in our restlessness we search for you, we desire you and we are confident in your assured presence, now and forever.

All:

Amen

 

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