Jesuit life · Reflection · Uncategorized

Paradise in the Peripheries

Following on from last Wednesday’s post [Life at a Good Price], here is another reflection on the presence of God in novitiate life:

Another place where I have sensed the presence of God in the day-to-day Novitiate is (perhaps fairly obviously) during our Masses. During Mass we take in a variety of readings, hymns and homilies that reflect the various characters of the community and, indeed, the different colours of Christianity. That being said it’s the moment of the Eucharist, beautifully shared by millions thanks to our Church’s universal nature, in which Christ’s presence is startlingly apparent to me. I hope the following lines manage to encapsulate some of the emotions and memories felt by those fortunate enough to have experienced this sacred section of the Mass:   

Paradise in the Peripheries

Have you noticed the light on the fringes of the Eucharist?

Have you noticed the light on the fringes of life?

His Son held aloft, God’s gaze of rays

Permeate and radiate his Host and my heart.

Permeate, radiate, illuminate: my Spirit synchronised to this cycle,

My hopes and His Host elevated inseparably.


In a similar way, divine retinas stare ablaze

From the corners of the cup.

Multiple golden sunsets, twinkling with mercy.

I enter entranced, back into the fold, a straggling stray blissfully helpless to it’s Master’s call:

“Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi…”


Behold the climax of my closeness, as Christ,

Embodied in the crags of broken bread,

Seeps between my trembling fingertips and beneath my adoring eyes.

His fractures, the fractures of the world, flicker in front of my face and warm me with the glow of humanity.

Illuminate the fringes of life to me and I will go to them.

Illuminate the fringes of the world to me and I will go to them.

I will go to love, I will go to learn,

I will go to heal, I will go to help,

I will go to care, I will go to cry,

I will go to strengthen, I will go to save.

Oh holy words, oh sacred words and

For a second heaven is revealed:

Lord, I am not worthy

That you should enter under my roof,

But only say the word

And my soul shall be healed.


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