A Spirituality blog from our Community

Archive for November, 2011



“You can’t depend on your judgement when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

Thought for the Week 28/11/2011

From Peter Hardy, Chaplaincy Assistant:

I have had the privilege of being able to attend several talks recently. No longer a student, I find myself gaining a new appreciation for that blandest certainty of student life: the lecture. I know all too well how difficult it is to attend lectures fully awake [and indeed fully sober] so I shall not exhort students to do so, but I will make the more realistic suggestion that we at least find some ways to show respect to those who endow us with the gift of knowledge. With tuition fees being dramatically raised from next year, there is the very real danger of teachers -and indeed education itself- being taken for granted as something that is bought rather than experienced through personal interaction.

The talk I enjoyed the most was given by the University’s Sikh Society. In what I read about Sikhism briefly beforehand it said it was a notably accommodating culture- and this was certainly true of this event. Although I was an outsider I felt just as much part of the community as one is made to feel at the Chaplaincy [yes, a shameless plug]. Other things that particularly strike me about this culture is that disagreement is welcomed as leading to fruitful discussion rather than avoided as something that leads to confrontation, and that out of respect for the virtue of humility the speaker did not want us to clap after the talk had finished.

Perhaps these give us some ideas of how to we could be more respectful of the educational environment. If we are humble by not putting ourselves above others then everyone can feel welcome and an attitude of discussion rather than confrontation can flourish to the benefit of all. In doing so we can respect not only the gift of knowledge but the more precious gift of interpersonal communication, the value of which is expressed in a concept common in both eastern and western religion: the One Eternal Word through which all the world’s creativity and wisdom is spoken.

Psalms and Praying with Scripture

Depiction of Gregorian Chant from an illuminated manuscript

We took our starting point this time from the Psalter, the book of Psalms in the middle of the Old Testament. But through exploring its relevance to Christians we learned a method we can use today for praying using Scripture in general. (more…)



“We get so much in the habit of wearing a disguise before others that we eventually appear disguised before ourselves.” – Jim Bishop.

Thought for the Week 21/11/2011

From Sabine Schwartz, Catholic Chaplain:

The feast of Christ the King -the last Sunday in the year of the Church- has often puzzled me, as the idea of kingship can sometimes have a triumphalist ring about it that sits uneasy with my sensitivities (and those of many others). It does seem to be very odd title in the Western world of the 21st century, where democracy is among the highest values of society and kings and queens have at most a ceremonial role. (more…)



“Do not spoil what you have, by desiring what you have not.” – Epicetus


Not all prophesies are this exciting.




“If you learn to think of yourself as a temple of God then you will perceive the world as the kingdom of God.” – Sikh saying

Prophesy [Full Discussion]

Despite being but a small sea creature, the late Paul the octopus stunned football fans by correctly predicting the outcome of every match of the World Cup held in Germany.

Prophets are figures that we don’t see around today although they figure prominently in the Bible, particularly later in the Old Testament with the books collectively known as the Major Prophets and Minor Prophets. In previous sessions we saw how the story of Hebrew prophesy began much earlier on with Abraham, and it reached a kind of pinnacle with Moses– but what exactly is a ‘prophet’? (more…)


“There are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take credit. Try to be in the first group as there is less competition there.” – Gandhi

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