[Home]  [Skill-based ] [Inspirational ] [ Prayerful ] [Festive ] [ Historical

 [ E-Book] [Personal Bio-data ]  [ Biographical]  [Translations ] [Articles ]

GOD  HERE  AND  NOW

HEDWIG LEWIS SJ

 

GOD HERE AND NOW is a prayer-manual
 based on the Spiritual Exercises  
of St Ignatius Loyola,
 which leads a person step by prayerful step
 to encounter God in the here-and-now,
and to experience his Presence in all creation
.

 

For information regarding this book CLICK HERE

FOREWORD 

The story goes that a man who advocated atheism had a big poster framed on his drawing-room wall which said: GOD IS NOWHERE. One day, while he was in the room with the newspaper, his little daughter, who was sitting next to him doing her school assignment, suddenly turned her gaze to the poster and began reading it aloud, GOD... IS... NOW...HERE! And she beamed for having successfully gone through the statement.

Her father was about to correct her to say "nowhere" but some instinct prevented him from doing so. And, as grace would have it, his daughter's reading of the poster made on impact on him. Somehow, every time he looked at it, he could only read: GOD IS NOW HERE... and he eventually came to believe it!

GOD HERE AND NOW is a prayer-manual based on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola, which leads a person step by prayerful step to encounter God in the here-and-now, and to experience his Presence in all creation.

The Spiritual Exercises is highly structured, progressively leading one from "knowing about God" to "knowing God", from head-knowledge to heart-convictions.

Though intensively programmed, the Spiritual Exercises is not a time-bound ‘project’ but a ‘Spirit-guided’ adventure into the heart of God. The emphasis is on quality rather than quantity: not all the points on the proposed topics need be finished at one session. One is constantly coaxed into using both one’s ‘wings’ –"doing" and "being" – in order to soar to the heights: ‘exercises’ necessarily entail "doing"; ‘contemplation’ is "being" present before the God who is present in the here and now. One is also repeatedly reminded that one must make allowances for those ‘gracious’ moments when one may not need the wings: God sweeps one off ones feet into a loving embrace!

This book is an off-shoot of the popular prayer-guide At Home With God. It contains hundreds of thought- provoking stories, anecdotes, and poems as well as inspirational quotes from Scripture and other sources in keeping with the theme of the day.

God Here And Now will appeal to all who yearn for God in prayer and are enthusiastic about leading God-centred lives. The inspirational inputs, simple prayer techniques and spiritual exercises will strengthen, intensify and deepen their relationship with God.

In the process they will discover their own inner resources and be motivated to use their insights and experiences in a constructive way for the building up of the Kingdom of God. They will increase their desire to love God with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love their neighbour as they love themselves.

They will become aware of God’s presence in all things, persons, events and places! They will learn to be ‘contemplatives in action’, transforming every one of their activities into ‘spiritual exercises’ and thus being in contact with God – "praying" always – in the here-and-now! 

CONTENTS (Summary)

Section One:
        GOD OUR FOUNDATION
Section Two:        RE-ORIENTING OUR HEARTS
Section Three:     TOTAL LOYALTY TO CHRIST
Section Four:       LOVE INCARNATE
Section Five:        CHOICES
Section Six:          THE MISSION OF JESUS
Section Seven:    SURRENDER
Section Eight:      SERVICE IN FELLOWSHIP
Section Nine:       THE RESPONSE TO LOVE
Section Ten:        RISING TO NEW LIFE
Section Eleven:   EVER TO LOVE AND TO SERVE
Section Twelve:  NOTES ON PRAYER

Sample: (Very first page of Meditations)

1/1   Making space for God

The Father knocks at my door seeking a home for his son. 
    Rent is cheap, I say

I don’t want to rent, I want to buy, says God.

    I’m not sure I want to sell,
    but you might come in to look around.

I think I will, says God.

    I might let you have a room or two.

I like it, says God. I'll take the two.
You might decide to give me more some day.
I can wait, says God.

    I’d like to give you more, but it’s a bit difficult;
    I need some space for me.

I know, says God, but I’ll wait. I like what I see.

    Hmm, maybe I can let you have another room.
    I really don’t need that much.

Thanks, says God. I'll take it. I like what I see.
I’d like to give you the whole house
    but I’m not sure -

Think on it, says God. I wouldn’t put you out.
Your house would be mine and my son would live in it.
You’d have more space than you’d ever had before.

    I don’t understand at all.

I know, says God, but I can’t tell you about that.
You’ll have to discover it for yourself.
That can only happen if you let them have the whole house.

    A bit risky,
I say.
Yes, says God, but try me.
    I’m not sure -- I’ll let you know.
I can wait, says God. I like what I see.
                          Margaret Halaska, O.S.F.

Listen! I stand at the door and knock;
if anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come into his/her house. (Rev 3.20)

Suggested Approach to Prayer

1Close your eyes, still the body, silence the mind. You hear a knock on the door. On opening it you find God there. What is your immediate reaction? Welcome him in. Offer him a seat. Start a conversation. Speak to him about your expectations, desires, plans, fears.... Listen to what he says, then respond.

2.   Close your eyes, still the body, silence the mind. You hear a knock on the door. On opening it you find God there. What is your immediate reaction? Welcome him in. Offer him a seat. Start a conversation. Speak to him about your expectations, desires, plans, fears.... Listen to what he says, then respond.

3.   Ask the Lord to give you courage to offer him your entire heart! Pray that you may always feels at home with God.

If you run out of words, do not get impatient or anxious. He understands. Silently observe him looking lovingly at you, and wait for him to speak again.
Read meditatively 2 Cor 5. 1-10.
You may also pray in the words of Psalm 84.

Have you not heard his silent steps?
He comes, comes, ever comes.
- Tagore

Perspectives

bullet

The writer needs no introduction to our readers who would know of the pastoral richness of his many publications. This is a manual of instruction for prayer based on the structure of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius yet re-interpreted in a very appealing and insightful way... Some idea of the content will help readers... 

In each major section in the journey of prayer there are a number of phases twenty-seven in all... Each phase is made up of seven units with a distinct topic for each unit... Each unit provides matter for prayer and reflection with suggested Scriptural texts... 

Besides the guidance given in the introductions and within the units, there are concise guidelines for formal prayer at the beginning, prayers are inserted at various places and often stories begin or illustrate a point...At the end there is a long section entitled "Notes"... The Notes are the distillation of many aspects of Ignatius' teaching about prayer...

Each "exercise" is presented on one page. Usually there is a well chosen story or anecdote and at times a reflection followed by an apt quotation from the Bible with a suggested biblical text to be read meditatively with indications of graces to be sought. The introductions to each major unit are valuable orientations. There is a lot of advice about prayer throughout the book.

One area which would need some more explicit comment – maybe I missed it – concerns the need for guidance. A person journeying towards God and using this book over an extended period for prayer covering months does need at times to check with some one experienced in the Christian journey and spiritual life.

Many will find this book valuable not just for a long journey of prayer but as a book they can use and put aside and then go back to again, look through and find topics and areas they sense they need to take to prayer before the living and life giving God, Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.    P.M. Meagher, SJ, Vidyajyoti, Journal of Theological Reflection, Vol 67, No 6, June 2003

Do you believe that God is present in your life, here and now? Does your faith, your conviction in this "real" and "personal" God have an impact on your thoughts, words, deeds? Does your closeness to God influence the way you relate to people? Has it enhanced compassion, concern for the needy, justice for the oppressed... in your heart?

God Here and Now raises these and many other questions to help you plumb the depths of your mind and heart. It leads you step by step, in the way of St Ignatius Loyola, through the Spiritual Exercises, "to find God in all things and all things in God". It enables you, as a ‘fully human and fully alive’ being, to enthusiastically join hands with Christ in building up God’s Kingdom of Justice, Love and Peace on earth.

God Here And Now is an off-shoot of At Home With God, the author’s popular prayer-guide. It is meant to help those who are keen on leading deeper lives through daily, systematic prayer, and in openness to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and influence. This book will appeal to all who yearn for God and are enthusiastic about leading God-centred lives as "contemplatives in action". (Back cover)

"God here and now" is like a mine of wisdom. I am enjoying it at heart. I imagine that when the Good Lord calls you Home, he will sit you down on His lap and ask you: Hedwig, tell me a story. And you will ask him: Lord, which one? And He will reply: The story of your life and your Books". Those Books have touched so many lives. And then you will observe in the eyes of the Good Lord a penetrating light that will pierce your spirit with infinite JOY.
Fr Adrian M. Figuerola, Indianapolis [US], January 2007
 

... Since 1990 I have been using your books and have been very happy with the way you express things in a simple but convincing way. I have used some of your stories and inspirations in my retreats and talks given to the priests, sisters and lay people... 
Rt Rev Salvadore Lobo, Bishop of Baruipur, Kolkata,
January 2007  

... I was happy to get the revised latest edition of 'At home with God' in 'God Here and now”. I am reading and assimilating it - This is more concise and refreshing.
Sr Vera Almeida S.A.,
Delhi, 24 Feb 07

JIVAN, MARCH 2008

Gisel’s paintings and Hedwig’s prayer

 

The paintings and prayers you see on p. 2 [front inner cover] and the back cover are a joint venture of a woman artist from Panama and an Indian Jesuit. The paintings are by Gisel Chang-Langman who has studied professional management, plastic arts and interior design. Thee paintings were inspired by a prayer in the book At Home With God [see God Here And Now, p. 6] written by Ahmedabad based  Fr Hedwig Lewis, the veteran educationist and writer, well-known to Jivan readers.  

Jivan will continue to publish these paintings, accompanied by the words from Fr Hedwig’s prayer on p2 and the back cover.

Editor

 

[Home]  [Skill-based ]  [Inspirational ] [Prayerful ] [Festive ] [ Historical

[ E-Book ]  [Personal Bio-data ]  [Biographical] [Translations] [Articles ]