Daily prayer online

Latest Space #20

The "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" is well on its way. The Ryder Cup, held this year for the first time in Ireland, has come and gone. This Autumn issue of Latest Space is somewhat late this year. I did not return from my summer trip until well into September, and then it took me some time to get over the jet lag. However, despite the hardships of travelling, it was a great blessing to be able to meet many old friends in different parts of the world, and also to meet "in the flesh" some who had become friends in Sacred Space.

      A Filipino visitor to the site, who frequently contributes feedback from New York, expressed it well in a letter written after he and a friend, Oscar, had visited me while I was in Glen Cove. He wrote, " It was a joy to be with you…I just realized that our visit yesterday was a bit like when Mary (Our Blessed Mother) visited Elizabeth, and their hearts leaped with joy. Who were we (Oscar and I) that the servant (you) of the Lord graced us with his presence from faraway Dublin? I can now understand a bit more deeply why Jesus had to become Incarnate as a human being. No amount of e-mail (like Old Testament prophecies) could substitute for a personal visit, a shaking of hands, seeing face-to-face, hearing words at close quarters, and breaking of the bread with laughter. Jesus and His first disciples (i.e. the New Testament) have become more alive all of a sudden!!! So, thank you once again for your visit to New York, certainly a spiritual gain for all three of us – a trinity made holy by His Name and Love!!! We have been greatly blessed with your vintage Jesuit company. There’s nothing like the breaking of the bread in the name of the Lord Jesus!!!"

      Another visitor was Dr. John T. Palmer, to whose website – Holy Spirit Within – we had given a link during the past year. He not only visited me twice, but, on the second visit, he interviewed me about Sacred Space. There is now a link to that interview on the opening page of his site, . The interview can also be found at

      As I travelled from New York to Tokyo, and from Tokyo to Hawaii – all places where I had spent many years, mostly teaching – I had the pleasure of meeting many students from years past.

This picture of one group that gathered for a party

in Yokohama gives a glimpse of what these gatherings were like. Since I gave up teaching high school students in 1969, the graduates I met are now in their 50s and 60s! Quite an experience to hear their reflections as they looked back on their high school days and their memories of the teacher of English they had at that time!

      And then I spent almost three weeks in Hawaii – from Honolulu to Maui and from Maui to the Big Island. Although most of my years in Hawaii were spent establishing a Campus Ministry Centre at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, I was also assigned to parish ministry in Honolulu, and on Maui and the Big Island. Visiting these places and the people there brought back many fond memories. But the island of Maui, where my grandniece now lives with her husband and two children, was very special. What a joy to experience how well these relatives of mine had adapted to the welcoming "aloha spirit" of the islands!

      The Big Island was my final stop in Hawaii, spending more than a week from Saturday, August 26, to Monday, Sept. 4. This gave me an opportunity to celebrate Sunday Masses and meet with the people in Hilo, and in Pahoa, my old parish. Once again, the hospitality of my old parishioners was extraordinary. There were meetings, too, with friends from Sacred Space – from a gathering in the home of Anita in Hilo in the evening of August 26 to my last night spent in Kona on the coffee farm of another Anita! A big ‘thank you’ to all who made my summer such a happy one.

And, finally, I want to thank all those who ensured that Sacred Space continued to welcome visitors over the summer months as, toward the end of August, our counter recorded 20 million visits since the website was launched in Lent, 1999. A special thanks to Dermot Roantree, Editor of AMDG, the Irish Jesuit Province Newsletter, who looked after the incoming feedback during the months of July and August. As you may have noticed, our custom of offering ‘selected feedback’ to our visitors for each month was omitted for these two months. I hope to make up for that lapse by giving a selection from our Summer feedback toward the end of this issue.

– Fr. Gerry, Editor Sacred Space

Sections within this issue of Latest Space:

  • The Latest on Sacred Space – The Book
  • The Latest Translation of Sacred Space
  • Sacred Space Used as an Online Resource for Learning
  • Some Things to note for the Coming Months
  • A Selection from our Summer (July-August) Feedback
  • Sacred Space Poet Launches her own Website – Prayer in Poetry
  • Continuing to Spread the Word about Sacred Space

  • The Latest on Sacred Space – The Book

    We have just received news from Michelle Anderson Publications that Sacred Space – The Book 2007, which is already available from the publishers of the previous two issues, will be published for India and Africa by St. Paul Publications. At the suggestion of Ave Maria Press, a special booklet will be produced for Lent of next year with the contents of Sacred Space for each day between Ash Wednesday
    and Easter Sunday. This will, it is hoped, be a way of introducing many to Sacred Space who will find it helpful to continue to pray throughout the year in the manner suggested for the season of Lent. Readers may recall that Sacred Space began on Ash Wednesday, 1999, as “something to do for Lent” and has continued on ever since.

    The Latest Translation of Sacred Space

    While the Editor was away for the summer, the following letter, dated July 16, 2006, arrived from Sister Theresa Jezl, CPPS: " ….. I have lived and worked in Finland since 1968. My work includes a lot of ecumenical co-operation. Recently I taught, with two Lutheran ministers, a Finnish-language course on guiding Ignatian retreats….. After the course there was much discussion on support for one another. I told everyone about the website, Sacred Space, but had to add that, though it was in many languages, Finnish was not one of them. Not everyone that is interested in this kind of prayer is fluent in another language. Then came the question, ‘Could we co-operate with you in supplying a Finnish text for the site?’ The Ignatian way of praying is becoming more and more known and popular here. There are only about 5 million Finnish speakers, so having a site of our own wouldn’t be feasible, but is there any chance, that if we could supply Finnish translations, it could be in Finnish? If it is possible, what would it entail? What would be the conditions? I would be very grateful if you could supply me with this information. God bless you!"

    On September 22nd, the Editor responded: " I would like to let you know that we would be very happy to have a Finnish translation of Sacred Space. All that is necessary is to find a person or persons willing to do the work entailed. That is the way the other 20 translations have come about. What we do is send the English version a month or so ahead of time and, in most cases, the volunteer translators not only translate the material, but also “upload” it so that it is available at the beginning of each month. Sometimes it helps to contact someone who has a website already and can do this kind of work. Early on, we did accept to “upload” the translation from here, but we have found that this becomes too much of a burden for our webmaster and can lead to delays and errors in the final version. Please let us know if there is any further information you need. As soon as you decide to go ahead with the translation, our webmaster will forward the material needed to begin."
    As we send out this issue of Latest Space, we await a response!

    Sacred Space Used as an Online Resource for Learning

          Loyola Press, the publishing firm of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, has informed us that they are including a reference to our Web site in the seventh and eighth grade student books of their Finding God faith formation program. The reference is listed on a page entitled “Online Resources.” Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts is a new parish and school faith formation program for children in grades 1–8 and for the significant adults in their lives. It offers a new, heartfelt, and authentic way to form people in the Catholic faith. To learn more about it, you can visit The Web site supports parishes and schools using the text as well as all adults seeking religious, relevant Catholic information and inspiration. The site won first-place honours as the “Best Web Site” in the 2005 Catholic Press Association awards.

    Some Things to note for the Coming Months

          November is the month that traditionally we remember in our prayers those of our family and friends who have died. As in previous years, toward the end of October, we will open a "Chapel of Remembrance" in Sacred Space. This gives us all an opportunity to remember our own beloved dead and to pray for the deceased family and friends of our Sacred Space community.

          With December comes the season of Advent when we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. For the past few years, we have offered in Advent, as in Lent, an
    opportunity for visitors to Sacred Space to make a day’s retreat on line. This year, Fr. Brendan McManus, SJ, a new arrival in the Irish Jesuit Communications Centre, is preparing some ideas for reflection and prayer on a day that each person can choose for herself/himself during that season.

          Finally, during the past year we have on special occasions made available Sacred Space e-cards. We hope to have e-Cards available online for the coming Christmas.

    A Selection from our Summer (July-August) Feedback

    I find your website so helpful in the midst of a busy workday. It gives me the direction to stop and remember whose presence I am in, and that the stresses of my work are nothing when compared to the love of God. United Kingdom

    I am an ordained Deacon in the Catholic Church and I have been a visitor to Sacred Space for many years. I find that when I take a few moments to reflect on the daily reading, the thought provoking ideas you provide, and hold it all in quiet prayer for even just a few minutes…that there is an inner peace that surfaces no matter what has been going on during the day. Thank you for this important ministry that very busy
    people can take advantage of everyday at their computer. It is an excellent format for prayer in other setting also. Ankeny, Iowa, USA

    Thank you for your website. I discovered it when preparing this week’s bulletin for publication here in New Zealand. Our Parish Priest gave me an article to include in our bulletin entitled “How to get ready for Sunday Mass” by Renee LaReau in which some websites were mentioned. I have just had a cursory tour through the website but when time permits I will be able to search more slowly. New Zealand

    I just wanted to thank you for Sacred Space. I have been a Christian since 2002 and have been growing with God in that time. As God and I become closer friends, I am learning to allow Him into every aspect of my life, and to truly trust Him to take care of me. I read your site at work, particularly when the pressures of the day distract me from walking in His ways. I also wanted to let you know that after sharing the good news of God’s love with a neighbour last week, I was able to recommend her to your site to help her develop a relationship with God all on her own. What a gentle, accessible and “modern” way to help new Christians absorb the message of God’s love in their own time and according to their needs. So many people worry about the spread of evil through the internet, but just look at how we can spread love and God’s Holy Spirit through it as well. God is truly working through you. Australia

    Thank you for the constant and invisible support that you offer through your website.

    Through you I have been able to develop my growth in understanding and learning to listen to God. This has taken time and practice, but the results have given me immense comfort and the ability to grow in trust with our Lord. I use three websites for my discreet personal development, which are:, and These have proved pivotal to my walk with our Lord and I commend this combination to those seeking quiet Inner Peace – as I have found it here. Portsmouth, England

    A friend told me about Sacred Space in March. I had been encountering Jesus daily for a month when I was told I was no longer needed at my job. I immediately went to Sacred Space when I got home. For several days the scripture and meditation words I
    found were exactly what I needed to get me through. But a word from the feedback section rescued me when I was feeling so rejected and on the edge of a precipitate dive into “despair”. A person from Canada 04/2006 said, with the voice of an angel: “I want to thank you for the hope your website gives to me daily. It is not easy holding on to our hope and faith in Jesus Christ when we are walking through times of enormous struggle. It is, however, precisely at these times that holding on more tightly to our faithful and loving God, Jesus Christ, becomes more meaningful. Jesus is always there for us, he will never leave us and whatever our struggle he has prepared a way for us to overcome. When there seems to be no way Jesus has a way. This I have experienced many times. Once again I wait for him to show me his way. It will be the only and best way for me as it will be for you. Stand firm. [that made
    me cry] All your struggle will be used for a greater good than you can ever imagine. Think of Joseph and you will find hope in the love of God.” That’s the kindest, most
    helpful word I’ve ever read. It immediately calmed my spirit and helped me set aside my doomsday imaginings. Thank you, Canada. We have such a good God! I’m still looking for a job, but I’m hopeful. Thank you, Irish Jesuits, for the Pray As You Go
    section too. I use it at my computer to hear the readings and the music for each individual day, since I don’t have an mp3. It’s beautiful. Missouri, USA

    I just wanted to let you know how Sacred Space has truly transformed my prayer life and my relationship with God in a major way. The first part of the guided prayer
    about being in His presence and not just Jesus with us but really dwelling within and in every part of our being and then to dwell on the word and allow that part of the
    message that speaks to us to penetrate deeply has really had a transforming
    influence. E. g. About being precious in Gods eyes and how much we are loved by Him. To really spend time with that word and really believe it and many other words spoken by God through the readings has really made a big change for me. I really have a sense of living more in His presence now in all that I am doing not just at the prayer time but it is filtering into my daily life where I am meeting people and I feel more receptive to their need and knowing and believing that it is not just me but Jesus and me working together and listening to their need together, hence I don’t feel so burdened by the needs of others. It’s like I can hand the burdens over straight away,
    because God is their listening within me. In being more aware of Gods presence in my life I have become more aware of Gods presence in others lives. I know God has always been there, but I haven’t always been receptive to Him and it seems I had felt an unworthiness which had really been getting in the way of my being open to Gods love for me. But now, because of coming to Sacred Space regularly and desiring to have a deep relationship with my God, the change has happened, and I just wanted to communicate this with you as I am sure many others have. Thank you to Sacred Space and to all responsible for its development. Address not given.

    I would just like to thank you for this website. I was educated by Jesuits all my life at the Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines….As an Atenean, I was exposed to the declaration of what a Jesuit is, written by Fr. Horacio de la Costa who wrote that being a Jesuit means “to know that one is a sinner yet called to be a companion of Christ.” Your site has brought me back to this and especially to Ignatian spirituality and God’s call to holiness…..Again, thanks so much. Manila, Philippines

    I have known and visited this wonderful site for several years. Recently I have felt
    life’s pressures prioritizing my thoughts and tugging me into a bit of a melancholy existence. I went to Mass yesterday (Saturday) and heard Mark’s gospel 6:30-34. I listened to the word and a fine homily about being a shepherd in the modern world. It wasn’t until this morning through Sacred Space that I heard the message, “Come to a quiet place and rest a while.” I can only attend to all that surrounds me through God’s
    grace and presence in my life. To have this we must pray and make that quiet time with the Lord. I am always in awe at the way God reaches out to communicate with us. Your site is a wonderful extension of his love for all mankind. Sacred Space is a
    good shepherd, keeping its flock together and attending to their needs. God bless you and keep you. Westford, Massachusetts, USA

    A few weeks of vacation without access to a computer showed me one thing: I am
    addicted to Sacred Space! Finland

    Thank you to those whose faithfulness has kept this site going. I have recommended it to members of my parish, because I have found it is exactly what it says it is – a
    sacred place set apart where I can find God and allow him to come in through the clamour of everyday demands. It is more than an escape, however. It is almost always an inspiration and encourages me to continue in spite of the seemingly overwhelming demands made in areas of my life. Thank you and many blessings to you all. Johannesburg, South Africa

    I am a Lutheran pastor in the state of Pennsylvania. I have been using your site for over a year and appreciate deeply the opportunity it provides for me to focus and centre myself at the beginning of the day. I am currently in the process of discerning a new call, and often find myself giving in to anxiety over the way it is proceeding.
    Through Sacred Space, you have become my partners in prayer on this journey, helping me to shed the anxiety in the presence of a loving God. Thank you so much for your faithful and loving gift through this website. Pennsylvania, USA

    Thank you for Sacred Space that brings peace and tranquillity “across the wires.” Ignatian Spirituality has always given me these two important things, making me feel ever so closer to God in my heart. I have spent many hours in a simple Chapel at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University, where I have sought refuge and enjoyed the bliss of silence, reflection and meditation. Sacred Space has somehow brought not just memories of such hours at the chapel, but the feelings themselves, in the midst of the noise and chaos of the world of labour and enterprise. Manila, Philippines

    I am writing to say that your site keeps me grounded and focused. Thank you for what you do. In this world of ridicule, great disappointment and pain, it is nice to have a place to go where my conversation with the Lord is encouraged. Princeton, New Jersey, USA

    I have led intercessory prayer groups for many years. I know how to pray. I know how to pray for others. But, a dreadful dryness had come upon me and for about four years I have not been able to receive from Scriptures or pray beyond ‘bless him’ or ‘help her’. I felt no closeness to God, though intellectually I knew He was there. I knew He loved me and was continually with me. “By accident” two years ago, a
    friend suggested Sacred Space. I tried it and have been refreshed. I sense God’s love and guidance. I hear Him speak to my heart, again. I am renewed by the Holy Spirit. Almost daily, tears of joy accompany my meditations and encounters with
    God. I have been healed of two very troubling memories – at least two! Thank you for the site. Many of the ways I have been led in prayer have come to culmination
    with this prayer site. I see God was leading me in the Jesuit way, before I even knew there was such a way. I am so blessed. Lancaster, Ohio, USA

    I am most grateful and happy to have found Sacred Space – it is so good to be there! I want to share it with as many people as possible. As a catechist working with our
    parish Christian Initiation I was looking for a site that would encourage our Neophites
    (including some children). Those who took my advice and tried the site thanked me and are excited to break open the Word in their prayer life… no accident that I found this perfect place and found about using it daily. It is beautiful, simple, and so easy on the senses – unlike much of what we see on line. And it is such a great way to begin and end the day. God bless and multiply the good that you do. Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA

    Yesterday I was trying to study and the stuff I was reading was convoluted and difficult. I felt furious with the people who wrote it for not making it clear and immediately relevant to my professional needs. I knew I was being immature but I
    kept lapsing into the same feelings of bitterness and frustration. Then I went to my email and discovered some emails sent by Father Gerry during a time that was difficult for me. I read them and the straightforward kindliness and commonsense of his responses cleared my mind. I remembered all the kind people I know who are so nice to me and I realised it’s totally important that I am kind and encouraging to everyone. If people can’t say things in the way I need, well at least they are trying to express something and make things better for the people we try to help. I feel like God’s love transfigured me yesterday – at least for the time being. During the reading, I imagined I was holding Jesus’ hand on that mountain with the disciples. Then I leant against him and felt his arm around my shoulder. I thought, “This is someone who has been with me since I was scared of imaginary foxes under my bed as a child, through all the confusions of my teenage years, along my path as I made my way, often angry, querulous, enthusiastic, disappointed, lonely, determined. He’s still with me now. It’s good to hold his hand. He’s good. My daughter had a dream years ago where Jesus told her, “No matter what happens I’ll be with you.” She’s been to hell and back but things are so much better now. Australia

    I call this site “a site for lazy Catholics like me”. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustles of life that we have no time to pray. Sometimes we are just outright lazy and keep postponing prayer. And yet, I know as a Catholic, praying is my way of connecting with God. I want to pray. I need to pray. I must pray. This site is wonderfully easy to follow and helps me connect with God in a simple guided
    manner. It makes me want to come back to the site every new day. Thanks and God bless you for your good work. Address not given.

    Twenty million people have come to your site. Some have been seekers, lost and hoping for comfort. Some have come to seek union with their Lord and Friend.
    Some have needed peace in times of turmoil (I came to you after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Centre). Many have stayed because they found nourishment for their needs, fellowship and a connection with God and with those
    who serve Him with love and with humour. Some have come scoffing. You have nourished many, helped many – myself among them. You have helped me and you have helped many, with grace, humour and kindness. I don’t think it is a stretch to

    congratulate you by quoting Matthew, chapter 25, verse 23: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!” Thank you, and congratulations! Windsor, Connecticut, USA

    Already, the 20,000,000 mark has been passed. What a wonderful gift the SACRED SPACE website is to the world. May God give all of you who are involved with the operation of the site many special blessings. You have made a difference in my life with this Sacred Space. I have told others about it and I hope and pray that they have accelerated the pace to the 20,000,000. A new goal, if there ever was one, should be 100,000,000 by the end of 2016. That gives us ten years to continue to promote such a wonderful gift to the world. Again, may God always bless and keep all of you and may He always be ever at your side. Tampa, Florida, USA

    A friend of mine recommended this site to me. I increasingly feel the need to be supported interiorly by the Lord and I greatly appreciate your site. For it opens an
    inner space in my heart where God can dwell and speak to me, specially as my apostolate of listening and walking with others in their difficulties, and in my own family. Indeed it is a wellspring of graces and courage and comfort. Thank you so much! I passed this site on to friends who also want to be accompanied by the Lord in their daily life. Okinawa, Japan

    I’ve been praying at this website every day since the end of June. Now, two months later, I am amazed how much my relationship with the Lord has grown and deepened with the help of Sacred Space, Pray-as-you-go, and the Creighton University retreat. I’m very happy to have come to know about Ignatian spirituality. It’s perfectly suited to the way I learn. This weeks’ consideration has been particularly helpful: “Calvin says somewhere that each of us is an actor on a stage and God is the audience.” God blessed me with a good ear for music, but when my skills as a musician had developed enough to become professional, I was plagued by severe stage-fright. Psychologically, such intense fear is usually grounded in a less than enthusiastic parent. I knew that. But the knowledge did not help. Deep down I craved approval. Thanks for reminding me there is always One who looks upon me with enjoyment.
    The Netherlands

    Congratulations, Sacred Space. You have passed 20,000,000!! I am only a new visitor to your tranquil shores but I am as happy at this wonderful achievement as I would have been to have been praying with you from right back at the start in 1999.
    Twenty million voices in unison lifted up to God in prayer and in praise and all springing forth from our very own Sacred Space. Heartfelt thanks to those who were given the divine inspiration to start this wonderful worship opportunity for all of us around the world who are seeking to know God’s word. Sydney, Australia

    I have very recently returned to the church after a nearly 20-year absence, and I have found “Sacred Space” to be an invaluable aid to me in my spiritual journey. Thank you for that gift! I commend you for your innovation in using modern technology in
    your ministry; the message is timeless, but the medium is adapted to modern life. It can be difficult to find time for prayer in a busy day, but I find myself taking a break
    from work for “Sacred Space”. My only lament is that work may then seem far less important to me than exploring and deepening my relationship with God! May God bless you in your work. Vancouver, Canada

    Since becoming an active Catholic after many years in my own personal wilderness, I wanted you to know how inspirational and helpful both Sacred Space and Pray-as-you-go have been to me. To miss a day in prayer is not an option in my life. May you continue to sustain, develop and promote all that is good in our faith, and may God be with you always in your endeavours. My heartfelt thanks to you all for presenting the
    Word in layman’s language. The Gospel message is today’s Good News, and to share this with the world through the 21st Century medium is so important and rewarding for all who enter the site with open minds and sincere hearts. Just wanted you to know how much I love to pray with you all! Address not given.

    My daughter in Florida sent me this website. I have macular degeneration. Have lost
    the central vision in one eye with retention of peripheral vision. The other eye is also being affected and I am having a difficult time coping with this loss. But the Lord seems to say on this first visit that the sight I have will be sufficient for me. I can only praise him for his goodness. My children have supplied my computer with zoom text – a great asset. Finding this site is a grace and blessing. Thank you all. I will be visiting, hopefully, each day. God bless. Notre Dame, Indiana, USA

    Sacred Space Poet Launches her own Website – Prayer in Poetry

          As visitors to our “other links” page will note, we have recently added a link to “Prayer in Poetry Prayerful reflections in poetic form” under the heading of “Prayer and Meditation”. This website ( was launched earlier this year by Frances Berumen, who has been contributing to Latest Space since Christmas 1993. Concerning her new website she wrote this poem:
    It is an Honour and a Privilege

    When God first asked me to serve Him in this
    way, it was a humbling experience I recall.
    I felt blest because it was a gift, a gift
    that I don’t take for granted, not at all.
    My understanding of the English language
    was limited, in the past a disappointment,
    So who was I that He would choose
    to write His words of encouragement?

    He gives me confidence, so I don’t question why, each

    word comes from Him through the love He has given.
    I write of hope, love, harmony, and because
    of His love, our sins can be forgiven.

    I am blest because I feel His presence with
    each word I write and in every thought.
    And by His grace, the essence of who
    He is, somehow is captured, caught.

    And the irony of it all, some of those
    poems help me see my life more clearly.
    They help me follow Him more nearly
    and, of course, love Him more dearly.

    It is an honour and a privilege to be
    used as a tool, a vessel, oh, what joy!
    Now He has given me a website, and these

    poems are there waiting there for all to enjoy.

    – Written by Frances Berumen 6/28/06

    Helping to Spread the Word about Sacred Space

    To help in spreading the word about Sacred Space, you might:

    • Check the website of your local diocese, parish, or other similar organization. Do they have a link to Sacred Space? If not, why not recommend a link? You might suggest that they use one of the icons below.
      Sacred Space      
      Sacred Space      
      Sacred Space
    • Do your friends have homepages? Ask them to include a link to Sacred Space.
    • Would your local newspaper (diocesan or otherwise) be interested in an article on Sacred Space? If you think so, do not hesitate to write and suggest one. There is plenty of material in past issues of Latest Space, or in the feedback of past years archived from as far back as the year 2000. If they need more, you might suggest that they contact us at [email protected] .
    • Have you, or your family, or friends, ever considered a financial contribution to Sacred Space? Such a contribution would help us to respond as effectively as possible to the spiritual needs of our very special international community? Consult our link Support Sacred Space at the end of each day’s prayer..

    Greetings from all the team of Sacred Space (

    Jesuit Communication Centre, 36 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

    Sacred Space Daily online prayer Sacred Heart Novena Podcast feed for Novena