27th April

DIARY NOTE: The Pro-Life Campaign is holding a march to celebrate the 8th Constitutional Amendment (protecting the right to life of unborn babies) on Sat June 4th at Molesworth St, Dublin from 3-4pm. I would be there myself if I wasn’t in London for a wedding.

This is a reflection from Premier Christian Media entitled: You will keep in perfect peace all prayerwho trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26:3.

It is surprising to me that there are so many unusual practices that people pursue in the hope that they will find peace and good health. I recently came across one such practice called ‘Sun-gazing’ or ‘Sun-eating’. At sunrise and sunset (the lowest ultraviolet index times) each day one is invited to stand barefoot and gaze at the sun for 10 seconds, everyday adding a further 10 seconds up to a maximum 44 minutes of ‘sun-gazing’. Advocates make great claims about drawing energy from the sun reducing the need for food as well as the great healing properties available.

NASA allegedly studied the practitioner Hira Ratan Manek confirming he was survived largely on light with some buttermilk or water. I’ve been unable to substantiate this. However, videos have also shown him eating, for which HRM has apologised. Still he has his many followers and lectures worldwide unashamed. The search for hope and health is perennial and many reach beyond rationality in search of personal meaning and identity.

Isaiah invites us to gaze steadily upon God. As we do so we demonstrate our trust and we are enabled to quieten the ceaseless chatter that distracts our minds constantly. We discover by consistently returning to gaze upon God that we are nourished through his word and healed of our inner anxiety and restlessness. Daily increasing the time we Son-gaze, we deepen our confidence in Christ and discover a place of peace for ourselves.

God invites us to rise early, greet the day giving thanks for his goodness afresh and pausing to quietly meditate upon his perpetual presence. Again each evening we are to pause, give thanks for the day, prepare our bodies for rest and recall the ways we have encountered God’s presence throughout the day. What begins as a habit of a few minutes gently expands as we discover the rich benefits of contemplation. Our confidence in God grows as we access peace and quietness within calming our fears and preparing us for service.

QUESTION: How is your Son-gazing going?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I fix the gaze of my heart and soul on you, the author and perfecter of my faith.