O for a heart to praise my God 

One great early teacher of the Christian faith, Gregory from Nazianzus in Turkey, said that there are only two ways to God, "journeying outwards, and journeying inwards."

We stress journeying outwards in the Cathedral: finding God as we read the Scriptures together, in worship and in serving one another. Perhaps we should spend more time on Gregory's second way to God: journeying inwards in prayer. This is the way of prayer that Jesus seems to have followed himself when he carefully took time on his own, waiting on the Father in lonely and quiet places. 

It's difficult to talk sensibly about journeying inwards. One good way of beginning is to read love poetry. The words of many poets about the person they love can teach us how to be more present to ourselves and how to give ourselves wholly to someone else - in this case God. 

In the sixteenth century, Sir Philip Sidney wrote this song for his girlfriend to sing. He talks about each of them exchanging their hearts. 

My true-love hath my heart and I have his, 
By just exchange one for the other given... 
His heart in me keeps me and him in one... 
He loves my heart, for once it was his own; 
I cherish his because in me it bides... 
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart... 
My true love hath my heart and I have his. 

Sir Philip wrote this song for his girlfriend but couldn't it just as well be about our search for God? Deep within our souls we find God's love for us, and deeper still we find that God is actually holding our souls in life. 

The Very Revd Peter Bradley DL 
The Dean