Today is Monday, the 4th of August, the Memorial of St John Vianney, in the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time.

The monks of the Abbey of Keur Moussa sing: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul: You are my hope throughout the day.   Can you make this your prayer today?  As you enter into prayer now, can you begin by placing all your hope and all your trust in the Lord?

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.

Jesus very often says to his followers “do not be afraid”.  There are a hundred reasons every day to be afraid.  But Jesus assures us that he is always present – no matter how terrifying the circumstances or desperate the situation.  Can I listen to those words of reassurance and really hear them?

Can you imagine what it was like to be part of this story?  Spend a moment imagining it – the darkness, the sea, the wind, the noises, even the smells.  What must it have felt like to be there?

Now imagine yourself there, as Peter or one of the others in the boat, as the story is retold.

Allow the scene to continue, to unfold, as you sit in the boat with Jesus after the wind has dropped.  What do have to say to each other?