Finding God in all Places
Finding God in all places is an Ignatian desire that calls us to look always for opportunities to experience the spirit working in our everyday lives. Finding times and places to do this can often seem a luxury in the hectic pace of contemporary life.
This Prayer Map identifies several sites on the Boston College campuses where members of our community have found the space for cultivating the habit of reflection and prayer. These prayers, poems, and passages mirror experiences from a variety of religious traditions, and they invite you to your own prayer and reflection. May you find God in all things—and in all places.
The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say: “What are you going through?” It is a recognition that the sufferer exists, not only as a unit in a collection, or a specimen from the social category labeled “unfortunate,” but as a person, exactly like us, who was one day stamped with aspecial mark by affliction.
For an adolescent, capable of grasping this truth and generous enough to desire this fruit above all others, studies could have their fullest spiritual effect, quite apart from any particular religious belief.
— Simone Weil
Bench on Linden Lane
What are you dreaming, Soldier,
What is it you see?
A tall grey Gothic tower,
And a linden tree.
You speak so sadly, Soldier,
Sad and wistfully—
I cannot hear the tower bell
In the swirling sea.
What meaning has it, Soldier,
A tower bell, and tree?
Nothing, nothing—only once
It meant my life to me.
— Thomas Heath
St. Mary's Chapel
Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is, falling in love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you will do with your evenings,
how you will spend your weekends,
what you read,
who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love,
stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
— Pedro Arrupe
It helps, now and then,
to step back and take the long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts;
it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime
only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise
that is the Lord’s work.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted
knowing they hold future promise.
We lay foundations
that will need further development.
We provide yeast
that affects far beyond our capabilities
We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very, very well.
— Oscar Romero
Statue of the Blessed Mother
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help,
or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
we fly unto you,
O Virgin of virgins, our Mother.
To you do we come, before you we stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate,
despise not our petitions
but in your mercy hear and answer us.
Lawn at Bapst Library
God, may He be exalted, cannot be comprehended by the intellect.
None but Himself can comprehend what He is... Thus all the philosophers say:
We are dazzled by His beauty, and He is hidden from us because of the intensity with which He becomes manifest, just as the sun is hidden to eyes that are too weak to apprehend it.
The most apt phrase concerning this subject is the statement in the Book of Psalms, Silence is praise to You (65:2).
Interpreted, this means, Silence with regard to You is praise.
This is a most perfectly put phrase regarding this matter.
Plaza in front of O'Neill Library
The university remains the place where fundamental questions that touch the person and community can be aired, in the areas of economics, politics, culture, science, theology, the search for meaning.
The university should be a bearer of human and ethical values;
it should be the critical conscience of the society;
it should illuminate with its reflection those who are addressing the problematic of the modern or postmodern society;
it should be the crucible where the diverse tendencies in human thought are debated and solutions proposed.
— Peter-Hans Kolvenbach
The Angel of the Lord declared,
“Hail, Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!”
“Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done unto me
according to Your Will.”
And the Word was made flesh,
And dwelt among us.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.
The Chocolate Bar
Paperwork, cleaning the house, cooking
the meals, dealing with innumerable
visitors who come all through the day,
answering the phone, keeping patience and
acting intelligently, which is to find some
meaning in all those encounters-
these things, too, are the works of peace, and often seem like a very little way.
— Dorothy Day
St. Joseph's Chapel
Our prayer brings great joy and gladness
to our Lord.
He wants it and awaits it.
So he says this, “Pray inwardly,
even though you find no joy in it.
For it does good, though you feel nothing,
yes, even though you think
you cannot pray.
For when you are dry and empty,
sick and weak,
your prayers please me, though there be little enough to please you.
All believing prayer is precious to me.”
God accepts the good-will
and work of his servants,
no matter how we feel.
— Julian of Norwich
O'Connell House Grass Patio
Summer ends now;
now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks rise
Around; up above, what wind-walks!
What lovely behavior
Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever
and melted across skies?
I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
Down all that glory in the heavens to glean
And, eyes, heart, what looks,
what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love’s greeting of realer,
of rounder replies?
And the azurous hung hills
are his world-wielding shoulder
Majestic- as a stallion stalwart,
These things, these things were here
and but the beholder
Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
And hurls for him,
O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.
— Gerard Manley Hopkins
St. Ignatius Church
We must remember that liberation is costly.
It needs unity.
We must hold hands and refuse to be divided.
Let us be united,
let us be filled with hope,
let us be those who respect one another.
— Desmond Tutu
I cannot walk an inch
without trying to walk to God.
I cannot move a finger
without trying to touch God.
— Anne Sexton
O Lord, You have searched me
and known me.
You know when I sit down
and when I rise up;
You understand my thoughts from afar.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully
and wonderfully made.
Search me, O God, and know my heart.
— Psalm 139
Maloney Hall Stained Glass
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware.
— Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Landing on the Higgins Stairs
May all beings be happy.
May they live in safety and joy.
All living beings, whether weak or strong,
tall, stout, average or short,
seen or unseen, near or distant,
born or to be born,
may they all be happy
As a mother watches over her child,
willing to risk her own life
to protect her only child,
so with a boundless heart should one
cherish all living beings,
suffusing the whole world with
unobstructed loving kindness.
— Gotama the Buddha
St. Mary's Garth
Well, I don’t know what will happen now;
we’ve got some difficult days ahead.
But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.
And I don’t mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a
long life—longevity has its place.
But I’m not concerned about that now.
I just want to do God’s will.
And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.
And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land.
I may not get there with you.
But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.
So I’m happy tonight;
I’m not worried about anything;
I’m not fearing any man.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for
they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall
inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will
be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they
will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
— Matthew 5:3–9
Bless this food we are about to receive.
Give bread to those who hunger;
and hunger for justice to us who have bread.
— A Grace before meals based on Ghandi’s principles
More than ever I find myself
in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted
all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference;
The initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
to know and feel myself
so totally in God’s hands.
— Pedro Arrupe
Residence Hall Reflection Space
You, neighbor God, if sometimes in the night I rouse you with loud knocking, I do so only because I seldom hear you breathe;
and I know: you are alone.
And should you need a drink, no one is
there to reach it to you, groping in the dark.
Always I hearken.
Give but a small sign.
I am quite near.
Between us there is but a narrow wall, and
by sheer chance;
for it would take merely a call from your lips or from mine to break it down,
and that without a sound.
The wall is builded of your images.
They stand before you hiding you like names.
And when the light with me blazes high that in my inmost soul I know you by, the radiance
is squandered on their frames.
And then my senses, which too soon grow lame, exiled from you, must go their homeless ways.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
Chestnut Hill Reservoir
See, in the creation of
the heavens and the earth
and the alternation of day and night
there are signs for those with insight.
— Qur’an 3:190
My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me,
Love to the loveless shown
That they might lovely be.
O who am I that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?
He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.
— Samuel Crossman
O eternal Trinity, my sweet love!
You, light, give us wisdom.
You, supreme strength, strengthen us.
Today, eternal God,
let our cloud be dissipated
so that we may perfectly know
and follow your truth,
with a free and simple heart.
— Catherine of Siena
Trinity Chapel Choir Prayer Room
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All that I have and possess.
You have given all to me.
To You, Lord, I return it.
All is Yours.
Dispose of it wholly
according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace.
That is sufficient for me.
— Ignatius Loyola
Barat House Back Patio
O God, I love Thee.
Not for heaven’s sake;
not to be out of hell by loving Thee;
not for any gains I see;
but just the way that Thou didst me
I do love and I will love Thee:
What must I love Thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God.
— Gerard Manley Hopkins
Cross on the Hill
If you believe and I believe and we together pray,
The Holy Spirit must come down
and set God’s people free,
and set God’s people free,
and set God’s people free;
The Holy Spirit must come down and set God’s people free.
— Zimbabwe Folksong
Cushing East Lawn
God take me by Your hand.
I shall follow You faithfully,
and not resist too much,
shall evade none of the tempests
life has in store for me.
I shall try to face it all as best I can.
— Etty Hillesum
Field on Colby Road
If you walk toward Him,
He comes to you running.
Maybe I’m not making big changes in the world, but if I have somehow helped or encouraged somebody along the journey
then I’ve done what I’m called to do.
— Thea Bowman