Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Remember ...

I find St Paul's fisrt letter to the Corinthians a good examination of conscience. Replace 'love' with your name and see how you fare. I got stuck on patient!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Friday Photo

Neesha is seven years old and lives in the Park Circus railway slum in Kolkata, India. She has been coming to the Prathyasha Centre for Girls, where Mary’s Meals feeds, for a year. Neesha lost her leg when she was five, as a result of sleeping too close to the railway tracks. She wasn’t able to move away quickly enough from an on-coming train and now has a prosthetic left leg. Her family thought she would never go to school because of her disability, but the nuns who run the centre heard about Neesha, went to find her in the slum and offered her a place at the centre. Neesha tells us: “I like coming here every day and learning with my friends. We look forward to our lunch.”

For more information go to www.marysmeals.org.uk

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Youth Invasion.

Over the coming 10 days, Aylesford Priory, one of the Carmelite friar communities in Britain, will become a youth village. As I type huge marquees are being erected on the pond lawn in preparation for the Southwark Diocesan Day on Saturday 23rd.

From Tuesday the 26th we will be hosting days for year 9 students. Then on Friday we host the annual Brightights Festival. Bookings are still be taken for this event so if you fancy a fun weekend of faith, music, drama and insightful talks follow the link http://www.brightlights.org.uk/Brightlights/Home.html

We have some great speakers booked including Fr. Tim Menezes, Sr. Judith Russi, our own Fr. Damian,  CAFOD partners and Catholic voices to name a but a few to take us on a journey of discipleship.

We have some great bands including sounds of salvation, the indecisive and Jahaziel, challenging and interesting workshops and seminars as well as beautiful liturgies led by Edwin Fawcett.

See you there!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Bishop delivers a challenge to young people

Brooklyn Bishop Calls for Self-reflection in Fast Moving World at 50th International Eucharistic Congress

Saturday June 16, 2012

There is a need for self-reflection amongst younger members of today’s society, Frank Caggiano, Bishop of Brooklyn, New York, told young people gathered at the IEC2012 Chiara Luce Youth Space on 16th June 2012.

Bishop Caggiano said: As young people, I wish to give you a special task today. Your generation is the first to live comfortably in the virtual, electronic world. I ask you to be present in this virtual world as witnesses of the Lord Jesus. For it seems to me that many people, especially young people, are searching in the electronic world for a word of hope in their troubles, a word of consolation in their fears, a word of welcome in their loneliness.

He continued: “My brothers and sisters, you are the new heralds of the Word of God in the electronic world and missionaries of Christ. And I have every confidence that like the great missionary saints who lived before us, you can and will bring many people to faith!”

Reflecting on the hectic pace of our lives, he said: “Prayer is made easier if you and I can quiet our minds and sit in silence each day. Coming from New York City, the city that never sleeps, silence is not easy for me either. Given the hectic pace of our lives and our ability to communicate electronically every minute of every day, silence can even be frightening. But God needs a place where he can talk to us in our hearts. And in order to listen, we need to learn how to be still, to sit in silence and to wait with patience

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Rites of way: behind the pilgrimage revival

More and more people are setting out on pilgrimages, for religious, cultural or personal reasons

The poet Edmund Blunden wrote in 1942: "We have been increasingly on pilgrimage." We are once again increasingly on pilgrimage. A revival is under way worldwide, with pilgrim numbers rising even as church-going figures fall. Medieval hostelries on the roads to Santiago de Compostela, closed for centuries, are reopening to cater to the volume of travellers. In 1985, 2,491 people received the certificate of completion known as la autentica; more than 270,000 did so in 2010. On the little north Norfolk village of Walsingham – site of an 11th-century vision of the Virgin Mary, recently self-branded as "England's Nazareth" – a quarter of a million pilgrims now converge each year, including participants in the "children's pilgrimage", the "youth pilgrimage" and the "Tamil pilgrimage". Last year's hajj to Mecca was the most populous ever. At the 2010 Kumbh Mela, the Indian space agency took satellite pictures of the tens of millions of pilgrims in order to improve the government's crowd control at future melas. Rowan Williams spoke recently of "a whole generation of new pilgrims … wishing to cut through the clutter of institutions, and achieve self-discovery in a new place".

Across faiths and denominations, down the green lanes of England, along the dusty roads of Spain, up the cobbled streets of Alpine towns, through the marl deserts of Israel and the West Bank, around the sacred peaks of the Himalayas, over the frozen lakes of Russia and along the holy rivers of India, millions of pilgrims are on the move: bearing crosses, palm branches, flaming torches, flower garlands, prayer flags and over-stuffed rucksacks, clutching scuffed wooden staffs or shiny trekking poles, and tramping, prostrating, hobbling, begging and believing their ways onwards, travelling by aeroplane, car, bus, horseback and bicycle, but most often on foot and over considerable distances – for physical hardship remains a definitive aspect of most pilgrimage: arduous passage through the outer landscape prompting subtle exploration of the inner.

This pilgrimage revival is not only religious in nature; it also extends widely and fascinatingly into secular culture and art. Writing Britain, this summer's British Library exhibition about landscape and literature, teems with pilgrims and their peregrinations, from Chaucer's convivial chevaliers onwards. Chaucer began the first of his Canterbury tales 625 years ago: to mark the anniversary, a group recently re-walked the route from the Tabard Inn in Southwark to Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. They stayed in the original stopover towns, read and re-enacted the tales along the way, and recorded their journey in multimedia form as it unfolded. Later this month a weekend-long arts festival dedicated to pilgrimage will take place at Mount Amelia in Norfolk, involving poetry, opera, film, performance, photography, sculpture, improvised jazz and storytelling.

Certainly the most influential work of travel writing published in the past 20 years is WG Sebald's The Rings of Saturn, whose original German subtitle was Eine englische Wallfahrt – "An English Pilgrimage". Told in winding and digressive sentences, and studded with captionless black-and-white photographs, the book recounts a foot-journey taken by a narrator who closely resembles (but is not quite) Sebald himself, down the crumbling coastline of Suffolk in the "dog days" of summer. Place, in Sebald's pilgrimage, presses hard upon the walker: the paranoid East Anglian coast, fortified for thousands of years against various kinds of invasion (sea-walls, Martello towers, pill-boxes, radar stations, cold war listening posts), induces first joy, then fascination, then neurosis and at last breakdown.

The Rings of Saturn has provoked its own cult, and its own metapilgrimages. This year saw the international premiere and success of Patience (After Sebald), Grant Gee's feature film tracing the book's itinerary and its stories. I walked the route myself over several days several summers ago, when starting to write an oblique biography of Sebald. My hope was that by means of footstepping his shade, I would understand the man and his work better. But the sun was hot, children were having fun in the fountains at Lowestoft, and in the end I gave myself up to the pleasures of the walk. Somewhere near Benacre Broad I plunged into the warm waves to wash off the grayscale of the Sebaldian worldview; a few months later I abandoned the book project entirely (and straightaway felt better about life).

Last year Colin Thubron published To a Mountain in Tibet, an austere and moving account of his journey to Kailash in western Tibet, the holiest peak of the Himalayas, where the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Indus and the Sutlej all have their source, and around whose base pilgrims have long made circuits of notorious difficulty. The most extreme form of this kora, or circumambulation, requires body-length prostrations for 32 miles of rocky path, at up to 18,000ft in altitude. Thubron made his own secular pilgrimage in memory of his recently deceased mother, and he circled the mountain on foot with Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bonpos as his chance companions. Incomprehension and cold comfort were the chief yields of his journey, though, and the book hums with strange loneliness and grief – a different dark pilgrimage to set alongside Sebald's.

Also last year the writer-artists Alec Finlay and Ken Cockburn completed The Road North, a project inspired by the 17th-century Japanese pilgrim-poet Matsuo Bashō, who perfected the haibun form of prose-poetry as a means of recording the thousands of miles he wandered through Japan. Guided by the example of Bashō, Finlay and Cockburn followed their own narrow roads through Scotland, stopping at 53 "stations" and creating a vast "word-map" of the country, made up of prose-poems, renga, hokku and blog posts. Another Scottish work, Nan Shepherd's delicate meditation on place and psyche, The Living Mountain, is finding a new readership, 60 years after it was written and 35 years after it was first published. "I believe that I now understand," concludes Shepherd, "why the Buddhist goes on pilgrimage to a mountain. The journey is itself part of the technique by which the god is sought."

The artist Richard Long continues to make his epic walks, distinguished by their rites of way (a flint carried from one coast to another, stones or sticks left in patterns by the roadside), and pilgrimage remains vital to the practice of other influential sculptors and artists: Hamish Fulton, for instance, whose book Wild Life records the hundred days of ritual walks he has undertaken in the Cairngorm massif (a circumambulation of Ben Macdui on the night of the summer solstice; a seven-day walk conducted in silence; a pacing-off of the shoreline of high and lucid Loch Etchachan), or Chris Drury, whose work has long been preoccupied with cairns and waymarkers, or Gary Fabian Cooper, whose recently published Dartmoor Home details his chronic commitment to re-walking the same local paths and routes – pilgrimage within perimeter.

Next month sees the premiere in Manchester of Swandown, a film by Andrew Kötting about a "water pilgrimage" he made with Iain Sinclair, sailing (well, pedalling) a swan-shaped white pedalo from Hastings on the English Channel to the Olympic site in East London. Part send-up of the ODA's commitment to "diversity" and "ambition", and part playful picaresque, the film records the journey and its meetings. Often funny, sometimes poignant, and well aware of its own absurdities, the film shares its charms with early physical comedy cinema: Buster Keaton at sea, perhaps. In method at least, Swandown recalls another of Sinclair's famous ritual journeys, his walk along (around) the M25: a 117-mile stalk of the city's greybelt, which attempted both to "exorcise the unthinking malignancy" of Blairism and "to celebrate the sprawl of London".

As Sinclair and Kötting well know, the pilgrim always treads the brink of self-parody, and is often closely followed by heritage and by hokum. Pilgrimage has gone cult – it has also gone kitsch. TC Boyle's pin-sharp parody of American nature writing, The Tortilla Curtain (1995), features a Californian essayist called Delaney Mossbacher, "a liberal humanist with an unblemished driving record", whose personalised registration-plate reads PILGRIM and who styles himself in his writing as "a seer, a worshipper at the shrine" of Mother Earth, stepping forth with "manzanita stick in hand and nylon pack clinging to my shoulders like a furled set of wings". Yes, pilgrimage is still a word that can labour under its burdens of piety. And yet it also feels like a necessary term for describing how more and more people are choosing to make sense of their places and of themselves.

Five years ago, I began a series of journeys along the old ways of the British landscape: its holloways, field-paths, Neolithic tracks, sea-roads, coffin-routes, drove-roads and pilgrim-paths. "Knowing how way leads on to way …" wrote Robert Frost in what is surely the best-known path-following poem of them all, "The Road Less Travelled". I set out walking on the chalk of Cambridgeshire, and ended up on the dolerite and gneiss bird-islands of the Outer Hebrides, the granite of the Cairngorms, the limestone of the West Bank – where a small group of Palestinians walks ancient wadi paths as protest against Israeli land control – and the moraines of Minya Konka, a sacred Tibetan peak of dazzling elegance and altitude. The Icknield Way, which runs within a few miles of my home, was my entry to a network of old routes criss-crossing Britain and its waters, and connecting them to continents beyond. Along the way – along the ways – I walked a tidal path nicknamed the Doomway, I walked stride for stride with a 5,000-year-old man near Liverpool, I traversed a stretch of the winter Ridgeway on cross-country skis with the only Marxist tax lawyer in London, possibly the world, I had a number of experiences that I still find hard to explain away rationally, and I developed some very large blisters indeed.

Everywhere I went on these journeys, I encountered men and women for whom landscape and walking were vital to life. I met tramps, trespassers, dawdlers, mourners, stravaigers, explorers, cartographers, poets, sculptors, activists, botanists, and pilgrims of many kinds. I discovered that walking is still profoundly and widely alive in the world as a more-than-functional act. I met people who walked in search of beauty, in pursuit of grace or in flight from unhappiness, who followed songlines or ley-lines; I witnessed walking as non-compliance, walking as fierce star-song, walking as elegy or therapy, walking as reconnection or remembrance, and walking to sharpen the self or to forget it entirely.

It seemed that every month I met or heard tell of someone else setting out on a walk "in search of something intangible", as Rebecca Solnit defines pilgrimage in her great history of walking, Wanderlust. A young woman, fallen under the spell of George Borrow, had tramped across England and Wales to St David's in Pembrokeshire, following only footpaths and green ways. Three folk singers called Ed, Will and Ginger had sold their possessions, left their homes and taken to the paths of England, sleeping in woods and earning their food by singing folk songs as they went. Someone was wandering the boundaries of Northamptonshire – ancestral home of Britain's boot and shoe industry – sleeping in barns and church porches along the way. One day I walked 25 miles with a young man called Bram Thomas Arnold who, following the death of his father, had set out from London to walk to St Gallen in Switzerland, where he had lived as a child. He carried his father's ashes with him, slept in a small tent by the sides of alfalfa prairies in northern France, made camp after dark and struck camp before first light to avoid farmers and police, and got as far as the Black Forest, where he caught a train the rest of the way.

Like many English walkers before me, I ended up in Spain. In Madrid I met an artist, Miguel Angel Blanco, who might have stepped from the pages of The Shadow of the Wind or Borges's Labyrinths, and who has devoted his life to the creation of an astonishing library – the Biblioteca del Bosque (Library of the Forest). His library comprises more than a thousand wooden "book-boxes", each of which is a reliquary or cabinet containing the objects and substances (snakeskin, quartz crystals, resin, elm leaf) gathered along the course of a particular walk. Each of these micro-terrains represents a completed journey; but the library itself – ever growing – is a compound pilgrimage without visible end. With Miguel as my guide, I followed a branch-line of the Camino de Santiago from Cercedilla, north of Madrid, up through the pine forests of the Guadarrama mountains, then down to the medieval city of Segovia and on out on to the scorched yellow tablelands that stretch towards Galicia and the cathedral of St James.

In the mountains of eastern Tibet, walking long miles through oak forests to reach Minya Konka, I set my pace to a Spanish palindrome on the subject of pilgrimage: La ruta nos aportó otro paso natural – "The path provides the natural next step". Its form cleverly acknowledges the transformative consequences of the pilgrimage, which turns the mind back upon itself, leaving the traveller both ostensibly unchanged and profoundly redirected.

In the Outer Hebrides, I walked from the west coast of Lewis to the south-east coast of Harris, sleeping in beehive shielings and passing under an eagle-filled sky, and met a sculptor called Steve Dilworth for whom the Harris interior – lochan, scarp, erratic boulders – had become a consecrated terrain, as mysterious and powerful in its presence as Avebury or Silbury Hill. With a Lewisian poet, sailor and storyteller named Ian Stephen, I took by boat to the North Atlantic sea-roads – the routes of long usage that exist at sea, determined by current, prevailing wind and coastline, along which people (raiders, traders, craftsmen, pilgrims) and their ideas (technologies, languages, stories) have travelled since prehistory. One week we sailed due north for 40 miles from the most northerly tip of Lewis, in an old open boat called Jubilee, to the little gannet-island of Sula Sgeir. When we reached the island we circled it by oar and by sail, and as we did so we noted off its features – Geodha a Bhuin Mhoir, Palla an Iar, Sroin na Lic – for such is the attention paid by the Gaelic language to its landscapes that even that sharp scrap of uninhabited rock, far out into the North Atlantic, has more than 30 place-names attached to it.

Not long before I went to Spain, I read an essay in the journal Artesian by a Czech writer called Vaclav Cilek, cryptically entitled "Bees of the Invisible". Cilek – himself a long-distance wanderer – proposed a series of what he called "pilgrim rules", of which the two most memorable were the "Rule of Resonance" ("A smaller place with which we resonate is more important than a place of great pilgrimage") and the "Rule of Correspondence" ("A place within a landscape corresponds to a place within the heart.") "The number of quiet pilgrims is rising," he observed. "Places are starting to move. On stones and in forests one comes across small offerings – a posy made from wheat, a feather in a bunch of heather, a circle from snail shells." I had come across such DIY land-art often myself: the signs of unnumbered "quiet pilgrimages", of uncounted people improvising odd journeys in the hope that their voyages out might become voyages in.

Perhaps, though, each era imagines itself to be increasingly on pilgrimage. As Merlin Coverley notes in The Art of Wandering, the pilgrim is among the most venerable figures of literature. The true boom-years of religious pilgrimage were, of course, medieval – but the Victorian decades saw a strong surge of interest in pilgrimage both as practice and metaphor. Hilaire Belloc's bestsellers The Path to Rome (1902) and The Old Road (1904) – the former an account of what he called his "mirific and horripilant adventure" of walking to the Holy Sepulchre – carried that interest over into the 20th century. "Pilgrimage," wrote Belloc permissively and encouragingly, "ought to be nothing but a nobler kind of travel, in which, according to our age and inclination, we tell our tales, or draw our pictures, or compose our songs."

Why the contemporary passion for pilgrimage? It clearly speaks at some level to the late-modern experience of displacement, and to the retreat of dwelling as a feasible mode of living. "Any man may be called a pilgrim," wrote Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1874, "who leaveth the place of his birth": by that definition we are almost all pilgrims now. It represents a return of imperfectly deleted religion. And it is surely part of a broader desire to reconnect with landscape and nature, provoked by the increasing dematerialisation and disembodiment of virtualised existence. While we find it easy to say what we make of places, we are far less good at saying what places make of us – and as Rowan Williams puts it: "Place works on the pilgrim … that's what pilgrimage is for."

On pilgrimage, knowledge is not acquired unit by unit. Pilgrimage should not be imagined as a kind of epistemological orienteering, in which one's insights or discoveries are validated at punch-points along the route. No, knowledge is ideally – in Tim Ingold's fine phrase – "grown along the way": an ongoing function of passage through place, both site-specific and motion-sensitive. Because prepositions matter, we might say that while on pilgrimage people think with landscape, rather than only about it. Or, to borrow one of Belloc's absolutisms – this from a 1904 essay called "The Idea of Pilgrimage" – "The volume and depth and intensity of the world is something that only those on foot will ever experience."

Perhaps some version of this idea is why so many people seem to need the ritual walk now more than ever. In a context of the drastic privatisation of most aspects of culture, walking can offer freedoms that still escape capital's structures of credit and debt, service and obligation. The gifts offered by walking are, at their best, radical because unreciprocal. "They give me joy as I proceed," wrote John Clare simply, of field paths. Me too.

Clare was one of the best annotators of natural gift, and his poetic inheritors in this country would include Thomas A Clark, Peter Larkin, Pauline Stainer and the late RF Langley, all of whom have written uncomplacently about walking, nature, vision and – though the word remains culturally contraband – "spirituality". As such, they all stand in a tradition begun by the other great medieval work of pilgrim-literature, William Langland's Piers Plowman. Langland's poem opens with its pilgrim-narrator dressed in sheepskin, recalling his peregrinations: "I …wandered abroad in this world, listening out for its strange and wonderful events … one May morning, on Malvern Hills, out of the unknown, a marvellous thing happened to me." The idea that, despite its asperities, pilgrimage might serve as a kind of wonder-voyage, moving the pilgrim out of the verifiable and into the "marvellous', is one of its most durable attractions – and why it will surely long continue to appeal.

Source: Robert Macfarlane, The Guardian,

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Mustard Seed

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.” He said,
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
Mark 4: 26-34
The Gospels make it clear that correctly responding to Jesus, accepting his invitation, is a huge task. Our minds are pedestrian, his words are wings. He sees more in us than we see in ourselves. It is not easy to know yourself as mustard seed and be in the presence of someone who sees you as the sheltering tree of life. Paul Murray’s poem, ‘Know Yourself,’ captures some of this tension.
There is a world within you
no one has ever seen,
a voice no one has ever heard,
not even you.
As yet unknown
you are your own seer,
your own interpreter.
And so, with eyes and ears
grown sharp for voice or sign,
listen well –
not to these words
but to that inward voice,
that impulse beating
in your heart
like a far wave.
Turn to that sound and you
will find
what no one has ever found,
a ground within you
no one has ever seen,
a world beyond the limits
of your dream’s horizon

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Song for the Feast

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is in every book of the Bible…

 In Genesis Jesus is...  “The Seed of the Woman”

 In Exodus He is… “The Passover Lamb”

In Leviticus He is… “The Priest, the Altar & the Sacrifice”

In Numbers He is… “The Pillar of Cloud by Day and the Pillar of Fire by Night”

In Deuteronomy Jesus is… “The Prophet Like Moses”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Joshua Jesus is… “The Captain of Our Salvation”

In Judges He is… “Our Judge and Lawgiver”

In Ruth He is… “Our Kinsman-Redeemer“

In I & II Samuel He is… “Our Trusted Prophet”

In Kings & Chronicles He is… “Our Reigning King”

In Ezra He is… “The Rebuilder of the Broken-Down Walls of Human Life”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Nehemiah Jesus is… “Our Restorer”

In Tobit He is… “The Messenger of New Life”

In Judith He is… “Weakness Turned into Victory”

In Esther He is… “Our Advocate”

In I & II Maccabees He is… “The Leader Who Dies for God’s Law”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Job Jesus is… “Our Ever-Living Redeemer”

In Psalms He is… “Our Shepherd”

In Proverbs He is… “Our Wisdom”

In Ecclesiastes He is… “Our Hope of Resurrection”

In the Song of Songs He is… “Our Loving Bridegroom”

In Wisdom He is… “The Emanation of God’s Thought”

In Ecclesiasticus Jesus is… “Our Security”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Isaiah Jesus is… “The Suffering Servant”

In Jeremiah He is… “The Righteous Branch”

In Lamentations He is… “Our Weeping Prophet”

In Baruch He is… “The Mercy From the Eternal One”

In Ezekiel He is… “The One With the Right To Rule”

In Daniel Jesus is... “The Fourth Man in the Firey Furnace”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Hosea Jesus is… “The Faithful Husband Forever Married to the Sinner”

In Joel He is… “The One who Baptises with the Holy Spirit and Fire”

In Amos He is… “The Restorer of Justice”

In Obadiah He is… “Mighty to Save”

In Jonah He is… “Our Great Foreign Missionary”

In Micah Jesus is… “The Feet of One Who Brings Good News”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Nahum Jesus is… “Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble”

In Habakkuk He is… “God My Saviour”

In Zephaniah He is… “The King of Israel”

In Haggai He is… “The Signet Ring”

In Zechariah He is… “Our Humble King Riding on a Colt”

In Malachi Jesus is… “The Sun of Righteousness”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Matthew Jesus is… “God with us”

In Mark He is… “The Son of God”

In Luke He is… “The Son of Mary – feeling what you feel”

In John He is… “The Bread of Life”

In Acts Jesus is… “The Saviour of the world”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Romans Jesus is… “The Righteousness of God”

In I Corinthians He is… “The Resurrection”

In II Corinthians He is… “The God of All Comfort”

In Galatians He is… “Your Liberty. He sets you free.”

In Ephesians Jesus is… “The Head of the Church”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Philippians Jesus is… “Your joy”

In Colossians He is… “Your completeness”

In I & II Thessalonians He is… “Your hope”

In I Timothy He is… “Your faith”

In II Timothy Jesus is… “Your stability”

Come and kneel before Him now

In Titus Jesus is… “Truth”

In Philemon He is… “Your benefactor “

In Hebrews He is… “Your perfection”

In James He is… “The power behind your faith”

In I Peter He is… “Your example”

In II Peter Jesus is… “Your purity”

Come and kneel before Him now

In I John Jesus is… “Your life”

In II John He is… “Your pattern”

In III John He is… “Your motivation”

In Jude He is… “The foundation of your faith”

In Revelation Jesus is… “Your coming King.”

He is…
the first and the last;
the beginning and the end.
He is the keeper of creation and the creator of all.
He is the architect of the universe and the manager of all time.
He always was, He always is and He always will be
unmoved, unchanged, undefeated and never undone.
He was bruised and brought healing,
He was pierced and eased pain,
He was persecuted and brought freedom,
He was dead and brought life,
He is risen and brings power,
He reigns and brings peace.

The world can’t understand him;
the armies can’t defeat him;
schools can’t explain him;
and the leaders can’t ignore him.
Herod couldn’t kill him;
the Pharisees couldn’t confuse him;
the people couldn’t hold him;
Nero couldn’t crush him;
Hitler couldn’t silence him;
the new age can’t replace him;
and society can’t explain him away!

He is life, love, longevity & Lord.
He is goodness, kindness, gentleness and God.
He is holy, righteous, mighty, powerful, pure.
His ways are right, His words eternal, His rules unchanging,
and His mind… is on me.
He is my redeemer
He is my Saviour, my brother and my friend.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

100 Days of Peace

100 Days of Peace is a joint project of the Catholic Dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster, involving the Education Departments and Justice & Peace Commissions, in partnership with Pax Christi, London Citizens, More Than Gold and the 2012 Office of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales.

Once in every four years the Olympic and Paralympic Games offer an opportunity to celebrate human achievement through sport. Every country in the world is invited to send participants.

8th June – 28th October 2012

This unique international event is accompanied by an equally important UN resolution, signed by all 193 member states, calling for a cessation of conflict during the period of the Games. The aim of the 100 Days of Peace initiative is to promote one hundred days of peace-making in schools, parishes and communities for fifty days either side of the Games. We call on all nations to fulfil the commitments of the UN Resolution and enable a peaceful Games to be enjoyed around the world.

Our dream is that the London 2012 Games will leave a lasting legacy of peace towards greater safety on our streets, co-operation between nations and an end to war.

For the last week our community at Alesford Priory has hosted the Peace and Reconciliation Icon that was written for Pax Christi International. The icon was written in St John's Monastery in Jerusalem.

Reconciliation Prayer
 O Risen Christ,
You breathe your Holy Spirit on us
and you tell us: ‘Peace be yours’.
Opening ourselves to your peace -
letting it penetrate the harsh and
rocky ground of our hearts -
means preparing ourselves to be
bearers of reconciliation
wherever you may place us.
But you know that at times
we are at a loss.
So come and lead us
to wait in silence,
to let a ray of hope shine forth
in our world.
Brother Roger, Taizé