Friday, January 14, 2011

A long time gone

Dear Friends

We are still here.
We still meet weekly most of the time.
We share life, love and a good bottle of red.
Our lives are the stuff of our contemplation and our growing towards God.
We are sticking together.
Not much changes, but the rhythms and rituals sustain us.

With Love

The Transfiguration Crew.

Ps: Chris Still blogs. Read here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Advent Reflection 6

In the midst of todays business and maddness, 

my last reflection is to wish you a happy Christmas, send you love and this blessing.

I hope my mutterings have been of some use to you!

“A Blessing"

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work that you do
with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do, the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light
and renewal to those who work with you
and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of
refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert,
approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.

John O'Donoghue

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Advent Reflection 5

You know ’the time’ has come: you must wake up now               (Reading from Morning Prayer)

All this thinking about not being afraid has made me a little uncomfortable.
It can easily lead me to not being afraid but then not doing anything!
I need to relinquish my fears and move into the new way of being that the birth of Jesus begins.

Since Jesus was fully human like you or I, he felt scared and afraid too.   
I wonder about how God felt sending Jesus into space and time.            
Can God feel scared?                                                                                  
But somehow, in some way, God and Jesus overcame their fears and acted out their true nature – total love.

Mary and Joseph must have been scared too.                                       
Raising the Son of God! Terrifying stuff!                                               
But they too had to overcome their fear and get on with the stuff of life –decisions to be made, relationships to be had, life to be lived.

The time has come. God is amongst us. 

As I celebrate again the Coming of Jesus I want to live and love out of that reality.

I want to be like the magi and be on the journey deeper into Christ.

I want the obedience of the shepherds, to follow where God calls.

I want what Jesus came for to be the touchstone that I bring to others.

The time has come. I’m waking myself up.

The day in nearly here and I want to be ready

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Advent Reflection 4

Soooo busy today so I offer you a lovely poem by my favourite poet R S Thomas


The moon is born  
and a child is born,  
lying among white clothes  
as the moon among clouds.  
They both shine, 
but the light from the one  
is abroad in the universe  
as among broken glass  

- R S Thomas

Friday, December 19, 2008

Advent Reflection 3

But the angel said to him, ‘Zechariah, do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. (Reading from Mass)

After I wrote about “Do not be afraid” yesterday, today was a day that seemed to be trying to drive the point home to me!

I tried to get a bit of silence and reading after the kids were up this morning. I have been using a reflection book that uses quotes from Henri Nouwen for each day, and a bit of Scripture. Nouwen’s words for today contained this:

“The Days before Christmas must be days of deep prayer to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. We must be really ready to receive him. Christ wants to be born in us, but we must be open, willing, receptive, and truly welcoming.”

I heard again about the things that matter. How much of my fear is about externals. About how Christmas can transform my worry, my doubt, my mangy selfishness – but only if I “let it go” (as someone I know well continually says!) and allow the child in . . . do not be afraid!

Later this morning I had the privilege to be a musician at a friend’s mother-in-laws funeral mass. It is a privilege because when we hear anothers life story we can marvel at their faith and their achievements. To hear about the hidden self of another is an encouragement, a testament to living in Christ from baptism to death, and the wonders that God brings.   

Yet again, I heard “do not be afraid”.

Just as I sat to write to you this afternoon I checked my email and in the inbox was the Christmas Letter from Archbishop Philip Wilson. Guess what!?! His theme: “When we welcome Jesus into our hearts and into our lives, we begin to make sense of the things happening around us. Hope, joy and peace begin to take the edges off our anxiety and fear . . . (You can read the whole thing here:

Anyway, I hope that all of us are getting the message! Facing the Christchild brings me to the truth about myself and others – that we are beloved by God and that God is with us and with all of creation. Our struggles and fears find their place in that mystery.  I’m gonna try living that a little today.

With Love


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Advent reflection 2

Joseph son of David, do not be afraid  (Reading from Mass.)

I was once told that the most common thing that Jesus says in the Gospel texts is “Do not be afraid”.

I love that, and I need to hear it because as those who know me well have probably realized (In fact I know they have because they tell me!), I am a bit of a worrier. I especially love that a good priest friend of mine always prays that “we will be free from all wasteful anxiety” – because, from personal experience I know that it wastes time and that it hurts me – stopping me being whole and available for God.

Christmas can be a time of being afraid too.

Of what people think of my gifts/house/food/music/kids….

Of what Christmas day will bring.

Of how to negotiate shopping/driving/spending/partying/drinking/eating . . .

Of my credit card bill!

But I get the feeling that the newborn baby really doesn’t care about this stuff. Like all babies, he wants love. And the funny thing about love is that it draws us out of ourselves and into the mystery of what we are loving . . .

So take some time to sit in awe and wonder. Allow the story to touch you again. Take it with you through your day.

And may you find some peace. And not be afraid.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advent reflection 1

Advent reflections for the next 7 days. 

Feel free to join the conversation but be aware that possible heresy may only be greeted by applause . . . 

And Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary;         of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.                                 (From the Gospel of the day, Matthew 1: 1 -14)

The genealogy of Jesus is today’s reading. Tracing the line from Abraham through trial, tribulation, belief, disbelief, obedience, disobedience all the way to the messiah.

This reading is so multi – layered  - it’s a beginning, its about humanness. It’s about connectedness of generations to the divine story. But for me today, in true Benedictine fashion, it’s a story of community. Of how those people around us, with whom we share our lives, matter and fit into the bigger story of God coming amongst us in Jesus.

Today I celebrated life with two communities. I celebrated the Eucharist with those I live and work amongst as we ended our year together. I celebrated a meal with that same group, and talked and laughed. In the evening I celebrated with my own little community as we shared gifts, drank red wine, walked, talked and shared together.

As I look back over the day, I wonder where God was?

In the eyes of the children opening their gifts!

In the care of some of my colleagues to another who was not well.

In a few quite deep conversations I had at the strangest times!

In the healing of some students I had been visiting.

I saw God in interactions today. In people spending time, and love with one another. 

As I get closer to Christmas I want to keep this perspective. 

Seeing God in those people I meet as the days pass in busyness and stress.                                                        

To take time to wonder at the beauty of Gods creation in each other. 

To able on Christmas day to celebrate the birth of a Jesus, who came as one of us, to show us Gods new way of living.    

Blessings to you all – and keep your eyes open!!