Saturday, 14 April 2007


The night is calm and clear.
An emptiness - from two thousand years ago - reflects in us as the moon hangs naked for all to see: a lifeless silence cloaked in a promise borrowed from the touch of power and light as yet unseen.

A contemplative and an appropriate setting for the darkness in which we have gathered; for the clarity we seek in our anticipation of light and life: for the dawning of the day into which we shall be led by the priest and by the community; for the reinforcement of a binding together of living and dead in one loving and timeless whole: - today’s nuns assembled with their deceased companions, as the Easter fire is kindled amid a joyful choir of graves.
They are still; we all are still, and each of us knows that He is the Son of God.

Once again, I am on home ground, where preparation began: where the seeds of both my contentment and my longing were sown.
I have come back to Stanbrook Abbey for the Easter Vigil.
No midnight service here … We had assembled at 4:15 am to celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord.
From darkness to light, and out into a misty morning sun; with dew bejeweled grass underfoot.
With birdsong and smiles for company.
With the risen sun proclaiming the risen Son.
With a heightened sense of God’s touch in all things.
With a renewed awareness of the presence of the risen Lord in the heart of each one of us.

There is no other time.
There never has been any other time.
Now is the time.
Now is the time to be born, to live, to die, to be reborn.
Now is the time to yield to the embrace of salvation: to melt in the arms of redemption; to believe, to follow, to surrender to the ultimate meaning of our lives: to give our all to the source of all life: to give our life, in whatever way He wills.

This was one of those rare and wonderful times, when I became aware that I could give up my life in that moment: yield all that I knew as myself to the Eternal Unknown.
In the company of my wife, my living friends in the community, and in company with those who may have known me far better than I ever knew any of them, including Dame Gertrude Brown, who, for the first time lay amid her friends in those quiet graves.
She had been so delighted at the thought that I believed myself to have been conceived on the day she become a nun at Stanbrook.
Until I had spoken with her, I could not have imagined anyone being truly excited at the prospect of their own death.
I thank God for enabling me to meet her joy in this world; He alone knows how great is her joy with Him.

How I have been carried away by thoughts of that dawning!
Little wonder that it took a while to settle into the peace in which I had been called to rest.
I am now there … Thank you, dear, risen Lord.

“… a smile in the mind that furrows the brow beneath the mop that raggles the head of the beggar asleep under whispering rain.”
Mine is that mind; mine the solitary quiet amid nature’s baptism; - I am that beggar.
I thank you and praise you for the smile you have lodged deep within me.
You have exquisitely filled me to overflowing, and I am breathless in anticipation of your constant beckoning … “Come, follow me.”

May your dream become reality in me, and in all whom you seek to do your will.
Reveal yourself to us, that we may follow.
Call us, that we may serve.
Lead us to the very edge, that we may meet you there.

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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