One of the traditions of the Cairn is that, as you pass, you can add a stone to the pile. It can simply say, “I was here”. It can also be a more significant gesture, a step or even a turning point. Wherever you are in the world and wherever you are on your journey, for what ever reason, feel free to add a stone to this Cairn.
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“Silence is the First language of God”
Indeed and while only 2 of my, top date, 4 visits to Lee Abbey have been specifically silent retreats that is in part why I value taking time there. Silence is not hard to find. Most weeks, weather permitting, find me spending an hour or so in a often quiet public garden in Watford taking time in silent prayer and contemplation. On a short visit to Buckfast Abbey on a family holiday last week, picked up a copy of Julian of Norwich Revelations od Divine Love – deep reading . And from E Bay, a copy of Thomas Merton’s autobiography.
Thank you for your comments about this month’s “Shared Cell”. This world seems so preoccupied with going faster, getting there faster, faster data speeds, faster cars, faster supply, the list goes on…
For me silence is a little way to simply slow things down a bit…
Absolutely fab seasonal post. Thank you. Jackie.
Thank you Jackie, he was a rather special frog. (see Gallery). Senan.
Beautiful way to be still, just for a few moments. “Be still and know that I am God”. Life is so hectic, this site is not. Thank you. Annie.
Thank you for your kind comments Annie. I’m glad you found a few moments of peace here. Senan
So resonant, so beautiful. God bless you, Senan.
Thank you for this wonderful encouragement. May God bless you and your path.
Your shared cell reminded me of a time I preached on Christ’s walking on the water. 3 main points:
1. If you want to walk on water you must step out of the boat.
2. Peter only did so when Christ called him. We need this listen for the Holy Spirit call.
3. When he took his eyes off Jesus he started to sink. So do we
As always, thank you Colin for your comments about the shared cell. That is one of my favourite accounts of Peter’s journey. Senan.
Thank you Senan. I have known you since you were very young when first God brought me and my late wife Christine and a baby called Rachael to Somerset. Over many years I have come to deeply respect you and your family and have benefitted from their kindness and generosity many times. Watching you grow in faith and search out your own path of enlightenment has been very interesting and possibly for some quite challenging. However as a simple Christian with a deep faith I personally am learning all the time and I find your website most interesting and informative. The beautiful photographs speak peace into my soul. So with Christian love and respect please add my stone to your Cairn.
Thank you so much for your kind comments. It’s interesting that you mention “for some quite challenging”. It is not a common path, or an easy one, and is often viewed with scepticism. However, with the guidance of many friends both past and present, along with some great writers, Richard Rohr, John O’Donnahue and my personal hero, Thomas Merton, to name a few, I am beginning to learn to focus on my Creator. I am also starting to learn about stillness. To paraphrase Chuang Tzu who was writing in 500BC… ‘Unless the waters are still you cannot see the gold beneath…’
Thank you for taking the time to add your stone to this cairn. Senan
Greetings again in our glorious Saviour’s name. I can only guess where your own special place is and obviously will not press it. My own have tended to be more obvious, Lower Jenny, Upper Jenny and the crosses. On my own retreat that week The Holy Spirit and I did most business at Lower Jenny where surprisingly I was always alone – thank you Lord. I was most certainly on a significant journey from start of silence to its end and I am now closer to Him and love Him more than I think I have ever been. Which has carried over to the quiet times I spend most weeks in Cheslyn Gardens in Watford (Google it if you are curious). The daily reflection usually with the Eucharist and the times of Night Prayer were also so foundational. The daily communion always taking me back to Christ’s real presence in the elements as shown in Cranmer’s glorious words in the BCP “take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee and feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving”. Reality is far greater than the physical. What I had not imagined was to hear so clearly words of the deepest assurance and affirmation in the form of a letter from the Father – which I shared at close of silence – and I have heard that way again since. The daily meeting with my Guide/Director was a vital part of the process and I have now initiated the process with the Diocese of seeking a regular Spiritual Director, something Duncan at Lee abbey had encouraged me in and which my local archdeacon who had to approve the application has affirmed.
Thank you Colin, for your comments. (With reference to my article “God and Place”). I’m glad to hear your time away was fruitful. For those reading this and are not familiar with the place Lee Abbey, Upper and Lower Jenny’s actually refer to a cliff edge coastal view point over the Bristol channel. Stunning and inspirational views. As to my favourite place on the estate… Senan.
I see you have recently visited Lee Abbey. A very special place for me where on 3 previous visits I have met the Lord in new and powerful ways. My advice to those going for the first time is take a supply of tissues. I have never been very given to expressing emotion but there is something about the place which really opens me up I am attending their Silent Guided Retreat in October. Colin.
Thank you Colin for taking the time to leave a comment. In many ways, Lee Abbey can be place that allows the soul “to be”. And yes, often the outer sign of this is tears.
God bless you, especially during your retreat in October. Senan.
Enjoying your site Senan. G.
Thank you G for taking the time to have a browse. Glad you are enjoying it. Senan.