Monastery of the Visitation

 

   
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15.6.14.

It's summer, hot & sunny, so it must be barbeque time! See opposite - nun behind the grill!
     


 


 


14.6.14.

                                                                  
         

12.6.14.

The computer has been sick with bugs for several days; but now it's back to normal, praise the lord!  And we too are back to normal, to 'Ordinary' time; if your life is anything like ours then I'm sure it's anything but ordinary! But within the calendar of the Church's year, the Alleluias are over, the Pascal candle is wrapped & put away & the Divine Office is so much easier to follow! To catch a glimpse of our feast of Pentecost click on the picture opposite.

   





   

8.6.14.

Do you remember when, last November we were kindly given 400 mixed saplings? We've been waiting to plant them out in our new home & for the past two days Clare & Jason have been digging them in; making a hedge along one side of the path beside the pond. In January this year we had floods in our basement twice; Clare was one of the 'Firemen' that came to rescue & sort us out! They are both very good at gardening & landscaping & are making a fine job of the new hedge. One of the lambs has been sick but seems to be recovering; it still gives us great joy to see them frisking about in the orchard.


 
   






click on picture



   


Pentecost 2014


After 3 days of retreat we share with you all the graces & blessings of this wonderful Feast. May the Holy Spirit grant us His gifts, strengthen our faith & fill us with His love.
 



 


 


5.6.14.

Last Sunday our Chaplain, Fr. Jim Hurley, was affiliated as a member of the Fransiscan Friars of the Atonement. The Father General of the Order, Fr. Jim Puglisi S.A., came specially from Rome for the ceremony; they have known each other since seminary days & concelebrated Mass here before travelling to London where the ceremony was held at the convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Lambeth.

 







 







 


31.5.14.

On this beautiful feast of the Visitation we unite ourselves with our sisters & friends throughout the world. We wish you joy & blessings & as we have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all day, we remember you & all those you hold in your heart before the Lord. God be praised!
 


 

 



30.5.14.

Sr. Clare Chantal & Donna were down by the pond, putting the Flags into the water. Libby, our neighbour kindly gave us these; these are like large iris's & need to be weighted down to prevent them floating out to the middle of the pond.
 





 



 

26.5.14.

Can you knit or crochet? Would you like to learn? Do you live locally, or not far from the monastery? On June 18th we are starting A Prayer Shawl group, from 2.30 to 4pm. It will be every 3rd Wednesday of the month, you are welcome to join us. Click on the picture to find out more.
   




   


23.5.14.

Will you please join us in prayer? Every day, after the Office of Readings at midday, we are saying this prayer (click picture) to our 7 Blessed Spanish Visitation Sister Martyrs of our Monastery of Madrid; for a young Visitation sister in one of our American monasteries, who has been recently diagnosed with cancer. We have faith that our Blessed Sisters will intercede for us. Thank you. God be praised!
   





 

   




21.5.14.


This is so lovely. 
   


 
   


19.5.14.

Friends of Fr. Jim bought us a water feature & today we had it set up in our cloister courtyard; the sound of the running water is music to our ears. The pots remind us of the Marriage Feast of Cana, when Our Lady said to the stewards, "Do whatever He tells you."
Turn up the sound.
   




   



18.5.14.

Do you remember Tom Jones singing 'The Green Green Grass of Home' in 1968? Well that's us right now! After months of mud & clay we are turfed. It's not quite finished round the monastery & it's not round Patmos - our Outreach building, yet, but it has made a significant difference. It needs a lot of watering right now so that it'll 'take'. Everytime I see Sr. Jane Margaret she is soaked from the sprinklers; but praise the Lord for green grass.
 








 









 

17.5.14.

Today we had special visitors at Mass, Tadiwa
(which means 'we are favoured') came with his mum Carol; Dad had kindly helped us with our move several weeks ago when the parish came to bring things down to our new home. Tadiwa is 6 months old & a beautiful little boy, so content & chatting away in his baby-talk. It will be a joy to watch him grow into a fine young man.
   



   

15.5.14.

                                     
         

11.5.14.

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, the day when traditionally throughout our Institute we say thank you to our superior, our Good Shepherd. Here is Sr. Jane Margaret with a flower-decked shepherd's crook, at recreation.
       


   


 

11.5.14.

Praise the Lord! We now have the telephone line & Broadband, so the computers are set up. We have just welcomed our first retreatant into our new monastery & yesterday we had our first group meeting in Patmos, our 'Daughters of St. Francis de Sales'; we were glad to also welcome Kathy, a Daughter from the United States, & our good friend & Director of the Society of the Sons of St Francis de Sales, Michael Moran.

             




     


7.5.14
.

At the last count, in our monastery, we have 49 doors, but I expect I missed a few. I was looking at them; so many different kinds, some completely glass, some half glass, some all wood, others half wood & half glass. Some wood with a long thin panel of glass; some fire doors, very heavy & hard to open, you have to lean your whole body against them to get through! One is automatic, some are locked, some ajar, others wide open. Some are held open by other people. It's a bit like life's journey; if we think of all the 'doors' that we've passed through to bring us to where we are today it's similar to this medley of doors. Some opened easily, others required a bit of strength & courage to get through. Some we could see through, knew what was on the other side, so we knew where we were going, others were a complete surprise. Some were left ajar for us - inviting us through, some were held open for us, making the way easy. Some were locked - & what did we do about it? Did we give up, or try & find the key? Some like those fire doors required real determination to get through & perhaps we needed the help of another person. I wonder how many doors we've opened for others?



           











     

3.5.14.

Pass through our community room, out onto the patio & down the steps; just a few more paces & you're into the ancient woodland. This extends all down one side of our land & has been here in Sussex since before history, as we know it, began. Mainly Hornbeam  trees, it is a very beautiful 'space' & one where retreatants love to roam; home to so many of God's creatures; badgers, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, the occasional deer & probably a lot more wildlife, including  highly protected wild pink orchids. It's made even more special right now as the bluebells are creating a sea of blue mist as far as you can see. So take a walk with us through our woods & enjoy this May-time treat. Click on the picture.


   

















   









30.4.14.

The cloister & courtyard 8.30.pm.
 




 








 



28.4.14.

Usually May is the 'prettiest' time of the year in our garden for the shrubs. This year everything is early, but the lilac, the clematis & the azalia are so beautiful, with the added bonus of a sweet perfume for each. Perhaps if you you sniff the pics you'll also get the perfume! ALSO we have triplets! 3 weeks old, our newest lambs are in the orchard with their proud mother.

 





 




 

27.4.14.

We join millions all over the world as we share in the Canonisation ceremony of Pope John XXIII & Pope John Paul II in Rome.
What a wonderful day for the Church.
   


 
   


25.4.14.

Guess what? After over 7 weeks without, we now have a phone landline! Praise the Lord! Another week & we may be able to bring the computers to the monastery. Watch this space!
 
   


 
   


24.4.14.

In our chapel, above the two doors, due to the demands of 'Health & Safety', is this sign showing the 'way'. Wouldn't life be great if all we had to do was to follow the signs, go in the direction of the arrows & know that we were on the right path? But that is exactly what we do have to do; the signs are there, not because of health & safety but because of the demands of a loving God. They may not be neon green & permanently lit up, but if we search we will find them; perhaps in our prayer & the sacraments, in what we read, watch or listen to, in our thoughts & feelings. It may be in the wisdom of others, in nature & God's beauty surrounding us.
Lord show me the way just for today! 
   








 
   


22.4.14.

Easter is all about new life & hope for the future. Opposite are two pictures, one of our Jubilee tree planted by the Bishop in 2010, to commemorate our 4th centenary of foundation. It's been dug up, & transplanted to our new home. At the moment it's in the cloister courtyard, in a pot awaiting a new patch of earth; but how it has thrived in the Easter sun. The other picture is after last night's rainfall, God has left us some jewels on the plants, exquisite pearls of water. Beauty is all around us. Praise the Lord!
 
     





 
         




 
 



20.4.14.
   Easter Sunday

Alleluia!
The Lord has truly risen.
Alleluia!
         





click on picture
& turn sound up
     

17.4.14. 

Our Sacred Triduum.
Turn sound up & click picture. 
         


 
     


16.4.14.    

As we enter into this holiest of weeks in the Church's year, we begin our retreat, taking all of you with us in love & in prayer, your intentions & your needs. Our Mother, Sr. Jane Margaret shared some thoughts on our own new beginnings of the past few months. Click on the picture to read them.
         





     


11.4.14.

Yesterday , as I was walking from our new home up to the old monastery to check the phone & emails I saw this wonderful tree in our daffodil park. Lofty, majestic, bare & stately, with it's blue sky background. In a few weeks it will have its new green growth & be very beautiful to see; but right now it is awesome & I had to stand & admire it. The birds too agreed with me as they were singing at the tops of their voices & fluttering in the branches, but try as I might I was unable to see even one!
Isn't it the same with us? We too are awesome in all our 'seasons', we don't have to wait for next month, a better moment, best clothes, new shoes or a different haircut! Just as we are, how we are, where we are right now, we are beautiful in God's sight; we are His miracles, His masterpieces. We too, like that tree, give Him glory by accepting & truly being who we are - warts an' all!

         









     

9.4.14.

To be a Christian now means
to have courage,
to preach the true teaching of Christ
and not be afraid of it, not be silent out of fear
and preach something easy
that won't cause problems.
To be a Christian in this hour means
to have the courage that the Holy Spirit gives ...
to be valiant soldiiers of Christ the King,
to make His teaching prevail,
to reach hearts and proclaim to them
the courage
that one must have to defend God's law.
                                                       Oscar Romero.
         








     


7.4.14.

We have our beautiful new altar. Almost 20 years ago we were given, by our dear friend & Daughter of St Francis de Sales, Helen, a wonderfully crafted, solid oak pedestal. For all these years a statue of Our Lady has stood on it but the statue was much too large for our new monastery; one of the sisters had the inspiration that we could adapt the pedestal as part of our new altar. Our cabinet-maker & craftsman, Martin, did a fine job - another instance of allowing part of our past to flow into our future.
         







     


3.4.14.

Are you seeking a place of quietness & reflection, a space to gentle your spirit & enjoy God's beauty? We are happy to welcome you, after Easter, as we re-open our Retreat Apostolate. A few hours or a few days, sharing alongside our life, our spirituality (if you wish) & our surroundings, even helping us plant our new garden. Click on the link to know more or to book; we'd love to hear from you.
retreats@visitationmonastery.co.uk
         






     

2.4.14.

We have beautiful blossom,
'out of this world' birdsong',
warm sunshine on a Spring day,
& the sheep ready to lamb at any moment.
We are truly blessed.

We have many workmen,
Plumbers,
Electricians,
Carpenters,
Furnisher removers - & hammering -
We are truly harassed.

We DO NOT HAVE a phone line or
a Broadband computer line.
We are truly frustrated.

But in all this, on this 'ordinary' day,
we praise & thank God
for His goodness, His care & His gifts to us.
GOD BE PRAISED!


         











     

28.3.14.

'There is a different kind of prayer without ceasing; it is longing. Whatever you may be doing, if you long for the day of everlasting rest do not cease praying. If you do not wish to cease praying then do not cease your longing. Your persistent longing is your persistent voice. But when love grows cold the heart grows silent. If you are filled with longing all the time, you will keep crying out, & if your love perseveres, your cry will be heard without fail.'
                  St Augustine's Expositions on the Psalms.        
         




     




25.3.14.

On this beautiful feast of Our Lady's Annunciation we pray that we will always be aware of the Holy Angels surrounding us, protecting us & bringing us messages from God. Our Holy Founder, St Francis de Sales tells us, "Those who go, stay, & those who stay, go." We aren't the only ones getting moved! Many of our precious bushes & plants have come with us to our new home, Mrs Clifton's rose bush, peonies from the front borders, herbs given us by our dear Annee to start a new herb garden; these are all carefully potted up awaiting their new destination. They are looking healthy & we have to decide where they will go; the earth surrounding the monastery at the moment still seems very muddy. There are also many beautiful shrubs & bushes that will remain to give joy to the next owner of our old monastery. And so it should be.
       










'Bloom where
you are planted.'
St Francis de Sales
       









'Those who go, stay,
& those who stay, go.'
St Francis de Sales





21.3.14.


A few more 'moving' pics.
Can you recognise yourself?
             


       



18.3.14.

Yesterday, after Mass, Fr. Jim blessed our new monastery. There is still a lot to be done, this week the Tabernacle will go on it's new plinth, numerous pictures are still to be hung, a new altar to be made & still more furniture moving. Malcolm & Chris were in yesterday bringing more large items from the big house; but our new monastery is definitely taking shape & the birds are singing their welcome in the surrounding trees & woodland. We are still fighting B.T. for a landline for the phone & computers, but these have, as yet, to materialise! Click on the picture opposite to have a birds eye view of our new home.
 
     







 
         







15.3.14.

On March 1st we had the joy of many good friends from our surrounding parishes helping us with our move. How generous they were with their time & energy - & big smiles. We were blessed with fine weather after a run of very wet days. They carried so many heavy boxes, & goodness knows what else, down to our new monastery. Annette came & made a mountain of sandwiches & other goodies, much appreciated by all. Our chaplain, Fr. Jim Hurley & Fr. Michael Creech from our local parish of Heathfield also came , Fr. Michael was in a very paint-splattered boiler suit, & certainly looked ready for work! A couple of days later we were able to move in. God bless them all.
               








click on picture

   






'In the sweetness
of friendship
 
let there be laughter
& the sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew
of little things
the heart finds its morning
& is refreshed.'
                Khallil Gibran.



14.4.14.

The sun is shining, & the daffodils are out in full glory. Still no phone or computers in our new monastery! Could be several more weeks B.T. tell us. We have to come back to the old monastery each day to collect our phone messages & emails. Slowly things are finding their right homes & our new monastery is taking shape. Pics coming soon.
                         






           

7.3.14.

Just a quick line to say that we have moved, or at least we are in our new home, but due to a mix-up with BT we have no phone-line or computers down there at present. I've come up to the old monastery to let you know this. It could be another week or more before the phone is connected, so if you are ringing or emailing please don't think we are ignoring you, it's just that in this wonderful age of communication, we don't have any!!! All is going well, our new home is very beautiful & we are up to our eyes bringing things back from here to there, unpacking & sorting out; at this rate we'll be doing it for several months to come. Lots of prayers please.
   

27.2.14.

M-DAY is almost here! The day, or rather days have arrived at last. We begin our big move this weekend. Saturday will see the first group of sisters going down to our new monastery. As well as Malcolm & Chris, who will begin to move all the heavy furniture & large items, we're fortunate to have several people who have very generously offered their services to help us with the move. We're so grateful to Patrick for organising this; many are coming from our local parish of Heathfield, including their Parish priest, Fr. Michael Creech. Our own chaplain, Fr. Jim is coming up, so as well as a heavy working day there will be smiles & laughter, cake, biscuits, sandwiches & endless cups of tea & coffee! One our faithful retreatants, Annette, will be the chief sandwich-maker, a very important task on a day like this. By the end of Saturday no doubt there will be a few aching bones & muscles! Monday will see the last group of sisters going down; we pray for dry weather, but will take whatever comes. Our present monastery will have its own security & we will need to make trips up & down for several days transferring things. I'm not sure yet when our computers will be turned off, but hopefully they'll be re-connected sometime on Wednesday, so we'll see you then with tales of our adventure.
Please keep us in prayer; it will be great after so long & quite a few 'false-starts' to actually be there, the sun will shine in our hearts whatever the weather is doing outside. We hope Fr. Jim will celebrate our first Mass on the evening of Shrove Tuesday, a votive Mass of St. Joseph & so into the season of Lent.
                 











   

25.2.14.

There are times in our lives when we all need to feel that we are just resting in the gentle love of God, held safely & protected; see the picture opposite. For us at the monastery we certainly need to feel this unconditional love, carefully holding us & guiding our every step as we get nearer to our iminent move.
                     



 
   

18.2.14.

Despite the heavy rain over the past few weeks the resilient little snowdrop has popped her head above ground to give us joy & lift our spirits. Barabra Winkler once said 'Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle . . . a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nutures our dream'.



   


 












 

16.2.14.

There is beauty in imperfection. Have you ever thought of that? We have enjoyed these roses for over 3 weeks; they were stunning when we first received them, but even now they have their own beauty. Their petals have changed colour; the pink hue is fading, their edges are fraying but they have their own perfection, they are still very lovely. What do we look for when we look for beauty? Do we look for perfection or for something more? Sometimes perhaps we need to change our concept of what is beautiful.

   





       





   






 

11.2.14.

Today, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, we celebrated the Golden Jubilee of our dear Sr. Josephine Margaret. It is a privilege to be in community with a sister who has lived her consecrated, contemplative vocation in faithful & joyful abandonment to our loving God for 50 long years. Because of our position - moving, today was just a 'family' occasion; once we have settled in our new home & the weather is a little kinder we shall enjoy a celebration with Sister's family & friends. Fr. Jim, our chaplain, presented Sister with a beautiful Papal blessing & also a rosary blessed by Pope Francis. God be praised for the gift of our vocation.
To see a few pictures click on the photo opposite & turn the sound up.

                 







                    

         

8.2.14.

An Apache Blessing

May the sun bring you new energy by day.
may the moon softly restore you at night.
may the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength
into your being.
May you walk gently through the world
and know its beauty
all the days of your life.
                 







         

7.2.14.

On Thursday a man came with very heavy machinary to begin several days of dredging our large pond. In the almost 55 years we've been here it has never been done. Because of all the rain the water level was high, but lying underneath the silt was even deeper! Over the years we've had fish, eels, moorhens, kingfishers, heron & ducks who have made themselves at home with us; we used to love seeing the little black balls of fluff, baby moorhens, walking across the water-lily pads. Once it's clean & fresh we hope our 'Waldron wildlife' will return. The pond is a very contemplative spot, quiet & beautiful, we're grateful that it will remain part of our new monastery.

             





















 

6.2.14.

Our life is like this little drop of water isn't it, nothing much; so small & insignificant, how can it make a difference? Yet it certainly does. In joining all the other drops it causes ripples to spread out & go to places we've never dreamed of. Never let anyone tell you that you don't make a difference.
               



         
  
3.2.14.

I read this amazing story of a man who saw the picture opposite & in his own words, "Reading the newspaper one morning I saw this picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo & decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes. I was curious to hear what melody the birds were creating." In life we are surrounded by beautiful melodies if we but look & listen for them, & as in the story above, sometimes we find them in the most unexpected places.
               






click on picture
turn up sound
         


2.2.14.
    The Presentation

"There was a prophetess also, Anna . . .She was well on in years . . .and she spoke of the child to whom all looked forward to the deliverence of Jerusalem."
                                                      Luke  2:3-38
     



click on picture
         

1.2.14.

Today we went on a tour of new home. It is beautiful, & once the mud outside dries & we can put turf down it'll be spectacular. To walk round with us click on the picture.
     


   


31.1.14.

You know we had our beautiful portraits 'downsized', we got the finished canvases back yesterday & they are beautiful. Apart from Our Holy Founders there are two of Mother Mary de Sales Weld, our first English Superior, as a young sister & as an elderly sister. In the young portrait she was actually wearing a ball gown & carrying a fan. This portrait, at some time, was then painted over, or rather the gown was replaced by the religious habit. But if you look at her hand you can see that the fingers & thumb holding a book, her Rule Of Life, aren't the same as her holding a fan.  We are thrilled with the results & now being able to have them in our new monastery.
   






 







 

29.1.14.

This is one persons expressed view of contemplative life - rather nice don't you think?
'I admire people who are suited to the contemplative life. They can sit inside themselves like honey in a jar & just be. It's wonderful to have someone like that around, you always feel you can count on them. You can go away & come back, you can change your mind, your hairdo & your politics, & when you get through doing all these upsetting things, you look around & there they are, just the way they were, just being.'

   





   

28.1.14.

Our friend Gavin has an unusual hobby for a young man; he makes rosaries. It's a real apostolate to spread honour & praise to Our Lady to whom he has a great devotion. As you can see from the pictures opposite they are beautiful. He also has a blog, check it out - http://rosarymakeruk.blogspot.co.uk/
Yesterday we received a wonderful gift of 50 of his rosaries. God bless you Gavin!

 




                         




 

25.1.14.   again!

Yesterday, for the Feastday, we celebrated the last Mass in our Choir. It was very cold; you could see our breath as it mingled with the incense in the air. Fr. Jim gave us a lovely sermon, which you can share if you click on the link.  During Mass a large candle was lit & placed in some earth from our grounds here; as we remembered all the sisters, friends, retreatants & so many others who have joined us for over 55 years, in prayer in this very special place. The candle stayed alight before the Blessed Sacrament the whole day & will be re-lit when we have the first Mass in our new chapel. It's bed of earth will be mixed with earth from around our new home.



 
 






 
                         






 Fr. Jim's sermon


Our Mother's words during Mass
 

25.1.14.

A few more pictures of our Outreach building. It's looking good, & will be a great place to welcome retreatants & groups who visit. Can you just about see a couple of the stained-glass windows on the far wall inside, that we're bringing with us? As you can see there's still plenty of mud. If anyone would like some, we can ship it you by the ton load! 



 

 

                         



 
 

24.1.14.       Feast of St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales was sometimes known as the 'Gentleman' saint, because of his great kindness & humility. Gentleness is something much needed in our world of today, & we pray on this special day for Visitation sisters all over the world that our Holy Founder will envelop us all with his spirit. For us here in the monastery it's a 'holy' day, with a solemn Mass; the last we shall hold in our chapel, & Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all day.
As we look forward to a new future we hear the words of St. Francis de Sales in our hearts 'Let us go forward full of courage to do what we are called to do, but let us go with simplicity. God alone is the consoler of our hearts; He alone calms souls of good will, those who hope in Him. Happy are they who walk in the way of God's love, their hearts are changed forever.' May he bless you & all those you hold in your hearts.



 
 









 

21.1.14.

Charles Kingley, the well known children's author, was once asked what the secret of the beauty in his life was; he replied 'I have a friend'. How blessed are we who can say the same.
 
   



 

20.1.14.

Could this also be classed as trying to
learn the art of 'Down-sizing'? Click on picture.
   

 

19.1.14.


Downsizing is about so many things. We need to do it in our heads as well as practically. Sorting, measuring, deciding if something is too big, will it fit? Throughout the monastery we have several very large portraits, Holy Mother, Holy Founder, Our Lady etc, which look great on the walls they occupy right now, but are far too large for our new home. Jim Holden, a local photographer has kindly 'down-sized' these for us; so our familiar friends can come with us. These paintings have hung on our walls since our foundation in England; they are part of our heritage, part of our family.
   







Mother Mary de Sales Weld
our first English Superior
 



17.1.14.


Yesterday we began the Novena to our Holy Founder, St. Francis de Sales, before his feast on the 24th. Click the picture opposite to join us in saying it.
 




 




15.1.14.


This evening we had our prayer vigil, To see the readings we shared click opposite.
 




Mother Ponnet's readings
 

13.1.14.

This week we are preparing to have a Vigil of prayer & readings from Mother Marie Madeleine Ponnet, in preparation for the 100th anniversary of her death on Thursday 16th January.  Mother Ponnet is greatly venerated within our Order; most Visitandines living today will have been introduced to her book 'Commentary on the Spiritual Directory' during their formation, leaving a lasting influence on all of us.


 





 


12.1.14.
  again.

Emergency . . . Sr. Clare Chantal celebrating the feast of the Baptism with a paddle. This is what nuns do in their spare time! Floods in the basement yet again!
 




 


12.1.14.

With the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord the Christmas season is over & we return to the green vestments of Ordinary time. But we can be sure that there is nothing ordinary about the days between the Christmas season & Lent if we listen to the Liturgy, & the weeks will fly past as before. Is there anything 'ordinary' about my life, your life? I doubt it. For some of us this return to our known routine is a welcome relief, where things are predictable & comfortable. For others it's a challenge to return to the 'before'; for all of us in the monastery it's back to this last spurt of sorting & packing. Hopefully by the end of the month the hand-over of our new home will have been completed. A time of transition for us, a time to continue following our star.

 
 








 


9.1.14.

What will the New Year bring for us all as we journey forward? We know it'll bring change, joy, happiness, surprises & shocks. Laughter & tears; pain, suffering & sorrow. Frustrations, limitations, creativity & aspirations. Whatever it chooses to give us may it include friendship, love & harmony. In the difficult days may we know words of comfort & consolation; in the good days may we offer a kind word & a listening ear.
Our boiler is dead! and it'll remain that way until we move - so no house-heating! We're walking round like Eskimos, contemplating sewing ourselves into our habits to keep the draughts out & the warmth in! However uncomfortable & cold we may be it's nothing when we think of all those affected by the terrible flooding in our country & our sisters & friends in the States experiencing such harsh & extreme weather. May God's love keep you all warm.


       









 




5.1.14.   Feast of the Epiphany

Here in the U.K. we're keeping the feast of the Epiphany on the the 5th January. We're all following a star, but for us in the monastery, particularly during this past year, we've been gazing at, pondering over, & walking towards a very particular bright star, pointing us in the direction we felt God was guiding us to. We travelled with full hearts & empty hands extended, in order to receive as well as to give, & in our search we have found Him in the ordinariness of our everyday lives. We've made sacrifices, we've had challenges & we've known tiredness, bordering on exhaustion, downheartedness, disappointment & impatience. In faith we've taken risks - & it's all been great! Like the wise men, we followed a dream, certain of our God & His love for each one of us. With open hearts we are sure that our God of surprises will not disappoint us. We travel together - with you. What gift will you offer Him on this great feast?
       


















1.1.14.  Solemnity of the Mother of God

'And I said to the man
 who stood at the gate of the year
"Give me a light that I may tread
safely into the unknown."
And he replied
"Go out into the darkness
and put your hand into the hand of God,
That shall be to you better than light
and safer than a known way."

So I went forth & finding the hand of God,
trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills
and the breaking of the day in the lone east.
                                  Minnie Louise Haskins 1908

                  


       








       






May the New Year
bring the warmth of home
& hearth to you,
The cheer & goodwill
of friends to you.
The hope of
a childlike heart to you.
The joy of a thousand
angels to you,
The love of the Son of
God's peace to you
             Mary McSweeeney


28.12.13.

After beautiful Christmas Liturgies that continue for a few more days, candlelit carol services, praying the Divine Office, lots of cooking, washing up & laughing, opening presents -  a whole medley of our our daily life, click on the picture opposite to share our Christmas moments.
Turn volume up.
               



Click here
 to read
 Fr. Jim's
Christmas sermon










25.12.13.     Christmas Day

Christmas Blessings & great Joy
 to all our friends
who share these blog pages with us.  
     


 
 




23.12.13.

Despite being in retreat these 3 days before Christmas, yesterday evening we had the joy of joining our Anglican friends for the service of Nine Lessons & Carols at the village Parish Church in Waldron. The parish have a wonderful choir & performed several solo pieces. The large bells were rung by hand & Sr. M. Joseph read one of the readings. It was a starlit night in a clear frosty sky & in that beautiful, packed Church we sang our hearts out, praising our God who will soon reveal Himself in the Incarnation.