Friday, July 27, 2007

Silence with St Benedict

I have spent three days at Ampleforth Abbey. This Benedictine Abbey is set in beautiful Yorkshire countryside, which I both ran and walked in exploration. There is a 4.8 tonne bell to summon us to worship, offices are accompanied by a 5000 pipe organ; Vespers are in Latin; and the food is a new adventure: rice pudding must have some jam mixed into it.

I used this time for preparing for the Summer School in Northern Ireland. I am to present information on the Truth and Reconciliation process of South Africa. I also lead some Bible Studies, and preach at the closing Eucharist. The Bible Studies will be looking at Conflict (Luke 9:46-55) and Leadership (John 18:33-38) while my closing word will be one of encouraging the students to discover the call of God to bring healing to our world.

I loved sitting with the monks at 6am Matins – and knowing that around the world there are people praying as the sun rises. I ask that those who pray might know that God holds us together, irrespective of how we pray, what words we use, or what images we need in order to assist our prayers.

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