Category Archives: Monastic

Capax Dei

The mystics believed that we are all born with a capacity for God (capax dei). St Augustine believed that this capacity makes it possible for the human person to be re-formed through God’s gracious gift. It has become common place for … Continue reading

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Philoxenia

In the Orthodox tradition this famous Icon is known as Philoxenia. Translated literally, this word means ‘love of strangers.’ Its opposite, xenophobia, fear of the stranger, is a word with which we are all too familiar. The Icon depicts the story in Genesis 18 where … Continue reading

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We will make our home…

I have recently had the privilege of sharing a session of Lectio Divina with some of our Oblate community.(Lectio Divina is prayerful reading of scripture. It is distinct from Bible Study in that it is a matter of listening with the … Continue reading

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The Contours of God

Quite by chance, I came across Anthony Hulbert’s book, The Contours of God, in the Biblical section of our library. The title attracted me and when I opened it up I saw that he had signed it and given it as a … Continue reading

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Friendship

Today’s Feast of Martha, Mary and Lazarus touches a chord with all those who are trying to live a monastic life. The Gospel texts have an immediacy about them and it is easy to picture the scenes. There is emotion … Continue reading

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I have a few treasures in my box…

Each year when we celebrate the feast of St Bede I am thrilled by the knowledge that the little boy Bede grew up in my home town,  Sunderland, in Tyne and Wear. Down by the river, now called Monkwearmouth, Bede took his first steps … Continue reading

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Come with grace unearned, unsought…

‘Come with grace unearned, unsought’ is the last line of the hymn: Spirit of the Lord, come down… written by the nuns of Stanbrook Abbey. It’s a beautifully written hymn which invokes the Spirit and is used by my community … Continue reading

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Mercy, droppeth as a gentle rain…

Both my Primary school and my Secondary school were run by the Sisters of Mercy, a religious congregation founded by Catherine McAuley, in Dublin, in 1831. Whilst I can’t remember any explicit teaching about Catherine McAuley, I can remember the … Continue reading

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Kindness

During Lent we have reflected as a community on the theme of kindness. We were invited to spend time with scripture quotations, references to kindness in the prayers of the liturgy and references from Patristic readings and other sources used … Continue reading

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The Coming of God

Each year, in Advent, I read Maria Boulding’s book, The Coming of God. I’d go so far as to say that this would be my ‘desert island’ book choice. Maria Boulding wrote this book in 1986, after nearly 40 years as a … Continue reading

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