Monday, 29 October 2007

Night noises

Last night as I settled down to sleep, I was aware of noises around the friary. Everyone had retired some time ago and would be sound asleep by now. It was a still night and the moon shone through the trees (I like to leave my curtains open once I am in bed). The old friary has many rooms and corridors and it seemed as if I could hear it's groans and creaks from one end to the other. During the warmer months of the year you can expect the old building to creak a little as it cools down but this is autumn and far from warm. I was tempted to take a walk through to the other wing but sleep was calling and I was past the point of slumbers.

Voices in the kitchen and mutterings in the library, footsteps in the hallway and a general buzz through the house. How was I to get to sleep? It had been a busy day with guests, always good to see folk and listen to their stories; they come - some to unload and some just to find space. For the brothers it is a time of fuss and busyness, preparing food and making things comfortable whilst being available. A group in the library were pouring out their hearts while brothers in the kitchen were worried there would not be enough soup.

All in all it was a good day the echoes raced through my mind and I tried to quieten them. I began to walk through the day, praying a blessing as I went; through the corridors and rooms pausing for a while and bringing to mind our visitors. The old friary was settled and somewhere along the way I slipped into sleep (hope I didn't miss anyone out).
Note to office; a walk before sleep is very beneficial.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


Life seems quite stressful recently and I am not getting my regular messages out. The intention was to complete one every Sunday as that was the only time I got to use the friary PC. Now with my new Laptop I have no excuses; but can I find the time? Your taking on too much says brother Cyril (for once he could be right), ships need to come into harbour - cars into garages; and we need to take our rest, Cyril; what are you like?

I am surviving on Post-It's at the moment, they seem to be popping up all over the place. I have this idea that God has a large pad of Post-it's and is leaving them around for me to find, they make me smile and remember who is important and why I am busy doing the stuff I do. These may sound like trivial things to you; for instance, the other day I was anxious to complete a task for someone and at the last minute I found a snag - what was I going to do? A quick look through a few boxes and I found what I needed and counted out to see how many I had. Not one too many, not one too few - exactly the number I needed. Coincidence, I don't think so. Nature also stops me in my tracks, the beauty of Autumn - just as Summer is fading we are treated to an amazing display of colour. Why is it trees seem far more interesting in the fall than the early or mid stages of their cycle? There is hope for us old'ns yet.

Note to evening office: How many Post-it's did you find today.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

A place of prayer

This prayer seems to be cropping up in lots of places at the moment and well worth including here.

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half truths and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor

To find a space, set aside time is never easy, especially when the doing is so important.
Last week I spent a day at Ministeracres with a great bunch of folk; all in similar ministries and needing time out to be.
In the opening session it was very clear to me I was in the right place.........
Note to morning office: Schedule more time throughout the day to lay down the "doing".