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Reflections

There For The Taking

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A letter from the 16th Century Pontassieve, Christmas Eve Anno Domini 1513 To the most illustrious The Contessina Allagia dela Aldobrandeschi On the Via de’ Martelli, Firenze Most Noble Contessina, I salute you. Believe me your most devoted servant. The rascal, who carries this letter, if he devours them not on the way, will crave [...]

On the shoulders of giants

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While I was back in the UK over Christmas visiting my family in Essex I had the opportunity to visit St Peter-on-the-wall at Bradwell-on-Sea. As you can see from the photo it was actually a gorgeously sunny day (in an otherwise month of fairly solid rain which has continued ever since, poor Brits!). St Peter-on-the-wall [...]

Contemplating the Mystery of Easter

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“Behold a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief!” John Stainer’s 1887 oratorio, “Crucifixion”, has a bass line, “Oh t’was love, deep, divine compassion”. How do we respond to such images? “God cannot be thought, He can only be loved” is the way the unknown author of ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’ begins his profound mystical [...]

What does a moment of grace feel like?

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Sarah Bachelard tells a story that addresses this question. In her words: The openness of non-attachment makes possible the flowing through us of larger life, the energy of grace. I recently came across an example of such openness to grace from a surprising source. In a State of Origin rugby league match against NSW last [...]

Journeying with Dayspring

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My experience of doing the Dayspring training in Spiritual Direction When initially I read an outline of the Dayspring Course in Spiritual Direction, I found it to be a clearly worded document, interesting, informative, inviting, and I thought that the course seemed likely to meet my need to know how to mentor more efficiently! Also, [...]

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Today at Dayspring, I was welcomed, gathered, drawn in, nurtured and taught. From any perspective, a pretty singular experience. What made this open retreat workshop with Jane Vennard such a gracious experience for me was its focus, its seamless mix of tender exploration and shaped reflection and its opportunities to speak again with valued colleagues [...]

Discovering Spiritual Direction

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“No, I can’t see you then!” remarked my Anglican colleague, “I’m seeing my spiritual director”. “What’s more important than a planning meeting?” I mused to myself. Working in the UK and attending an Anglican parish often raised puzzling, counter-cultural values and occasions. It sounded so arcane with connotations of esoteric discussions and shadowy authority. It [...]

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