Coptic Connection

On Wednesday I gave lectures at Lindisfarne's Manor House Hotel to Canadian pilgrims. It was so good to meet up again with my old friend David Sherbino who heads up the spiritual direction courses at Tyndale College, Toronto.

On Friday I cooked a meal for Cuthbert Way pilgrims from Scandinavia. They came over from Lindisfarne and stayed at a nearby B & B. Following a talk from me we walked round Berwick. Jan Lokkeborg told about his latest visit to a Coptic monastery and to a hermit near Scetis. One of his group apologised to the hermit for robbing him of his time in prayer. 'This is prayer' said the hermit, 'everything is prayer'.

By strange synchronicity my Ethiopian Rastafarian friend called in. He had stayed at a Coptic monastery at Hackness, a site where more than a thousand years ago Saint Hilda established a daughter monastery.

I emailed a neighbouring Norway pastor friend of Jan's, Solve Hatlen: 'I cannot forget your feeling for the fathers in the Coptic monasteries, and your longing that relationships like that could become part of our reality in Europe, perhaps through dispersed monastic communities like ours. Matt Lamont, an Australian voyager who blogs on their CA&H web site, suggested I read Thomas Kelly’s A Testament of Devotion. In this he describes how he can be busy with many things at one level, but that at a deeper level he is aware of a bond with a person or persons who have journeyed into a place where ‘deep speaks to deep’. And I am reminded of Cassian’s phrase about the ‘indissoluble spirit of friendship’ that pervaded the Egyptian desert even though many in their cells only met others occasionally.....'

Something is stirring. It comes from the depths of the Divine Mystery. Let the tired Christianity of a tired Western Europe allow this to be revealed to us and to unfold in our midst.

Posted at 22:20pm on 1st June 2018
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