Wait And See A Bit More

The fourth meeting in the Newcastle region of New South Wales was at the interesting home of two friends of my hosts. Every wooden wall is itself a work of art. They sleep in a large insulated glorified shed. Our host, bare foot with a long beard introduces guests: 'She is an atheist who follows Jesus... He is trying to turn enemies into friends by making contact with people in North Korea, Al Qaeda etc... She does Lindisfarne circle dancing...' I was invited to talk about 'Celtic Spirituality in the Suburbs'. They thought that inviting neighbours to a log fire gathering in the garden was one way of connecting together with creation.

The forty five minute scheduled conversation with Bill, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Newcastle went on for over an hour. We talked about ways of weaving together the separated God-given strands within Christianity. His lead article in the Diocesan Newspaper began with gratitude for a bookmark my host Matt gave him on Erasmus, a fruit of a study day. Next year is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 97 Theses. The Bishop wonders how we can celebrate this in a uniting way. One of his prime concerns is 'the commodification of society and churches'. Although competing to make better and more products has brought material benefits, we cannot reduce all life to products, or reduce Jesus to a product who solves all our problems without requiring us to be responsible and make good relationships. I told him about our Way of Life and Villages of God.

The final meeting was with Associates and friends of the Dominican sisters. In their mercy they had let me have a spare room for another three nights - it was bliss to catch up on lost sleep.The sisters have a way of freeing up people who feel they otherwise can't say what they think. They were very interested in our Way of Life and in Celtic spirituality. ' This is just what young people want' said one. 'Where do we start?' asked another. Between us, Matt and I came up with four possible answers: 1) Wherever your heart tells you to start. 2) Get a soul friend. 3) Do a course such as Igniting the Flame 4) Cut out everything that clutters your spirit. What would you suggest?

I had to hire a car to get to the Community's retreat at Tahlee. I hired it two days before that so I could see a bit of the landscape. I went along the coast as far as Cave Beach near Swansea. All the time, between stops, lying down and meditating, I have been jotting down inspirations for my contribution to the retreat. One day to go!

Posted at 01:05am on 15th April 2015
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