With the One...

I'm currently staying at Llannerchwen, our retreat centre in Wales. It is a place of silence and stillness: a stillness filled with movement, birds everywhere, and trees and flowers nodding and shimmying in the wind; a silence filled with an orchestra of birdsong, underlaid with the contented humming of bees, the wind singing through trees and distant sounds from sheep and cows.

The grounds are lushly green, hedgerows and flowerbeds ablaze with vibrant flowers. Buttercups strew grass with gold coins, while clouds of forget-me-not lavish themselves on spare bits of soil. There is a wild, untrammelled beauty about this place; ivy snakes, unchecked, around tree trunks, while brambles and wildflowers reach out, languidly brazen, across footpaths. Right now there's a little rabbit washing its paws outside my window, while in the fields beyond sheep placidly graze their way through overgrown grass, oblivious of the austerely majestic Beacons behind them.

It has been a wonderful setting in which to begin to read Laudato Si', though I've had very little time to do more than skim through it. The little I have read, though, is so easy to appreciate in this place, where every leaf and blade of grass sings of the One who created, holds and sustains it all. And today it is a wonderful setting in which to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of my perpetual vows. Here, in a space and rhythm devoted to God I have more time for prayer and simply being with and being aware of the One who has called me and continues to call forth more; the One who loves me with infinite tenderness and invites me, daily, to enter into his Heart; the One who is faithful, and whose love endures forever. 

So I sit at my window, before a fraction of the immensity of God, and give thanks for all the graces and blessings of these past twelve years, and recommit myself to a future as yet unknown, but filled with the certainty of God's steadfast love.

From Laudato Si' (#245)

God, who calls us to generous commitment and to give him our all, offers us the light and the strength needed to continue on our way. In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!


  1. I will pray for your retreat. Love, Helen

  2. Thanks Helen - though I'm not here on retreat, but accompanying others. So please pray for my retreatants, and for me too, in this ministry.

    And I have a feeling you have your own anniversary round about now..? Congratulations if that's so, and ad multos annos!


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