PROLOGUE TO DECEMBER
The first Christmas card arrived
on a dull dismal day.
It had been raining steadily
both during the night and in the
It was indeed a pleasure
to know that we, as a community,
are remembered by friends.
Light -bearing Christ, come down to us
And light in darkness sow ;
Come down and save our fallen world
Whose sinful ways you know.
Prepare us for your light and truth,
Who watch and wait for you;
Restore lost dignity to man:
Come down and make us new.
Almighty Father, speak the Word
Your children long to hear,
And with your Spirit dwell with us:
Lord, God of love, draw near.
FROM A STANBROOK HYMNAL
Advent means the coming,
and refers to the four week season
of preparation for the birth
of Jesus on Christmas Day
and the anticipation of His coming again.
Advent begins on the Sunday
nearest November 30th
and continues until December 24th.
THE LIVING SPIRIT
The Advent we keep is not a poetic
or a nostalgic historical pageant,
or even an exercise in
remembering our roots....
The coming of God in Christ
still continues .....
We are an Advent people.
The season of Advent celebrates
in symbolic form a reality of our own lives
and of all mens destiny with God,
because he came in Bethlehem
he is who will come again.
Dame Maria Boulding O.S.B.
Tuesday 4th of December
It rained heavily during the night
and sunshine was rare during the day.
The gulls clamoured for food,
shrieking for it with determination !
The sky was overcast by mid afternoon
and silence descended....
Some years ago I copied a picture of a herring-gull
waiting on a derelict roof somewhere ....
They are less raucous than the gulls and more patient.
The deciduous trees in our garden
are almost completely bare and so
we can just see the faded Welsh Hills in the distance.
Feast of Saint Nicholas
The rain ceased during the night,
leaving our garden soaked in much needed water.
Perhaps that was a gift from Saint Nicholas ?
His feast is celebrated
on the Continent on this day.
During the Second World War,
when my brother and I were children,
and there was a general scarcity
of food, let alone chocolate,
our mother made us a raw potato beast,
with match sticks for its legs ....
There was nothing else she could give us.
After the War, one of our young apprentice servants
gave me two pieces of milk chocolate
which an English soldier had given to her.
I did not enjoy that, either ...... !