This month was heralded by a screaming wind
during the night, accompanied by
hailstones thudding on the roof ....
The weather has become very cold.
The full moon was visible early this morning,
before the hail became rain.
Some hellebores are in bloom -
as are snowdrops -
and tulips are piercing the soil
with their strong emerging leaves.
The rain is patterning my window again
leaving shining drops.
The trees and bushes are being
attacked by the wind
and the day remains unstable.
Cat Brunie remains on watch in our dormitory.
The weather has become cold again.
Snow is descending in tiny flakes,
gathering together in small areas
on the cut grass in our garden.
The Welsh hills in the west are becoming obscured
as the snowfall thickens ....
Sometimes we experience clarity of thought
until something else intervenes
and the understanding is lost...
only to be discovered anew
when our snowfall thoughts melt away.
Today is the Feast of Saint Scholastica,
the sister of Saint Benedict.
They met for the last time shortly
before Scholastica died.
When Benedict wanted to return to his monastery his sister wept,
so they stayed together and prayed.
The cold weather with howling wind
and lashing rain continues.
Hail-stones thundered down again on the flat roof
adjacent to my room.
Yesterday evening I put out more food
for the foxes, which was eaten while
we had our supper.
Now the snow is receding but it is very cold.
This year Lent begins on Wednesday
the 14th of February.
Before one of our parishioners
went to visit some of her family in an even colder clime
she gave us a lovely bouquet of flowers.
Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter
lies a miracle ..... a seed waiting to sprout,
a bulb opening to the light,
a bud straining to unfurl.
And the anticipation nurtures our dream.
Return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with mourning and weeping.
Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and
abounding in steadfast love.
Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me:
to share your bread with the hungry and shelter the homeless poor,
to clothe the man you see to be naked
and not turn from your own kin.
Then will your light shine like the dawn
and your wound be quickly healed over.
(Texts from our Morning Office)
The weather seems to be as unsettled
as the world around us.
For a while the sun shines,
and within a short space of time all is clouded over again.
Thick hail thundered down before supper.
A fox came for the food I had scattered
on the frozen knobbly grass a short while before.
During the night I heard a fox barking in the darkness....
Does Saint Valentines Day herald the mating season ?
Our Hymns for Lent are very descriptive
and full of hope.
The following verses are from an old
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal.
Almighty Father, loving God,
To whom your fallen children call,
Although our sins deserve your wrath,
Remember that you made us all.
A day will come that is your own,
When all things flower, all is new;
May we rejoice when, on that day,
Your hand has brought us back to you.
May all the creatures you have made
Return to you, blest Trinity,
With mans imperfect gift of praise
Made perfect in eternity.
Praying Hands by Dürer
Psalm 90 from the Grail Psalter
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the of the Almighty
says to the Lord : My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust !
His love he set on me, so I will rescue him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: I am with you.
I will save him in distress and give him glory.
I was rummaging among some old cards
when I came across the following
quotation about Lent by
Bright sadness is the true message
and gift of Lent.
Little by little we begin to understand,
or rather feel, that the sadness of Lent
is indeed bright,
that a mysterious transformation
is about to take place in us.
It is as if we were reaching a place
to which noise and the fuss of life ...
all that usually fills our days and even nights
have no access ...
It is a deep happiness which comes
not from a single particular reason
but from our soul having,
in the words of Dostoyevsky,
touched another world.
And that which it has touched
is made up of light and peace and joy,
of an inexpressible trust.
Paula Fairlie OSB
Wishing you every blessing, now and always.