The Monks of Papa Stronsay: Orkney, Scotland

Following on in the theme of faith lifestyles, here is a short documentary featuring a monastic family local to myself…on the fabulous Orkney Isle of Papa Stronsay…

Papa Stronsay 1

Papa Stronsay 2

Excerpt from a documentary series featuring the Transalpine Redemptorist monks of Papa Stronsay, Scotland – a congregation of traditionalist Catholic Fathers and Brothers of both Eastern and Western Rite from all over the world. The documentary was filmed in September 2003 and originally aired on Channel 4 (UK) in 2004.

The congregation was founded in 1988 by Fr Michael Mary and Fr Anthony Mary on the advice of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Their aim was to found a new Redemptorist congregation which observed the original Rule of Saint Alphonsus and ignored the reforms adopted by modern Redemptorists following the Second Vatican Council.

The congregation moved from the Isle of Sheppy in Kent, England, to Papa Stronsay in 1999. The island was considered ideal because of its seclusion from the world and ancient connection with the monastic tradition. As well as producing their own newspaper, the monks raise their own cattle and sheep and they produce most of their own food.

For more information visit:
http://www.papastronsay.com

From papastronsay.blogspot.com:

I, Hugh Gilbert, O.S.B, by the grace of God Bishop of Aberdeen, decree that the community known as the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, be erected as a Religious Institute of Diocesan right in accordance with c 579 of the Code of Canon Law 1983. The Institute will be subject to all other applicable norms of the said code and governed by the statutes of the said community previously approved by the Holy See.

Given this day 15th August in the year of Our Lord 2012

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Avinu Malkeinu

Hear our prayer

We have sinned before Thee

Have compassion upon us and upon our children

Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, and famine

Cause all hate and oppression to vanish from the earth

Inscribe us for blessing in the Book Of Life

Let the new year be a good year for us

Avinu malkeinu sh’ma kolenu

Avinu malkeinu chatanu l’faneycha

Avinu malkeinu alkenu chamol aleynu V’al olaleynu v’tapenu

Avinu malkeinu Kaleh dever v’cherev v’raav mealeynu

Avinu malkeinu kalehchol tsar Umastin mealeynu

Avinu malkeinu

Avinu malkeinu Kotvenu b’sefer chayim tovim

Avinu malkeinu chadesh aleynu Chadesh a leynu shanah tovah

Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu

Avinu malkeinu

Avinu malkeinu Chadesh a leynu

Shanah tovah

Avinu malkeinu Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu

Silence: The Language of Eternity

The louder our world today is, the deeper God seems to remain in silence. Silence is the language of eternity; noise passes.

Gertrud von Le Fort

A Good Christmas with Bishop Rowan Williams with Link that Works

The previous link did not work so am re-posting one that I hope will. Thanks to Michael Marsh who first posted this though. Some of you will obviously get this through twice!

After A While…

After a while you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul.

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

And that company does not mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head held up and your eyes open.

With the grace of an adult

Not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today

Because tomorrows ground is too uncertain

For your plans.

After a while you learn that even sunshine

Burns if you have too much.

So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul

Instead of waiting for someone to buy you flowers.

And you will learn that you can endure

That you are really special

And that you really do have worth.

Live to learn and love yourself.

In doing so, you will learn to live.

 

Anon.

Beauly Priory Atumn Leaves

Prayer And Love:Thomas Merton

Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone.
Thomas Merton

The Only Moment We Have

Its a funny old world isn’t it. Since I was a child I have had the ability to step back and just look at the overall picture. The consequences of human actions are horribly predictable, and cyclic. And the human world is in a tumultuous state at the moment.

So I was just meditating and ruminating on life the other day and began to laugh out loud at the way we live our lives. I bet most of us have plans for what we will do this weekend. We have kind of thought about what we will have to eat this evening and how we plan to buy that new…whatever we next ‘want’ in our lives, car, house, holiday, new camera, computer…stuff, the stuff that seems to pervade our lives.

In less affluent and privileged places of the world than the tiny Western mindset reality, people are thinking how and where they can sleep tonight safely, how they can get water and food today, how they can make that illegal crossing to Europe risking all, including their life to chase their desire for a better life. We all do it. We all plan, scheme, worry, mull over and are busy actively designing our lives one way or another wherever we live and whatever culture we find ourselves inhabiting.

But then I got to the reality of life. We are not really in control of anything material or physical. Zilch. We are not even in control of whether we take our very next breath. We behave and live as though we were Masters of the Universe and ourselves. We sign contracts, take out huge or small mortgages/loans and kid ourselves that we can stretch time and be in control of life for a number of months or years, we plan infinitum, and make plans to do this that and the other.

When something occurs that disrupts our carefully scheduled plans we are almost indignant at the interruption. A volcanic eruption means we cant fly? Too much snow means the trains cant run? A hurricane has wrecked our home?  The local store has run out of x,y,z? How dare they? We control nothing of the material and physical. We cannot extend our life even by a single breath. We have no control over the Sun or the planet. They abide in their own ever present moment.  It would serve us to remember that.

And so, I have come to a conclusion. There is only one thing we can take charge of and call our own. The ever present moment and how much Love we both extend and accept in it. Thats it. But its enough to enjoy every moment we have. That ever present moment if well lived, with grace and mindfulness, will enable a well lived lifespan however long or short that may be. None of us know.

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