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BATHED IN ITS KIND LIGHT: Christmas In Hastings - Eamonn Monson sac

I love the first of everything - experiencing what I haven't experienced before. So, this is my first ever Christmas in England, in Hastings and I woke early this morning with a sense of anticipation. This will be a new experience of Jesus, blessed community and holy solitude. People have been so kind and generous and it softens any sense of loss I may have. Happy Christmas Eve from my kitchen table in High Street where the seagulls are asking the dawn to break - a sound I love so well and never tire of hearing. On Christmas morning a chink of red light breaks briefly upon the clouded horizon, a warning perhaps to shepherds of the morning. The sea is in mighty form, thunderous and dashing its churned up brownness on the pebbled shore. An islander once said to me that the sea is never brown. It is! Here! Today! With froth on it that flies about, brushing my lips. Salty froth fogging my glasses! Seagulls play with the wind that tosses them like rag dolls through the air.

SIMPLICITY: Kissing The Hand of Jesus 2017 - Eamonn Monson sac

I came across a painting by Fray Juan Bautista Maino called The Adoration of the Shepherds and a detail shows one of the shepherds (though it might be St. Joseph) lifting the right hand of the baby Jesus and kissing it. It strikes me that this is the purpose of our Advent and Christmas - to arrive at a point where Jesus is born for us again, born within us and we are called to come to Jesus and express our love for him in such a gesture. John the Baptist goes into the desert for clarity and focus. The desert is a place of simplicity where we have nothing but the essentials to deal with and focus on. With this focus on the essentials John is able to recognise Jesus when he appears. Last Christmas I celebrated Mass with a group of special needs adults from St. John Of God Carmona services, an experience which brought me face to face with the essential meaning of life in all its simplicity. When I arrived in the hall I went to greet each person - 30 or 40 in all -  an

Janette@50

Portraits of a Lady and an Angel Happy 50th Birthday Janette Click HERE  or on the photo above to view slideshow

DECEMBER NIGHT (Shelter)

Snowflakes For the chosen And the fragile God's own Frailty In them In Christ Weakness Stronger Than strength Wiser Than human Wisdom He is Virtue and Holiness There is no other Hope save In Him God knocks On the basement Door of my life Enters in A homeless Woman and man To sit with us At table And sleep there In the temporary Shelter offered On a cold December night We bathe In the blessing Of this Arrival +++ "Hide those who have been driven out, do not betray the fugitive, let those who have been driven out of Moab come and live with you; be their refuge in the face of the devastator" (Isaiah 16:3-4)

PATIENCE

I live by night. Something in me comes alive when walking in the dark by the sea. It sets me thinking - free of the distractions that teem in daylight. There's an ascent, a transcendence that happens here in this place at this time. Waiting! God waiting patiently for me to change my ways and i wait impatiently for the consolation promised in the prophecy of Isaiah - not so much for myself just now but for all Who desperately need it's fulfilling, for the whole world that needs it. I am perhaps impatient for the fullness of Christ to be revealed. I would dearly love it. Dearly love to be ready for that moment! My impatience nowadays is generally reserved for the computer in the Office that is impossibly slow. It used to be driving that threw me into a rage but I drive less now and do so with relative calm. So, it's the computer I get mad with now, shout at it, say things that I shouldn't and am somehow diminished in the process. It's a useless and futile

SHELTER (A Cold December)

i Snowflakes For the chosen And the fragile God's own Frailty In them In Christ Weakness Stronger Than strength Wiser Than human Wisdom He is Virtue and Holiness In my Sinfulness There is No other Hope save In Him ii God knocks On the basement Door of my life Enters in A homeless Woman and man To sit with us At table And sleep there In the temporary Shelter offered On a cold December night We bathe In the blessing Of this Arrival Until we release Our Saviour child To a cold December day Wandering Displaced again Waiting Until When and what And where? This is our question And ours it is To give the answer. +++ "Hide those who have been driven out, do not betray the fugitive, let those who have been driven out of Moab come and live with you; be their refuge in the face of the devastator" (Isaiah 16:3-4)

Maranatha: Hope for the Hopeless - Eamonn Monson sac

In the early 1980's the famous Benedictine monk John Main came to Tanzania to give a retreat and teach his Maranatha method of meditation. It's a simple method of sitting still for 20 minutes morning and evening, repeating the Word 'Maranatha' over and over in silence. The word is referred to as a mantra. Maranatha is the great prayer of Advent and it means 'Come Lord Jesus', expressing the profound yearning for God that is in the heart of every person. It is the Advent prayer of the whole Church.  The retreat was attended by the Medical Missionaries of Mary and some Pallottines and it's safe to say that the sisters were more enthusiastic about it than the priests. One day, a long time after the retreat, one of the sisters was on her way to Arusha and she stopped for a break in a Pallottine Mission house where she asked the priest, "how is your mantra going?" "Well sister" he replied, "it's like this! Every morning

MARY

She stands at the crossroads Of time and eternity Intersection of all creation A desire as old as Eden Burning in her soul The yearning of every child Who has graced the earth Embodiment of  humanity's Hope  Of Redemption, Restoration She has held in her heart The wandering aridity Of the desert and there  He comes to find  Lifting her up and keeping Her the apple of His eye Humanity has found A response to God in her From her is deliverance Brought forth in Christ In whom we are born and breathe Our perfect peaceful consummation Healing for our scars +++ As a Prayer Mary, You stand at the crossroads Of time and eternity Intersection of all creation A desire as old as Eden Burning in your soul The yearning of every child Who has graced the earth Embodiment of humanity's Hope  Of Redemption, Restoration You have held in your heart The wandering aridity Of the desert and there  God comes to find  Lifting you up and keeping

UNDERGROUND

A man going underground Looks furtively around In case he might be found Out In his descent To the hollows That echo In the dark Where barefaced lies Parade as truth Shadows masked as pleasure God is there Because He cares Though man is unaware His Face uncovered And unnoticed He waits and waits With infinite Patience

ICON: An Encounter With God - Eamonn Monson sac

Back in 2009 I was looking online for a retreat and my attention was drawn to an Icon Retreat that was taking place at the Redemptoristine Convent in Dublin. At first glance I thought it might be a peaceful time of gazing at these sacred images, a time of respite from the fractious life that I was engaged in at the time. But it wasn’t simply a time of gazing! It turned out that participants would have to paint (write) an icon. Painting is not one of the talents God has given me but this retreat was tugging at my soul and seemed to be inviting me to stretch myself. So, on a Monday morning in October twelve of us sat at our tables ready to begin. Our teacher was Mihai, a young Romanian iconographer. I felt like a four-year old starting school, looking at the space in front of me. The brushes, the picture that I was to work from, the blank white board onto which I would attempt to reproduce the lovely image of Our Lady. It promised to be an awful mess! We listene

RED: THE COLOUR OF HOPE - Eamonn Monson sac

The oil in the lamps of the bridesmaids (Matthew 25:1-13) represents the grace that God has given us to help us encounter Christ in our life experience. It is the grace to wait in the time of waiting and it is the grace to go out and meet Him when the time for going out has arrived. It is the grace of alertness, the grace of vision and the grace of action. The life of grace is not so much a state of ethereal tranquility but more a powerful impulse that sends us crossing vibrant, stormy seas; a climbing of steep ascents that leaves us gasping breathless. Grace is an adventure into the mystery of God, an adventure in which we stumble and fall; it is a bruising and a breaking. It is rest after struggle and healing after hurt, a healing that is greater than the hurt, a grace that we would never know without the hurt.  There is always hope in brokenness. In God nothing and no one is damaged beyond repair. The thing about this grace is that it is personal, given uniquel

SMOKE ASCENDING

The effortless  Rise of smoke Ascending Upwards  In the still November air Like prayer Into the nothingness Of problems solved Tensions dissolved In the warm hearth Of the ordinary Tender the Veil  Of Peace Falling over  All and a gentle Tide at night on  Shining Sandy  Shores Where searchers' Lamps explore Nameless  Mysteries Hidden In the beauty There Surfboarding The night And heading  Home again Heart of Heaven's Bliss here On Earth

EVEN SO MY SOUL

The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’ (Matthew 23:12) Experiences of humiliation can lead us to become humble but they are not in themselves virtuous; feelings of inferiority can also lead us to humility but they are not in themselves virtuous. Jesus calls us to humility and not to humiliation or inferiority. My mother had a very simple answer to my inferiority complex! She said you should neither look up to anyone nor look down on anyone and that Jesus is the only one who is perfect . So in my search for humility I am called to focus on Jesus rather than on self and through Jesus to be taken into the perfect embrace of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – where we encounter love and mercy in its perfection. Humility is born when I have the grace to be still and know that God is God and in His presence I “bow and bend low” in worship. In His presence I discove