I’ve just returned from a Celtic Pilgrimage where we visited a number of holy places where saints have been sent to and from in England and Scotland. Our guide was an Anglican Vicar and storyteller, and he shared tales about the saints with us as we traveled. In addition to serving parishes, he is also a part of the Northumbria Community, which is a dispersed network of people from different backgrounds, streams, and edges of the Christian faith. They are sort of a new type of monasticism, united by a Rule of Life that they sum up in two words: Availability and Vulnerability. They practice the rhythm of Daily Prayer and they live the ebb and flow of contemplation and action, monastery and mission, solitude and community. They realize the importance of blending ‘a prayer that is quiet and contemplative with a faith that is active and contagious’.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is quoted as saying “The renewal of the Church will come from a new type of Monasticism, which only has in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time people banded together to do this.” Parker Palmer observed, “It’s like breathing in and breathing out-together they give life.”
I think the Northumbria Community (and other new monastic communities), Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Parker Palmer are all on to something…
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Claire – Living an Ebb and Flow Life
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