He saw this in 1947!

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AlanWatts“To be alive spiritually man must have union with God and be conscious of it. Apart from this union his religious life will be an empty drudgery, a mere imitation of true spirituality.”

Alan Watts – Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion [pg. 70]

RIP Sister Pam, OHP

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Sister Pam of the Sisters of the Holy Paraclete was buried today in Whitby at Seaton Castle, the motherhouse of her order.  I remember her kindness when I stayed with them 2009.  She insisted I see Lastingham deep in the moors and off we went.  May light perpetual shine upon you sister, and may your soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.

Most of the early history of the church comes to us from the Venerable Bede who, in A.D. 731, completed his history of the English Church and People, when he was a monk at the monastery in Jarrow.

 

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The present 13th Century church is built over the 7th Century Saxon Church

 

The Story of Ct. Cedd and St. Chad founding the Monastery in Lastingham.

“During his episcopate among the east Saxons, God’s Servant Cedd often Visited his own province of Northumbria to preach. Ethelwald, son of king Oswald, who ruled the province of Deira, Knowing Cedd to be a wise, holy and honourable man, asked him to accept a grant of Land to found a monastery, to which hr himself might often come to pray and hear the word of Go, and where he might be buried: for he firmly believed that the daily prayers of those who would serve God there would be great help to him. The Kings previous chaplain had been Cedd’s brother, a priest named Caelin, a man equally devoted to God, who had ministered the word and sacraments to himself and his family, and it was thought of him that the King came to know and love the bishop. In accordance with the King’s wishes, Cedd Chose a site for the monastery among some High and remote hills, which seemed more suitable for the dens of robbers and haunts of wild beasts than for human habitation. His purpose in this was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah: “in the haunts where dragons once dwelt shall be pasture, with reeds and rushes”, and he wished the fruits of good works to spring up where formerly lived only wild beasts, or men who lived like beasts.

The Man of God wished first of all to purify the site of the monastery from the taint of earlier crimes by prayer and fasting, and make it acceptable to God before laying the foundations. He therefore asked the King’s permission to remain there throughout the approaching season of Lent, and during this time he fasted until evening every day except Sunday according to custom. Even then he took no food but a morsel of bread, an egg and a little watered milk. he explained that it was the custom of those who had trained him in the rule of regular discipline to dedicate the site of any monastery to God with prayer and fasting. But then days before the end of Lent a messenger arrived to summon him to the King, so that the king’s business should not interrupt the work of dedication, Cedd asked his brother Cynebil to complete this holy task. The latter readily consented, and when the period of prayer and fasting came to an end , he built the monastery now called Lastingham, and established there the observances of the usage of Lindisfarne where he had been trained.

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When Cedd had been bishop of the province and administered the affairs of the monastery for many years through his chosen representatives, he happened to visit the monastery at the time of plague, and there he fell sick and died. He was first buried in the open, but in the course of time a stone church was built, dedicated to the blessed mother of God, and his body was re-interred in it on the right side of the altar.

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The bishop bequeathed the abbacy of the monastery to his brother Chad, who subsequently became a bishop. The four brothers I have mentioned – Cedd, Cynebil, Caelin and Chad – all became famous priests of our Lord, and two became bishops, which is a rare occurrence in one family. When the brethren of Cedd’s monastery in the province of the East Saxons heard that their founder had died in the province of Northumbria, about thirty of them came wishing, God willing, either to live near the body of their Father, or to die and be laid to rest at his side. They were welcomed by their brothers and fellow-soldiers of Christ, and all of them died there of the plague with the exception of one little boy who was preserved from death by the prayers of his father Chad.

“We must be content to grow slowly. Most of us will still barely be at the beginning of our recovery by the time we die. But that is better than killing ourselves pretending to be healthy.”

The Very Reverend Simon Tugwell

York Minster window gets major renovation – YouTube

 

I first visited York Minster in 2009.  This window removed a year earlier for conservation was replaced by the world’s largest photocopy.  This year is the year of re-installation of what is the largest Gothic stained glass panel on earth.  Take a moment and listen the extraordinary care and time required to restore this treasure, not only of our Anglican Church and the United Kingdom but all people.

PEGGY

peggy I gave Peggy’s money to the girl with orange hair. She held up a bucket with a sign “cure cancer.” “Are you sure?” She was shocked at the three bills; clearly, generosity exceeded her expectations. I didn’t compound her confusion by telling her the truth; the folded paper was intended for a dog and a man who live in the street. Peggy is a black Whippet. Salt and pepper sprinkle her elegant snout. Her Dad, Keith, told me they lost their shelter when the fellow they lived with died. While my discernment of homeless economics is primitive, I suspect that put them in the street was more complicated.

Neither he nor Peggy was malnourished, but autumn in York advanced toward All Hallows’ and Whippets have only fur veneer. She shivered, and he held her, arms wrapped around his best girl giving her more blanket than he could spare. I dropped a few pounds in his hand. “Get you and Peggy something to eat.”. I saw them last where Stonegate meets Saint Helen’s Square. Peggy, wearing a coat like a fashion model, was mighty sporty. “I got her a coat,” Keith grinned. He has a good smile, and only the missing upper front tooth reminds me life is hard. I set aside some pound notes for them.

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At twilight, Evensong sung, a solitary high C floated; releasing stacked overtones that whispered down the sound chamber of the Nave.

“Lighten our darkness,we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer – Collect for Protection)

I came out the South Transept down Stonegate searching. The Shops mostly closed, patrons gone, leave shop-keepers to turn the key and turn toward home. Medieval buildings, like eccentric neighbors, leaned out, beckoning across the cobbles, straining to learn the gossip of the day’s trade past. The people lying in the gate alone seem less so in anonymous dark than when ignored by the crowds. I stopped and inquired if they had seen a man and his dog. None had. Full Night fell, and I turned back.

Some would think it odd that a man in the street would have a mouth to feed not his own. They are ignorant. Remember poor ignored sore Lazarus? Was he not comforted in the gate by the dogs. A burden to some, an extravagance to most is all Keith has. He admitted as much when he stroked her elegant neck and whispered, “she’s eight almost an old lady.”

Determined to honor them, that last day I went round again looking but found no “Peg o’ My Heart“. Time ran out. I caught the train to the plane in Manchester. Reluctantly, I gave Peggy’s money to the girl with the orange hair.

October 2013
York, United Kingdom
JWS+

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