So, this is the last week at the House before the great move to Cornwall. I can't quite believe that I am rapidly nearing the end of an era whose influence will probably mark my ministry and my life for years to come.
The move is scheduled to take my chaffs down to St Ives; more still, the brothers who will be continuing next year have already started praying intensely for the leavers. In fact, I think this latter event - being held in prayer by our community - is the greatest experience about being a leaver.
At the same time when twelve of us are trying to form a better understanding of Jesus' diakonia, the rest of the community gathers around us to intercede for us and support us. Thus, they provide an icon of diaconal ministry which we'd do well to take at heart and apply in our own ministry.
The last step in our spiritual check-up at Staggers is a three-day retreat at the Abbey of Our Lady and St John, Alton which has begun last night.
For me this is a welcome break in the busyness and uncertainties of the past weeks. For all of us this is a time to "sit in silence in the presence of God", as the former abbot said. This is NOT the time to "give God an ear-ache", rather it is the time to be silent with Him; - and in the case of contemplation before the Most Blessed Sacrament - it is a time to share our common humanity with our Risen Eucharistic Lord.
May St Benedict pray for us and all who come to this place on retreat.
Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us!
St Botolph, pray for us!
St Ia, pray for us!
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us!