Advent in Music, Poetry, and Steve Bell’s Pilgrim Year

Advent and the new Christian year is here! Pray, fast and celebrate the Light of Christ breaking through the darkness.

Malcolm Guite

Tomorrow is Advent Sunday! The first Sunday in the Church’s year. The beginning of a holy season in which we connect again with our ‘inconsolable longing’, as CS Lewis called it, our yearning for the One who is to come and is also, mysteriously, the One who has come already, come as child, come as fellow-sufferer, come as Saviour, and yet whose coming, already achieved, we hold at bay from ourselves, so that we have to learn afresh each year, even each day, how to let him come to us again.

In the first centuries the Church had a beautiful custom of praying seven great prayers calling afresh on Christ to come, calling him by the mysterious titles he has in Isaiah, calling to him; O Wisdom. O Root! O Key  O Light! come to us!

I have responded to these seven “Great O” Antiphons, as they are called, with…

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A Reflection on the Inner-Light

Good thoughts on our relationship with God.

Hye Sung Francis

“But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”
— 1 Corinthians 6:17 (NASB)

Through everything, I always come back to that brewing I feel in my center, which I consider God’s presence, the holy of holies, and the groaning intercession of the Spirit within.

You see, I doubt quite a lot, and sometimes I lean a bit too much on keeping my mind clear and my life whole and I forget why I am doing all of this. I want to be well, yes, and I want to see humankind open their eyes to their connectedness, and I find this all to be a part of Christ’s gospel, but I also am called to do all things for the glory of God. But time after time I have found that something in me, and I think this is despite me, wants to serve the Lord. I…

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Cuthbert’s Gospel; a new sonnet

Malcolm Guite

St. Cuthbert's Gospel St. Cuthbert’s Gospel

The other day I found myself standing in front of perhaps the most precious and numinous book in Europe. Not simply because it is the oldest bound book to survive intact, but because of the Saint whose book it was, the centuries through which it has journeyed to reach us, and the glorious Gospel it contains. I had entered the exhibition innocently enough, ‘Bound to Last’, it was called ‘Bookbinding from the Middle Ages to the Present Day, and I was expecting little more than the beautiful leather tooling, the gold-hilighting, and luxury embossing of prestige binders. And then I came face to face with Cuthbert’s Gospel; the very book they placed upon his breast, the gospel that he loved the most and lived so fruitfully, a little pocket-book, red-leather-bound and all intact that sailed through centuries to meet me here on…

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