morning bell: become as saints

 

This series of Morning Bell become as saints marks the festival of All Saints. In this season we honour those widely recognised as great saints of the Jesus tradition. Equally importantly we remember all those who have sought to follow the Christ in the past and all who continue to do so now – the great body of saints present in every generation and almost every place. We are part of a huge family. You and I are saints! The challenge may be to accept that reality – and then to live it out – to become as saints…

morning bell; become as saints
morning bell: become as saints

The text for the series has emerged from my own reflections on the idea of saints, with particular reference to the New Testament. The photos for this series have all been taken this Autumn on a stretch of coastline in the South Hams.

Saints, as you engage each day with Morning Bell may you blessed and encouraged to continue your journey with the Christ.

Grace and peace to you
Ian

There are various additional ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, via Kindle and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 48: sacramental life (live the brilliant future now)

 

REFLECTION: ‘Bold shapes, sweeping lines, strong colours. I love the art of my sometime-collaborator Alison Berrett. Her work energizes me, the story she paints is full of hope and makes me feel that I can do pretty much anything, however tough, improbable or even impossible the future task might seem. One of the core practices for those who set out on the Jesus path is the nurturing of a human life that in itself pictures and carries a story of hope. A life crafted like this becomes a kind of sacrament – at the same time both a sign of hope and a coming-into-being of the reality of the hope to which it points…’

beloved life: sacramental life
beloved life: sacramental life

PRACTICE: ‘At first stage, seeking the spirit of Live the Brilliant Future Now, this practice is about finding ways to explore and articulate how you experience the gaps between the ways things are and the seemingly impossible future for which you might dream. Look for your own way – in words or in art perhaps to – to explore this gap. Ask these questions of yourself and others: How would you like the world around you to be different? And crucially, how could that change begin to take shape first in you?’

©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 47: reconciliation (reconcile, be reconciled)

 

REFLECTION: ‘We seem to be in thrall to the destructive twin powers of shame and blame. Whatever the mistake, crisis or disaster, our desire to find someone to scapegoat seems to be very strong at this time. I sense that this is often a search for someone or something onto whom we can transfer some of our own shame, a search for someone whose wrongdoing (we convince ourselves) is always greater than our our own. This destructive cycle of shame and blame is a problem, and it needs addressing. I hope that the practice of Reconciliation (Reconcile, Be Reconciled) may be one step in this direction…’

beloved life: reconciliation
beloved life: reconciliation

PRACTICE: ‘The possibility of a deep reconciliation that deals with shame and blame runs through Jesus’s teaching and practice. His focus seems to be on the restoring of communion with other human beings, with the earth and with God. If reconciliation is for Jesus always the bigger picture, the starting point is often around some act of forgiveness – and in turn forgiveness becomes part of something much bigger. So the smallest act of forgiveness is a re-imagining and re-making of the world! This needs to begin in the small things. In the daily irritations and in the mundane conflicts – in the jostle for a parking space and in the debate over who does the washing up. This is where the practice of forgiveness begins to find its shape. This must be the starting point for all of the wider reconciliations for which we are yearning. There are no short-cuts!’

©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 46: cave of the heart (nurture your contemplative)

 

REFLECTION: ‘The opening, the taking, the tapping, the bringing up, the lighting, the drawing in, the breathing out, the watching, and the letting go. There’s a contemplative in everyone. And for this young and unknowing contemplative, the reassuring clunk and smell of the zippo further heightened the experience. I’m not advocating that we should all return to the contemplative ritual of the mid-morning cigarette with our coffee. But I am suggesting that the ability and desire to pause, to become still, and to remain in the place that is beyond what we can see may just be our natural home…’

 

beloved life: cave of the heart
beloved life: cave of the heart

PRACTICE: ‘ The contemplative strand has always been present at the heart of the ancient and unfolding Jesus tradition. It is the necessary starting point for any real change for good to take shape in us and then ripple out into the wider world. I’ll be bold enough to say that some practice of Cave of the Heart (Nurture the Contemplative) is essential for anyone who is serious about becoming truly human. At the first stage, in the spirit of the tradition’s ancient practice of contemplation, this is about developing your own stance of stillness, presence, and openness to all that exists…’

©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

morning bell: courage to pray – St Teresa of Avila

 

This new series of Morning Bell is a journey into prayer and the spiritual life with St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), founder of the Discalced Carmelites, whose life we celebrate each October 15. The sayings in the series are taken from her own account of her story: the Life of Teresa of Jesus. We are particularly moved by St Teresa’s humanity, her courage to continue in prayer throughout  her life, and her increasing sense of prayer as friendship with God.

morning bell: courage to pray, with St Teresa of Avila
morning bell: courage to pray, with St Teresa of Avila

The images for this series of a derelict farmhouse are by photographer and film-maker Jo Dolby – our second collaboration on Morning Bell. For more on Jo’s excellent work go to jodolby.com We hope that you will be encouraged in your own exploration into prayer and stillness. St Teresa is a passionate guide…

Grace and peace to you, Ian

There are various additional ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, via Kindle and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 45: lectio divina (free the words)

 

REFLECTION: ‘Words can change worlds. In just a few printed shapes, in a few uttered sounds, and in the pregnant spaces between them, new possibilities emerge. Lectio Divina is a way of receiving the text so that it is not so much about information but formation. It’s not so much about shaping our ideas and our beliefs (as important and as helpful as they are) as about shaping our whole being – body, mind and spirit. ‘How might this scripture shape me and the way I live today?’ is the kind of question that Lectio Divina provokes in us. Or ‘how might the wisdom, insight or toughness of this passage change me today?’

 

beloved life: lectio divina (free the words)
beloved life: lectio divina (free the words)

PRACTICE: ‘The first stage of the practice of Free the Words! in the spirit of Lectio Divina is to develop an awareness of the words and ideas that are shaping you. What words have caught your attention today? What ideas are you excited about at this time? The second stage is to develop your own practice of Lectio Divina…’

©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More