Morning Bell: Mercy series

‘The mercy of God is not an abstract idea’ says Pope Francis ‘but a concrete reality’. This series of Morning Bell is exploring the concept and the reality of mercy, and how the practice of mercy might reshape us and the world for good.

Text for the series is from Misericordiae Vultus – the declaration in which Pope Francis called for a Year of Mercy. Images for the series are all from a recent visit we made to the city of Liverpool, and many feature the wonderful Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.

 

mercy flyer

 

In pausing together for stillness and prayer each day we hope that we may each find mercy reaching out to us as we reach out our own hands in mercy to others…

Grace, mercy and peace to you

Ian & Gail

 

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Unfurling cover final - Version 3Flyer for Spring-Summer 2016 gigs

Ian’s latest 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.

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Icons of the Beloved Life: Jesus with St Menas

 

‘I strike a match, bring the flame to the candle, watch it take. I kiss the icon. A kiss of greeting, recognition, humility, affection and yes, of love. And then a pause. How natural, how earthy, how good this seems. This practice of the Orthodox church has become part of my life. I’m an iconophile, I’m an iconodule, I love icons. I believe that they are a great gift of the ancient and unfolding Jesus tradition, simultaneously suggesting an alternative way to see the world for what it truly is – an earthly-heavenly paradise – and opening ways for us live that paradise to the full wherever we are…’*

 

icon of Jesus & St Menas
icon of Jesus & St Menas

We’ve been asked frequently about the icon on our website that we use as our social media avatar. It’s  a reproduction of a sixth-century Egyptian icon of Jesus with Saint Menas commonly known as the icon of “Jesus and his friend.” The original is at the Louvre museum in Paris, and a copy is used in prayer at the Church of Reconciliation, the home of the Taizé Community. We love it very much…

*This reflection by Ian Adams is from ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press) in which the gift of icons – and other ancient spiritual practices of the Jesus tradition – are explored further.

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Morning Bell: Magnificat

 

We continue through Advent  towards Christmas with a new series of Morning Bell beginning tomorrow based on the Magnificat – Mary’s prophetic song of joy as she reflects on the impending birth of her child. To see the Magnificat in context spend time in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. Mary’s song suggests that the impact of this birth will be felt around the world for generations to come. Something amazing is happening!

Morning Bell: Magnificat
Morning Bell: Magnificat

The photos from which this set of images have been made were all taken in the harbour side area of the city of Bristol. Spend time with the images and you may detect within them icons of Mary and the Holy Family.

Grace and peace to you this Advent
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.

 

 

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morning bell: Transfiguration

 

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration – often neglected in the West but remembered and celebrated in Eastern / Orthodox Christianity as being full of gift for the Church and for the world. In this story from the Gospels the man Jesus, in light and glory, is revealed as divine. In this moment we also glimpse the light and glory of the cosmos, and – amazingly – our own becoming-divine…

 

morning bell: Transfiguration
morning bell: Transfiguration

I created this series of images from some photos I took a few years ago of beautiful sculptures by Peter Eugene Ball.  May this season reveal its giftedness to you…

Grace and peace to you
Ian

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

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

 

Unfurling cover final - Version 3

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 29: choose your icons (become what you see)

 

REFLECTION: ‘The visual image matters. And images and icons are all around us… True observation – attentive and loving observation – is not a dispassionate activity. If our attention is loving – not grasping but open to the otherness of the being or the object being seen – that person or object may mediate something sacred to us, and we may mediate something sacred to them. So the practice of Choose your Icons (Become What you See) helps us to become aware of the images that shape us all; and offers the possibility of engaging with icons that may bring particular good to us and to the world around us…’

beloved life: choose your icons
beloved life: choose your icons

PRACTICE: ‘Your icons are all around you. On your screens, on your walls, and in your magazines. This practice is about being intentional about the images we live with, and becoming the good thing that we see. So reflect on the images that you choose (or allow) to be your icon-companions. A step deeper into this tradition is to seek out an icon from the ancient Jesus tradition to accompany you in your stillness or prayer space. If you decide to do this let the process be a prayerful one. May the icon that you need find you…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘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!

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The Transfiguration: full of light

 

 

The feast of the Transfiguration. This is a great day, full of possibility and giftedness…

 

The Saviour's Transfiguration, early15th C, Tretyakov Gallery, attributed to Theophanes the Greek
The Saviour’s Transfiguration, early 15th Century icon, from the Tretyakov Gallery, attributed to Theophanes the Greek

 

 

In a dazzling moment on the mountain God is revealed as Trinity: the Father’s voice, Jesus the Son transfigured, the Spirit presence in the cloud.

Jesus is revealed as the Christ – the ‘Small Epiphany’ after the great Epiphany of the Baptism of Jesus. He is still human, earthy, one of us – but he is also revealed to be divine, limitless, full of light and love. And so too transfiguration – deep change towards light and love – is revealed as a possibility in us and in the world.

But this is not just about us changing for the better (as important as that is). The Transfiguration reveals our true reality and destiny. For a moment our own humanity is broken open, and we glimpse our at-oneness with God, what theologians call ‘theosis’, our ‘deification’ and what St Peter described as ‘an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading.’ (2 Peter 1.4). You and I are full of divine light and love…

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