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Monday, May 11, 2009

+ White Night -preparation for our 10th Anniversary +

Looking across to Papa Stronsay
On the 31st May, Feast of the Queenship of Mary, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our aquisition of the island of Papa Stronsay in Orkney.
The pier in last night's "White Night".

We can never be sufficiently grateful to God for all that He has done for us... Baptism, Penance, Holy Communion, Monastic Life and the Priesthood, ... ineffable gifts.
To that superabundance, we add the gift of a place to live, -our monastery in Papa Stronsay, Orkney.
Monks first came to this holy island in ancient times and remained until after the Middle Ages. 'Papa Stronsay' means "Priests' island of Stronsay." In those past ages the island was called "Papa in Litia" and "Papa Minora" which translate as "Little Papa", "Little Priests' island".
Now, soon for ten years, priests and monks, we have returned to Little Priests' Island, Papa Stronsay.
We will sing God's praises here.
Highlanders in the White Night
The Orkney islands are now in that period of the year where there is light for most of the night. Since these 'nights' are not dark at all, yet nor are they bright, they are sometimes called "White Nights" in Northern countries.
These photographs were taken last night between 9.30 and 10.00 p.m. when the sky was cloudy, and the sea, perfectly still, was a mirror of the sky. The still air carried the sounds of nature: a few ducks swimming on the sea; the calling of the seals; and the breathing and moving of Papa Stronsay's Highland cattle.

Highland beasts of the Lord, wild and tame,
bless the Lord, in His White Night.
Benedicite, maria et flumina, Domino.
Benedicite, cete, et omnia quae moventur in aquis, Domino:
Benedicite, omnes volucres caeli, Domino.
Benedicite, omnes bestiae et pecora Domino:
Benedicite, filii hominum, Domino.
Seas and rivers bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures bless the Lord;
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Et nox illuminatio mea in deliciis meis.
And the night shall light up my joy.
(Exsultet of the Paschal Mystery)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and peaceful looking place! May the Good God bless it, and you, and bring you many, many more holy vocations to pray for our poor world and, God willing, to give us your wonderful missions. God bless you all.

thetimman said...

God bless you and your whole community. I will pray for you as you continue your most necessary work for Holy Mother Church.

When I see the pictures of Papa Stronsay, I am almost tempted to be jealous of the beauty, serenity and solitude of the location, so far removed from the mess of modern "culture". However, I know enough that the idyllic picture does not give the whole story. It is in the silence of the contemplative's prayer where the battle against satan is fiercest.

May our glorious Mother of Perpetual Help guard and protect you all and put the tempter to flight!

Anonymous said...

Those are beautiful pics,
One of the saints ( I forget which one) said words to the effect of " That when God created the world he left his finger prints" Im reminded of that by these pics.
God Bless
Scott

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful home. I pray for many vocations and your sanctification. This might be a silly question but do you allow visitors/retreatants (female)? God bless you all!
elizbeth

Peter Simpson said...

A lovely post. We had a most magnificent twilight last night between 9.30 and 10.00 pm in the far South - Inverness! I do so enjoy the different seasons of the year - both in nature and in the Church.

Confiteor said...

Ever since I became a Catholic as a young man, I've had a secret yearning for the monastic life. The wife jokes that I'm going to leave her for the monastery when the kids are grown. Of course, I'll do nothing of the sort, not least because I know that I'm not called to such an austere and rigorous life -- I'm much too soft from years of assimilation to the modern world.

The images are beautiful. The Spirit of God moved over the face of the deep ...

dom said...

Great photos.

I remember the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (was it 2005?) when you consecrated the Island to Her. I was privileged to be present.
God bless.

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