Rev Jo Blogs

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Rev Jo blogs: Second space

Tower, Grand Canyon

The watch tower A tiny room is built into the corner of the Abbey at a height that allowed the watchman to see anyone coming up the long pathway from the bay. The purpose was not so much to be prepared for enemy attack but rather so that visitors and pilgrims could be welcomed. Benedictine […]

Rev Jo blogs: First space

Lee Abbey

Crosses are high in Celtic Christianity. They proclaim a Saviour who was lifted up for all to see, and a Redeemer who reigns high over all. They also serve the very practical purpose of becoming a focal point for all to gather round to worship. As we began a seven mile pilgrimage around the sacred […]

Rev Jo blogs: Growing spaces

The church at Iona

After the 24/7 week of prayer at Christ Church, the question that many are asking is when can we do this again? I think that many have experienced the work of God’s Spirit who creates a thirst for more of the life of that is found through simply ‘being with’ Jesus in the stillness of […]

Rev Jo blogs: A House of Prayer for all Nations

Man praying in the countryside against a dawn sunrise.

As Jesus taught them he said, is it not written, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations?” (Mark 11: 17) It’s 5.30 on Monday morning and I have just returned from 2 hours in the stillness of church, and the prayer wall already has those words on it. They seem to […]

Rev Jo blogs: How to devote yourself to prayer?

Man praying in the countryside against a dawn sunrise.

“How to devote yourself to prayer? Begin to hear the voice that makes all things new.” I was sitting listening to Peter Misselbrook preaching at the 6.30 service in November. It was the end of the series on Paul’s letter to the Colossians, and one verse hit me so hard that I have not been […]

Rev Jo blogs: The Way to Hope

Man praying in the countryside against a dawn sunrise.

In solitude, we come to know the Spirit who has already been given to us. The pains and the struggles we encounter in our solitude thus become the way to hope, because our hope is not based on something that will happen after our sufferings are over, but on the real presence of God’s healing […]

Rev Jo blogs: The First Sign of Prayer

Man praying in the countryside against a dawn sunrise.

Intuitively, we know that it is important to spend time in solitude. We even start looking forward to this strange period of uselessness. This desire for solitude is often the first sign of prayer, the first indication that the presence of God’s Spirit no longer remains unnoticed. As we empty ourselves of our many worries, […]

Rev Jo blogs: Tempted to Run Away

Man praying in the countryside against a dawn sunrise.

It is clear that what matters is faithfulness to the discipline. In the beginning, solitude seems so contrary to our desires that we are constantly tempted to run away from it. One way of running away is daydreaming or simply falling asleep. But when we stick to our discipline, in the conviction that God is […]

Rev Jo blogs: Bombarded by Thousands of Thoughts

Man praying in the countryside against a dawn sunrise.

Once we have committed ourselves to spending time in solitude, we develop an attentiveness to God’s voice in us. In the beginning, during the first days, weeks, or even months, we have the feeling that we are simply wasting our time. Time in solitude may at first seem little more than a time in which […]

Rev Jo blogs: Write it in Black and White

Man praying in the countryside against a dawn sunrise.

Five or ten minutes every day may be all we can tolerate. Perhaps we are ready for an hour every day, or an afternoon every week, a day every month, or a week every year. The amount of time will vary for each person according to temperament, age, job, lifestyle, and maturity. But we do […]