Notes from Iona

One week on Iona. Alone, in my tent.

A few days and nights with nothing to face except Christ’s love for His creation: you and I.

A few days suspended from the empty rush of this life. Some time out of time; some time hidden in Christ, buried in Him, melted in Him. A few days away from all plans and anxieties; nothing to hope for, nothing to regret, because the future and the past simply have no reality. A week that could feel like a moment – all of me here, all of me now, all of me in front of Christ, with everything that I am, good and bad. Mostly bad, but that is all in the past. Right now, right here, I belong to Christ, and I shall pick myself up and I shall start my life in Him again.

These are random notes. The weather forecast says I’ve got 80% chance of rain. That isn’t too bad, is it? It still allows for 20% chances of sunshine. I remain optimistic.

Have you ever felt as if the air opens up in front of you and embraces you? I do now.

I have done nothing for the Saints of these Isles, yet they call me with such strength; they love with such passion. I pray for a few days alone with them. I pray for them to come and reveal themselves in my small heart, in my small tent. Night after night, I pray they will come and teach me how to love Christ the way they love Him. I need nothing else.

Please pray that I have the heart to welcome them. I am here for all of us who love the Celtic Saints and treasure the heritage they left us. Where ever you are this week, whatever you are caught with in your work, when it all gets too much, take a moment and remember that the love you have poured for this monastery is still alive in me. And I am here: in a small tent, on Iona, in the land of the Saints. And if I’m here, that part of you which lives in me, that love which you have poured in me is also here: in the same small tent, on Iona, in the land of the Saints.

15 responses

  • Dear Father Serafim

    I have been so looking forward to your next missive and here it is!

    And to find you in a tent, communing with Nature, the Saints, and with our Lord, Jesus Christ!

    Tenderness, dear Father. Through your words I feel the tenderness of your humble spirit, your beautiful struggle, and your magnificent journey, all begun anew again.

    It’s so very easy to imagine myself just a short wave across the field from you, sharing that same experience, and it brings tears to my eyes.

    Beginning again and again and again, each beginning bringing our true selves, our opened hearts, our yearning souls ever closer in love with our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    My prayers are with you, dear Father, every day.

    • Thank you, dear Clementine. Beyond it all, there is great work and effort put into getting all of us together to raise the funds we need to get the monastery started. Prayers are immensely helpful, as they give me the strength to keep going despite all the opposition and difficulties I meet along the way. I am grateful for your support. May God bless us all.

  • You have inspired me. Was feeling irrirable and now my atrention has turned to loving Christ. Thankyou Father.

    • Thai is all I could hope for, dear Steve. beyond reminding you to refocus on the right things, everything else is in your power. Please keep me and the monastery in your prayers; we need all the support we can get.

    • Thank you, dear Kiriakos. It’s a long, tough, sometimes lonely path, but I can only keep going. Many thanks for your support, many thanks for your prayers.

  • So good to hear from you again, Father Seraphim! You and the monastery remain in my prayers.

    What a beautiful post. I wish I were eloquent enough to say all that it brings to my mind, but most of all – it reminds me how very valuable such time is and draws my heart to desire to carve out a little more myself, to go a little deeper into it. God be with you – thank you so much for what you express to us. As always – my prayers remain with you.

    • Thank you, Anastasia. Yes, time is immensely valuable, more so that we can understand. I pray we could all turn our focus on the things that truly matter and stop wasting our precious days with useless, worthless (even more, damaging) things and emotions. The only thing that matters is the Kingdom. Everything else has value only in relation to this: does a particular thing or situation bring us closer to the Kingdom? Or, does it push us further away? It’s the only question to ask, the only answer to take into account.

  • How wonderfully confirming. The first section of your post (the part above the dashed line) is precisely what we conversed about during the Sunday evening gathering last night.

    Your words/attitude/mode of life is blessing me/us.

    You are in our prayers every Sunday evening.

    • Thank you, dear Fr Thomas. I appreciate it very much. I need your prayers, I need your support – especially when things get difficult, they remind me I am not alone, and that I am doing this for a great number of people.

  • Thank you for this beautiful post. Here in the US, we’ve been thinking about the problem of Gay Marriage. Is it legal in Scotland? I hope not.

    • Dear John, thank you for your comment. In all honesty, I can not even see the end of my own sinfulness; how could I possibly have the courage to comment on other people? I leave these things to the decision of our Bishops and holy men. I have my own burden to carry, and it often crushes me along the way.

  • Even the rain can become Tongues of Fire; I will be praying for you Father. Remember, where your Treasure is, their will your Heart be (at rest).

    • Thank you, dear John. I appreciate your beautiful thought a great deal. God works in strange ways; I have still to learn to stop investigating them, and simply follow Him where He takes me, with no comment or expectation. I’m a long way from that spiritual state, and the weight of having to raise the funds for the monastery is a terrible burden on me, dragging me down all the time. God know what He’s doing – I can only trust Him. Thank you for your support, dear friend.

  • Father Serafim, Blessings of peace and light on this feast of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. You don’t have a mount near you I know but you can be the mount. Peace in the Light of the World. Archbishop Nathaniel

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