Clearly, the most visible thing that’s happened is that I got slightly exhausted (I know that’s impossible; I am in fact absolutely exhausted, but we cannot afford it right now, and it does no good to focus on that, so I’m trying to ignore it).
The last parishes I visited – Souderton, Texas and Charlotte – were simply amazing; their generosity and enthusiasm for the monastery were overwhelming. It seems the more help I get with fundraising and securing a future for the monastery, the weaker (physically) I get. To be fair, this is my first fundraising experience, and (as usual) I have overestimated my strength. It got really bad coming back from Charlotte on Sunday, and I’ve been in bed since. Thank God, there are only two more parishes to visit before Pascha (Cleveland and Akron, Ohio), and I know (and love) both their priests; if I don’t get any better, at least I know I’ll be in good hands.
As for the monastery, a million things seem to happen; the most extraordinary aspect for me is getting to meet (either in person, or via email) so many beautiful, kind and warm people. Apart from your generous donations (for which I thank you so much!), it feels wonderful to see so many friends gathering around the monastery. It’s as if God is building a shield around Kilninian, based on our common love for Christ and the monastic life. The great thing is that we come from so many different backgrounds: Antiochian, OCA, Greek, Russian, Romanian, Constantinople – parishes of almost all Orthodox traditions are doing something to support the monastery. It’s been so humbling to discover how much love people have for the Celtic Saints and for the Hebrides!
Thanks to YOU, we have now raised 40% of the money we need to buy the land in September.
I know we still have a long path ahead of us, but I’m now beginning to hope. Let’s make an effort and found this monastery; let’s postpone for a few months buying something we (think we) need, and let us found a monastery this Lent! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to look back and know that we have returned Orthodox monasticism to St Columba’s lands?
My heart rejoices at the very thought of it. Thank you for this happiness, dear friends. And thank God for the love He’s given you for this monastery.