Blogs

Risking The Tide

By Herb O’Driscoll

Place: Iona
Time: Spring 801 A.D.

Early in the sailing season of the year 801 A.D. small groups of Viking warships slid out of the harbours of Avaldsnes and Skiringsalr in southern Norway. One of those squadrons headed due west for the Orkneys, then sailed around the north coast of Scotland through the Hebrides and the Shetlands until they reached Iona. The other sailed southwest for Lindisfarne. As they terrorized the small coastal communities the news of their cruelty went ahead of them. Continue reading “Risking The Tide”

Lent Bulletin


March 1– April 15, 2017

The season of Lent provides us with an opportunity to cultivate the interior life through spiritual exercises and practices. It can be a time of rediscovery; a valuable chance to open ourselves more deeply to the beauty and power of the dying and rising to new life in Jesus. It is a time to ponder the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection and to allow it to soak into our deepest parts. New life and hope come to us in self-examination.  Every Christian is called to purposeful reflection on one’s need for God; each individual’s response to that call is an important factor in choosing how one will observe Lent. Through the centuries, Lent became characterized by practices which typify the meaning of this season, namely:
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Letter from Nazareth

by Herbert O’Driscoll

Scriptures for Reading: Luke 1:39-56

Dearest Cousin Elizabeth,
I apologize for not sending this letter earlier. I was exhausted from the journey home and simply had to rest for the last few days.

I think about you and pray for you constantly because I know you were very near to giving birth when I had to leave. As you know, I had no choice when the caravan came through the village and told us there wouldn’t be another for nearly a month. However I could see that you had friends ready to help so I’m assuming my prayers for you have been answered. Continue reading “Letter from Nazareth”

The Star

Herbert O’Driscoll
January 2016

The compound where I worked before retirement is situated on a high mountain ridge in the western edge of the kingdom. In the distance on a clear day one can see the great gulf that is fed from the north by the Tigris and the Euphrates. Beyond the gulf to the west is the vast desert that stretches to the edge of Egypt, our ancestral enemy. Continue reading “The Star”

The Company of Heaven

By Herbert O’Driscoll

For four years – 1941 to 1945 – I was in a boarding school founded in 1673. Many years later, when we took our family to see the school, one of them remarked that it had not changed much since that date! However, my memory of it is not an unhappy one. There were periods of homesickness of course, especially in the early months, but, as with most things in life, they passed and one entered into the life of the school with one’s peers. Continue reading “The Company of Heaven”

Does it matter that we have questions about prayer?

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

I think having questions about prayer is not only natural, but asking and pondering questions is important in developing our relationship with God and strengthening out prayer life. This article poses some, but certainly not all, questions that, I think, many people have.
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Developing a Pattern of Prayer

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Although we may want to set aside some time to be with God and to pray, at times we may not know how to get started or what to pray for. This is particularly the case if we have had a busy day, or are facing a stressful time. It is important to broaden our prayers beyond our immediate worries, and to avoid having our prayers become narrow or repetitive. A useful way of overcoming these obstacles to prayer is to adopt a “Pattern of Prayer” and use it on a regular basis – a pattern that is easy to remember and to use, and includes several kinds of prayer, Often using an Acronym helps us find our way into prayer and to identify what we are led to include in our prayers.. This article contains some suggested ways of developing a prayer rhythm or Pattern of Prayer.
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How can children learn to pray?

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Children can know and experience God in prayer. We are all on a faith journey together and prayer is an essential part of any faith journey. Children need to pray, just like all of us, but they need to be taught. Children learn in all sorts of ways—by example, by experience, and by education (i.e. being taught). They are primarily influenced by what their parents, caregivers, and teachers and they imitate them. If those who have the greatest influence over the children pray regularly, children will follow.
Continue reading “How can children learn to pray?”