Monthly Archives: December 2021

Advent Wisdom 4

The light comes, when it does come, rather suddenly and strangely I think. It is just like falling in love; a thing that never happens to those who are always trying to do it.

You may also take it for granted, of course, that so long as you want peace and illumination for your own sake you will not get them. Self-surrender an entire willingness to live in the dark, in pain, anything – this is the real secret. I think no one really finds the Great Companion till their love is of that kind that they long only to give and not to get.

(Evelyn Underhill, The Letters of Evelyn Underhill 1958)


Advent Wisdom 3

‘I looked at the candle in the darkness and recognised the darkness in all the bewilderment, numbness, frustration, helplessness and anxiety I had experienced…

The light came into the darkness and I felt the joy of it, an inner certainty in all my uncertainty, a hope when everything seemed hopeless, an assurance that all manner of things will be well and that Christ is greater than all my stupidity and sinfulness. I knew then that I was caught up in something far greater than my mind can ever grasp.’

(Gerard Hughes, Walk to Jerusalem, 1991)

A ‘restoration’ of another sort had gone on. I seemed in a new way to be liberated from fears and anxieties and worries. I had entered into an unsuspected tranquillity and peace… spiritual energies of a more or less permanent order flowed in and operated as though God at my fountains far off had been raining.

(Rufus Jones quoted by Elizabeth Gray Vining in Rufus Jones, Friend of Life 1959)

Advent Wisdom 2




There should be in the soul halls of space, avenues of leisure, and high porticos of silence, where God walks’.

(Jeremy Taylor)


….and ‘to know’

rather consists in opening out a way

(Robert Browning)


What is called for is not intense concentration, with a knitting of the brows, but, rather, the opposite, an awakening of the mind without fixing it anywhere, the quietness of pure attention… our minds unclouded by egoistical emotions, and so made more aware of God Himself.

(Dom Aelred Graham)



Advent wisdom 1

Proslogion by St Anselm 

      Come now, little one,

turn aside for a while from your daily employment,

escape for a moment from the tumult of your thoughts.

      Put aside your weighty cares,

      let your burdensome distractions wait,

      free yourself awhile for God

       and rest awhile in him.

Enter the inner chamber of your soul,

       shut out everything except God,

       and that which can help you in seeking him,

       and when you have shut the door, seek him.

Now, my whole heart, say to God,

      ‘I seek your face

Lord, it is your face I seek’.