One of our Members writes the following reflection ,
" It is very interesting how people approach time . Most complain
they do not have enough time . Some are not very patient and want
God to do everything within twenty four hours , or even yesterday !
I wonder sometimes if we need to step back for a little time and reflect
on not just how wen spend our time , but what we fill it with ?
When people visit my hermitage often one of the first questions is
" How long do the services last ?" I understand where they are coming from
by asking that .
I tell them we do not live by the watch here , or that twenty four hours .
It would be absurd for us to do that in a hermitage We begin when we begin ,
and finish when we finish .
The prayer we live by in the desert of the heart does not know the boundaries of time .
In fact it never ends . It just goes on and on .
It will continue to be like this in eternity .Each moment or movement unfolds
in to a new moment , or movement .Totally new , fresh , and different from
the previous one .The end is the point we begin from .
Sometimes people make their way here for spiritual direction or prayer , and often thank
me for my time . I reply " It is not my time to give . It is God's time for you . God's love ,
mercy , and compassion for you ."
By a member of the Community .
The older I get the more the years seems to pass rapidly.
Time as the young person experiences it is an illusion gone in the blink of an eye.
Young people want to grow up, and go out into the world to do their own thing.
So many endless years before them with possibility.
There was a time when I could look backwards and forwards. A feeling that
perhaps I was half way through my journey of life and prayer contained in this
human cycle of existence. I was sorry for some things if I am honest. Missed
opportunities . Waisted graces, and hurting loved ones . Not really fully loving
God and my neighbour. But I could also look forward to hopefully enough years to
redress the balance in the other half of my life.
Now as I look through the windows of my place of prayer and the ever rapidly passing seasons
I understand that there may be no endless years to come. I understand all life is sacred.
All life is a gift, but it is fragile. It can end in the blink of an eye. Actually we live our whole
life in the light of eternity. Each hour could be the last hour on earth for anyone of us.
The Gospel warns us that we do not know the hour in which the master will come and call us.
Actually this does not make me sad in any way. It is the reverse. In the words of the mass I
wait in joyful hope. As I grow older I have let go of everything and each moment simply
reach out into God for He alone is lasting. I learn to see Gods goodness in all I face, and experience.
I cherish the exchanges with my Brothers and Sisters, but equally respect they need the time and
space to work out this journey. I understand that much of what we discuss now is only within the
context of a conversation that never ends. It will have to be completed the next side of the eternity.
There is nothing spectacular about this journey. It is in the very ordinary things that we learn to seek
and explore. Learn to love and hold, and when it is time to let go again. Always from the old we travel
to the new. The end is the point that we begin from, and the very best will be yet to come.
There is no room for pride on this journey. I think we become ever more aware of our failings
and short comings. If our past were the bench mark no single person could claim they were
worthy to come within our walls. What is important is not what happened to lead us to our
Society of Prayer, but what we become once we have joined.
In the end everything is gift. The pure gift of love. Just think what God must be really like
who is the giver of the gifts ? We may in our most honest moments think we are no more
than the poor men and women of God. Brothers and Sisters knocking on the gates of Paradise
asking for mercy. But the love of God is all consuming. God is mercy within mercy
A Member of the Community.( Society of Prayer )
It is often in the days after a major feast or celebration such as Christmas Day
we feel we are returning certain quietness and stillness. Around us and within us
a peace unfolds.
But often in our prayer we feel we are calling out into nothing, and sense no reply.
Sometimes it may seem that our prayer is so small, and so insignificant that
we are calling out into an empty space where nothing is there.
We may think no one hears even in all the vastness of the eternity.
It is precisely at that moment because of the eternity has no beginning or
end we feel, sense, or hear nothing back in return.Feeling and reality are two
We need to understand the nature of the prayer we are being drawn into and
become at that moment. For it has its ultimate value and purpose in the self emptying of
Christ on His Holy Cross. The one who makes the holy offerings of sacrifice becomes the
offering as he is consumed by the offering he makes being led out of himself held in the
present moment of time and space.
The Divine Light that he receives on behalf of all and for all men and women transforms him or her
into that light that which knows no boundaries of time and space.
A light that in a single moment unfolds into an infinity of little moments to be
everywhere present, and in all things in both the Heavens and on earth.
The feeling of emptiness, and nothingness is simply we have gone from what we know,
experience, touch, feel, smell, and see.We have gone into what we can not touch, and
sense to where Divine Love dwells beyond all words, and images.
We have entered in the vastness of the eternity that has no beginning or end gathering all in,
and taking it to the very core of that place where all things are restored in Christ.
This is at the heart of the mission in silence and solitude to become that point of connection
where all things beyond sin, suffering, and death are restored to their original nature, and identity,
that is at the very core of the still point of it all from which they came.
A member of The Society of Prayer .
For many of members their life and commitment to prayer is lived in the
midst of busy working lives. The beginning of their journey has sometimes
been like most people to ask " How do I have time to pray there ? There
are not enough hours in the day."
Here at the Society of Prayer we offer a simple pattern of prayer people
can follow or adapt to suit their circumstances. Prayer is not simply about
petitions i,e asking for things. It is about becoming aware of God who is
always with us even in the business of every day life.
It is about spending a few moments with a loved one like we would with a human companion. We always
can find time for example to text someone. Why then is it impossible to find time
with God ? It is not just words , but the simple turning of the heart to one we love.
A gaze of love. An act of kindness towards someone who is also a Son or Daughter of God.
Some people are early morning people, and some clearly are not ! But when we awake we can
begin our day with Christ by silently offering to Him the day that is to come. God is as much
in the ordinary things of life as He is in big things. We can ask to be used as an instrument
of God to bring His light to all those we will meet this day.
As we go to the bathroom we wash and prepare ourselves this day. We can bring before God in those few moments all the sin and brokenness of humanity. Asking God will heal all divisions , and unite all the peoples of the world. We can acknowledge our own faults, and forgive anyone who has done wrong against us.
The journey to work is symbolic of our life's journey. Today another page will be written even
in the most ordinary of circumstances. We pray we will find the presence of God in all that comes our way. Some pages contain love and beauty, and some pain and suffering . But God can turn the suffering into wisdom. And the wisdom into a beautiful life for the Church and humanity.
The simple meal at lunch time reminds us of the earthly meal Christ left us in the Eucharist/ Service of Holy Communion. For some this is an important part of their journey. We pray for the day when all believers will truly gather as one around the tables of His word and sacrament. We pray for Priests. For communities that have no Priests.
As the afternoon draws to a close and we look forward to going home we begin to reflect on
another homecoming that awaits us all. In this all men and women are equal. We pray that in death all men and women will find peace, and be led home to gates of paradise.
In few moments of silence in the evening or perhaps listening to some sacred music as we prepare the evening meal we bring before God the events of the day. The people we have met on this day's journey. We reflect on any lessons we have understood this day.
As we go to bad we surrender our life into the hands of the Lord. An old childhood song goes
" As I lay my head to sleep I praise the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake I praise the Lord my soul to take."
And so the end of the day we have spent the day with Christ, and fulfilled our promise to be a people of prayer.
Brother Anthony - Bruno
In our Advent blog posts we will reflect on how the
Brothers and Sisters who live busy working lives
make their journey within the Society of Prayer.
But first this reflection is offered to our members who live
a Hermitage style life, or for those who will desire such a path
in the future.
In the end I will give you what you desire so much.
However much some attempted to prevent this they could not because this
came from me.
The goodness of God will flow out from within you and surround you.
Then we will be along together, and see and enjoy each other forever.
I am your lasting home because you came from me, and I made you for myself.
I became a man for you that you could become God with me.
Anything less than this would not be to fulfill your eternal destiny in Me.
It would be to only become a small part of what I created you to be.
The communion of love has to be silently lived away from the gaze of men of this world to keep you safe.
It is my Divine Love that will draw you ever deeper, and still your restless heart.
This is the living water of life for all humanity .
Once you have tasted it we will forever thirst to drink more.
I will lead you to stand on top of the mountain of your dreams.
You will stand there fully in the light.
Truths with depths beyond all your dreams will be revealed to you.
You will feed from this source and hunger no more.
You will also be taken into the depths of the earth.
The darkness of the Evil one will totally surround you.
You will learn what it truly means to cry out to Me for mercy.
And in that moment I will raise you up to the heights again.
Finally you will be left alone in prayer at the foot of the Holy Cross for all men and women.
You will spend many hours alone there.
This will be the moments all your moments are preparing you for in the solitude.
In those hours of transformation everything you have known in the world will pass away.
One by one all the people you have known will leave you to be alone.
You will be completely alone in your solitude.
The desires of your heart will have been fulfilled.
Then you will be seen no more because I will come and take you.
Brother Anthony - Bruno
Here at the Society of Prayer we have a new guardian in myself .
It is only the Second Guardian we have had as a Society . We are
all very grateful to Sister Bernadette Maria for her ministry in
founding the Society , and being the first Guardian .
Sometimes people ask us how to pray ? Or are put off joining such a
Society because they feel they do not know how to pray , or are
not experienced in their spiritual life for such an undertaking .
You can come and join us ! We are all learning what it means to be people
of prayer. It is a journey that never ends. It lasts our whole lifetime.
Saint Anthony of the Desert would say " Today I begin again." That is
what we do each day. We wake up and begin again. We wake up, and
start the journey again. This is all it is. Little steps each day.
For those who want advice on how to live out the journey of prayer in their circumstances,
or how to begin the journey please feel free to email me as Guardian. It is often
simply finding the moments, and times in a day when we can find the time to turn
our hearts to God. It is not about length of time involved, but our openness to what is
already within us. Or in some cases becoming aware of this dimension of life for the
Some members live in a more Hermitage Setting, and some in the midst of busy working lives.
There is room for all paths in our little Society. The important thing is each person begins to walk the path of prayer. Every journey begins with the first few steps.
In the Society of Prayer we become ever more aware through the passing times and seasons
of each year through the journey of prayer that God is not removed from the events of our daily lives, and the joy and hope, tears, and sometimes suffering, but is in the very midst of them.
Long before we seek God He has already come seeking us, and calling us by name.
Many people point to all the divisions of the Church, and World today. Our Society is simply a sacred space where all can meet to pray, or come asking for prayers, beyond all such divisions. We are a house of prayer for all people and nations. We remember the text in the Gospel often " Where two or three of you are gathered in my name I am there in your midst."
So let us pray, and pray very much. The presence of Christ is in our midst !
Brother Anthony - Bruno .
From all the words that come from our houses of peace a movement can come like sparks of the Divine that spiral off in to what can not be fully described because its ' unfolding is to deep, and profound in us . It is to vast to be fully understood by the human intellect .
It is like that our whole journey back in to the God that we came from . It is like that the silence we journey deeper in to . Something you fear that takes us further from you , but in reality brings us ever deeper together on a purer ,and deeper level .
All we can really do is love and support each other , and give each other the sacred space to make this journey . Our being together has a purpose , but we are wise enough to know it has its limitations , and that is why we respect each others long hours of silence ,and solitude .
The silence and solitude also has its purpose . But it is not the God that we journey in to either .It is like God , but equally it is not God . The silence we experience is not the fullness of silence .It is but an immediate and direct experience in so far as our human capacity can experience it .A spark of the Divine that points to the immense reality that unfolds within us hidden from your view to embrace every part of our living and being .
This reality is actually within each one of us for there is something of God in every human being .But not many are prepared to make the journey because of the commitment involved , the order and discipline involved , and the sacrifices to be made . And we fully acknowledge there are , and will be profound sacrifices to be made along the way .
To truly receive the God who comes to us , journeys with us , is within us , and awaits us also we simply only have to open the doors of our hearts in this present moment . We have to simply go beyond our own self constructed worlds that places " me " at the centre . We learn to receive the " One" who is " I am " without trying to grasp on to any moment or movement . For the gift and offering is in love that was before the beginning , and will eternally continue to unfold with us one with it if we are prepared to go that far in to God .
The silence helps us to receive this treasure in the earth vessel that we are , and transcends there here and now in to that which is eternal . God is in Himself in love , and in love we are in God , and one with Himself . This is our message of hope to the Church , and world in these troubled times . It is the fullness of what it means when we invite you to go back to beginning , and root of all things , even in the Church .
It is why we can hope even in the darkest night of the soul because ultimately all is well . All is well beyond all sin , suffering, sickness , and death . All is well in our eternity in and with God.
Brother Anthony- Bruno
It may sometimes seems that the darkness is stronger than the light .And that evil with all its unfolding is thriving in the world , and sadly sometimes even in the Church . The sons and daughters of the night continue in their deceit .Certainly the Gospel warns us to be on watch for the wolf that comes in sheep's clothing .
We should not despair because ultimately all will be well , and all will be well .What some are fooled by is the thought that they can do what they want because they will never answer for it .
Every though , word , and action of ours will continue to exist in some form now , and in to the eternity until it is either resolved , or has dissolved away taking us deeper in to the great silence of God . So what is not reconciled now in this life time will still await us to be resolved in another time ,and place .
And flowing from this also is that despite our weaknesses all our efforts to live for God , and serve our brothers and sisters will not be lost , or consumed by the darkness .
Go on quietly giving yourself to God in the measure that you are able to . Each day walk your path a bit more trusting that ultimately the goodness of God will win through ,and Gods plan's can not be stopped . Do not despair at the state of the church , and the world , but live for God Alone in your four walls , and under your roof whatever is happening outside them . Be the light that shines in the darkness .
Your life , and every life has the potential to become something beautiful for the church , the world , and humanity . The current state of affairs can not stop that . All will be well because all is well in our eternity in and with God .
Brother Anthony- Bruno
The highest love we can have for each other is to
pray for , and assist someone in responding to God's
love beyond any feelings of attachment , or what can ,
and can not be God's will for a person . The cemetery daily reminds us
we belong to each other for a time , but one day God will come , and take us.
We in our poverty often can not perceive or understand the hidden unfolding
of grace in ourselves let alone in another person . It is very delicate when
God wants to enlist a soul in His service , and really takes someone on the
same path to recognize it , or understand the fullness of what it means for a person . .
" In the Father's House there are many rooms ." Each should dwell in their room
in peace without attempting to force their way , or understanding on another
Brother or Sister .
Respect for another person's journey means we put all we can in our journey ,
while not speculating or questioning our Brother or Sister in the next cell about
their journey . We must pray for them in that love of God , and then leave them to
We as a rule do not question each other about what led us to the House of God ,
the Gate of Heaven , or each others past life , if there is any contact .
Those who have the ministry of service may ask a few necessary questions , but it is then left like that . What is
more important is what we will become once we have crossed the entrance to our houses of peace while God still gives us time .
Brother Anthony- Bruno
Some choose to pray late at night, while some early in the morning.
And some choose to keep vigil in the middle of the night. Each
in a hermitage follows their grace.
When we leave our beds to go to our places of prayer, we are leaving
one place of rest to go to another, where we hear echo in us the words of
the Lord in the Gospel, " Come to me all you who are weary and carry
heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
We have to lift all up to God, all the prayer requests we have received, the needs of
the church, and the world. The prayer of night has its own
reality unfolding around us, and within us. Half the world is asleep in the
darkness, and half-awake in the light, but largely unaware of Jesus,
the true light of the world.
We are standing in the middle of all this in our spoken and sung prayers.
In all the secret prayers of our heart, as a bridge between a church and
world often in crisis, in one prayer, above all else is offered " Whatever is done
on earth today, may it be done in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
In us, all of humanity lives. When we pray, all humanity prays and turns to God.
If we do not pray, the opposite happens. One hour of prayer in these live-giving
hours, and all humanity can be gathered in, and lifted up to God.
These life-giving prayers spread out from our hermitages to the four corners of the earth,
gathering all in. It knows not the physical boundaries of the distance of miles. And so,
two souls at the opposite ends of the world can be side by side.