The Coronavirus Diary of a Joyous Pustynnik — 19


Christ is Risen!

 I have in my collection a rare stone- it is from the Island of Iona. It is not precious in terms of monetary value but extremely precious in terms of faith. It comes from the Island where St Columba had his monastery and from where he launched his missionary journeys to Britain in the 6th.century. At the age of eight years of age, I visited the Island and the Monastery with my parents and collected a few of the distinctively green and white mottled pebbles from the beach (which you are not allowed to pick today.) It is rather beautiful how the roaring of the waves and tumbling of the rocks has smoothed the rough edges of the pebbles. Perhaps likewise we too will have our sharp edges smoothed by the storms and tides that beset us in these days.

Nettle soup ( part 1)

There is a story that on one occasion the saint (Columba) was going to the island cemetery to pray over the graves, when he saw an old woman cutting nettles. On enquiring why she was doing this, the old woman informed him that she was waiting for her cow to come into calf so that she could have milk; so until then she was living on nettle soup. St Columba thought that if the woman could have only nettle soup in expectation of a calf, he could have nettle soup in expectation of the Kingdom of Heaven.


The Mathematical Bridge*

“The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone.”

Psalm 118:22




Unhewn, estranged, indifferent,

Inactive, confused and alone;

The fire of the Spirit breathes movement

Forms shape into coarse living stone.


We will make a bridge together

We will cross the wat’ry divide,

Following Christ the God-man

Mystically at His side.


Beholding Mount Zion’s Vision,

Viewed from a Silver street,

Paved in ruby, topaz and beryl,

There, would-be disciples meet.


Turquoise, emerald, jacinth

Agate and amethyst glow

Chrysolite, onyx and jasper

Reflect on the pavement below.


Hope adds to the seeker’s salvation

Faith multiplies joy in the heart.

Love’s dividend shares the sorrow

Subtracts the self-seeking part.


We will break down walls of division

We will tread where saints have trod;

In fellowship as pilgrims

To build the City of God.


Holy Triangulation-Cross examination

Points to the One unknown.

The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone.


Circled by thousands of angels

Assembled around and above;

Living Stones brought together

As beautiful bridges of love! 


Such is friendship, that through it we love places and seasons; for as bright bodies emit rays to a distance, and flowers drop their sweet leaves on the ground around them, so friends impart favour even to the places where they dwell. With friends even poverty is pleasant. Words cannot express the joy which a friend imparts; they only can know who have experienced. A friend is dearer than the light of Heaven, for it would be better for us that the sun were exhausted than that we should be without friends.  St John Chrysostom


*The so-called Bridge crosses the River Cam in Cambridge, England.


Eν Χριστώ



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