Desert Wisdom for the Lock-down

 

This PS is an adaptation of an article published by Belfast Bible College and is used with permission (https://www.facebook.com/BelfastBibleCollege/photos/a.250728314988600/2933919253336146/).

In the late third century men and women chose the self-isolation of the Syrian and Egyptian deserts to devote themselves to exploring the spiritual life. Their spirituality was marked by a radical commitment to Christ’s call to poverty, humility and other virtues. It was also marked by separation from mainstream society in order to seek solitude.

As we are beginning to emerge from a period of enforced isolation (a desert as it were), either totally alone or in households, the desert tradition has wisdom to guide us. Continue reading

PS…The Holy Discomfort of Being Church

May 2020 saw the release of Dr Gladys Ganiel’s report on a Survey of Church Leaders in Ireland During the Pandemic. It states that many churches have found their viewing figures for online services exceed the numbers of their ‘real-life’ congregations.

Faith leaders have reported an increase of people returning to childhood faith and people new to organised religion joining them. Other Internet statistics show an increase in searches for terms around prayer and Jesus. The Church, as it shows the faithfulness of God and love for our neighbours, is perceived to be a place of safety in a tumultuous sea of uncertainty. Continue reading

And Now For Something Completely Different

The first four weeks of lockdown were revealing. Introverts were as happy as Larry having been given permission to withdraw, with no pressure to mix socially, and commended for their diligence in self-isolating.

Extroverts suffered withdrawal symptoms like drug addicts going cold turkey, counting down the hours before they could get out to exercise and wave across the road to socially distanced friends.  The number of WhatsApp groups grew exponentially and to zoom took on an entirely new meaning, nothing to do with speeding. Continue reading