Category Archives: Faith

Advent Word 2018, Day 10 ‘Go 成長’

#AdventWord #Go #成長


In Advent, we pray for the grace to go and “prepare the way for our salvation . . . that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ.” What shall we wear when we to to greet him? Why, says Baruch, we should “put on the robe of the righteousness that comes from God.” So, put on that wonderful garment and go! Prepare the way! Go! Greet Jesus with joy! Go!


With the dissolution of the monasteries and the closure of Lindisfarne Priory in 1537, so the last of the monks left Holy Island.  Soon after, in the 1550’s, Lindisfarne Castle was built to protect the island against invasion from Scotland, but in 1603, England and Scotland were united under the rule of James I, and so its military importance diminished; the castle was finally demilitarized in 1819.  Fast forward to 1903, and Edward Hudson of Country Life magazine bought the castle, and with the help of the famous architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, converted it into a very stylish holiday home. Today it is owned by the National Trust and open to the public. Saints, monks, soldiers, magazine owners, tourists and pilgrims, all have come and played a part in Holy Island’s rich history. Many have stayed a while, some their whole lives. Holy Island is a place to come to, and a place to go from.  Hopefully we all leave the richer for having been there.

Advent Word 2018, Day 9 ‘Cry 哭泣’

#AdventWord #Cry #哭泣


Advent is a season to turn our cry of fear to joy. A young Mary’s fear for the unknowns of motherhood.  Yet, we, like Mary, have favor with God and in all seasons of life, our Lord is with us to hear our cry.  The coming of the Christ child is soon… joyful tears as Mary first touches wisps of soft newborn hair and cries with love as he tenderly claims her breast.  Advent is the cry of fear turned to joy.


The Holy Island of Lindisfarne must have shed many tears over the centuries, cries of fear as the monks were forced the flee the island in 875 to escape attacks from the Vikings, and then again in 1537 when Henry VIII closed down the Benedictine Priory, which had been established in the 1120’s.  These days, Holy Island is a peaceful place, the ruins of the Benedictine Priory are well-maintained by English Heritage, and when the tides and weather are good, there are visitors and pilgrims galore.  Holy Island’s cries of fear have turned to joy.

Advent Word 2018, Day 8 ‘Wild 野地’

#AdventWord #Wild #野地


Across uninhabited and inhospitable spaces, the voice of love cries out. The proclamation of forgiveness sweeps across the uncultivated terrain of neglected hearts, making way for abundant life. In the abandoned places, God is. In the wilderness, God works. We await no one less than the savior of the world, full of strength and truth. We wait with joy: wild abandon; wild hope.


Teasel growing on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, with St. Cuthbert’s Isle in the background

Advent Word 2018, Day 7 ‘Alert 儆醒’

#AdventWord #Alert #儆醒


In Advent, we are all pregnant. Like Mary, we, too, have been wooed by God. And, moved by her courageous example, we also say, “be it unto me according to your word.” And having spoken those words, we observe with wonder the gestation happening within us, we live in expectation of the birth pangs. We must be patient, resilient, and stay alert, for it will happen in God’s time. We are all called to be God bearers and in this season we are being readied to give birth to the life, light, and love of God.


In 875, violent attacks by marauding Vikings forced the monks of Lindisfarne to flee for their lives, and their priory was abandoned.  In the 1120’s, monks from Durham Cathedral re-founded a Benedictine Priory on Holy Island, which flourished until 1537 when it was closed down by Henry VIII.  Not long after the dissolution of the priory, in the 1550’s, Lindisfarne Castle (see above photo) was built to protect the harbour against invasion from Scotland.  Over the centuries, the people of Holy Island have long been on alert against hostile attack, and also against the incoming tides which cut the island off from the mainland for six hours twice a day, and can leave travelers – and boats – stuck in the sands.  The old posts of the jetty stand out in the photo, remnants of Lindisfarne’s 19th century past, where ships would load the lime from the nearby lime kilns, to be taken to Dundee.

Advent Word 2018, Day 6, ‘Sprout 發芽’

#AdventWord # Sprout #發芽


This is a time of expectancy, much like the moments of curiosity and wonder we experience while we anticipate the sprouting of seedlings, hoping that they will take root. We are called to faithfully sow seeds that will take root and sprout in the promised days that are surely coming. So be curious and watch for those sprouts of hope and be alert to the wonders that abound today. May your marvelment inspire you to keep on sowing.


One of Holy Island’s many dry stone walls.  The picture says it all.

Advent Word 2018, Day 5 ‘Light 亮光’

#AdventWord #Light #亮光


Jesus, God’s gift to humanity, is the true light of Advent. He is the “light of the world” and conquers spiritual darkness so that those who believe in him may be children of light, shining as stars in the dark world through loving words and kind acts.


St. Mary’s Church on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, built sometime before 1145, is believed to be built on the site of St. Aidan’s first wooden church. With many changes through the ages, and after major renovation in 1860, it is still in use as the parish church.

Advent Word 2018, Day 4 ‘Night 夜晚’

#AdventWord #Night #夜晚


Nighttime of the soul is not an easy place to find oneself. It can seem desolate, but it need not be lonely. Long ago, before you encountered your few (or many) difficult nights, the Psalmist predicted this modern experience: “every night I drench my bed with tears.” So, do not turn away from the truth encountered at night. But make space for the light of Christ to dispel the darkness once again.


In 651, on the night that Aidan died, Cuthbert heard God’s call as he tended sheep in the hills.  He became a monk at Melrose, and eventually came to Lindisfarne as Prior in 664.  During his 12 years as Prior, he regularly went for solitude to the small islet west of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, and then for 9 years lived as a hermit on Inner Farne Island.  The small islet west of Lindisfarne is now known as St. Cuthbert’s Isle (seen in the photo, taken just after sunset), and is accessible on foot at low tide.