Soul Friends

 This week began with me sharing in an Australian Winter Solstice Prayer time on skype, and then being invited to sit in on their Caim Council: 'When good intentions are frozen, when relationships are chilled, when our lives are capsized by storms, may we find our heart in you, O God'. <p>

Then this email arrived: 'We were visiting Holy Island as I had always felt so drawn to go there. I had read your book on Soul Friendship when it first came out and loved it. It has such a special quality about it. When we were packing, I decided there could not be a better time to re-read it and so I took it with me.  I do thank you for your wonderful work and, in particular, I thank you for your book on Soul Friendship. As I read it, I was obviously thinking so much of St Cuthbert and St Aidan, but I was also reflecting with deep gratitude on the soul friends I have and the way in which those soul friendships have sustained and supported me through the years - as I hope I have them.' 'Soulfriendship: Celtic insights into spiriitual mentoring' is on sale from The Open Gate or this web site. <p>

Jan Lokkeborg's Norway pilgrims from Alesund completed their St. Cuthbert's Way with four days at The Open Gate. Together we explored the themes of Rhythms and Relationships, Creation and Combat. It is fashionable for unscholarly scholars to write off the subject of Celtic Christianity as all make-believe. Much of it is, but far from all. So I was interested that Jan had learned from early Irish Penitentials the importance of making restitution to a person we have wronged, rather than just saying 50 Hail Mary's. He understood this approach as Restorative Justice, and this seems a vital component of a real spirituality today.<p>

Three very different contexts. The uniting element is soul friendship. For the Norwegians, the soul friend is the medvandrer - the one who walks with you at the pace that is right for you. Journey well.

Posted at 11:54am on 29th June 2018
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