Today, rather than writing a shopping list, I am writing a ten-point gratitude list. Sometimes I need to remind myself that this earthly shit-show is not just grim and grotty – it is also sublime and supernatural, when I remember to zoom out. It is all too easy to get caught in the sadness and pain of this disintegrating world, or entangled in the little cell of me-and-mine-and-lack-and-sorrow.

On the surface this is a simplistic exercise, but I’ve found that a well-aimed gratitude list can call time on a particularly potent bout of heaviness and encourage the tide of balance and perspective to rise again.

I am grateful for my true Father.  

I am grateful for my inspiring circle of fellowship.

I am grateful for my brave and good-hearted brother.

I am grateful for the seed of strength that I have been given to water.

I am grateful that I can be of service to those who have ears to hear.

I am grateful for the infinite possibilities gifted to me through my mind, my heart and my hands.

I am grateful for my continuing pilgrimage through England's churches and cathedrals.

I am grateful for the perfect proportions of the Peak District.

I am grateful for freshly picked summer flowers.

I am grateful for the sound of the bees at work.
A smile from on high. St Andrew’s Church, Great Durnford, Wiltshire

For RG - because I am also grateful for you. 

Fire of the spirit

Fire of the Spirit, life of the lives of creatures,
spiral of sanctity, bond of all natures,
glow of charity, lights of clarity, taste
of sweetness to sinners, be with us and hear us.

Composer of all things, light of all the risen,
key of salvation, release from the dark prison,
hope of all unions, scope of chastities, joy
in the glory, strong honour, be with us and hear us.


Hildegard Von Bingen.
Hildegard of Bingen


The Canticle of Mary

Magnificat anima mea Dominum;
Et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo,
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae;
ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est, et sanctum nomen ejus,
Et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in bracchio suo;
Dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis, et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel, puerum suum, recordatus misericordiae suae,
Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini ejus in saecula.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,: sicut erat in principio,
Et nunc, et semper: et in Saecula saeculorum.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his humble servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed,
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.