To the island that lies beyond the world

LOVE is the kingdom of which our Lord spoke symbolically when he promised his disciples that they would eat in his kingdom: ʻYou shall eat and drink at the table of my kingdom.ʼ What should they eat, if not love? … When we have reached love, we have reached God and our way is ended: we have passed over to the island that lies beyond the world, where is the Father with the Son and the Holy Spirit: to whom be glory and dominion.

St Isaac the Syrian.

Bardsey Island from Braich y Pwll. © Kevin Davies, Geograph. Used under licence. Click for original.

“The land of absolution and pardon, the road to Heaven, and the gate to Paradise.” Bardsey Island in Wales, a place of pilgrimage in the fifth and sixth centuries, from Braich y Pwll. © Kevin Davies, Geograph. Used under licence. Click for original.

NOW I did not walk along as before, filled with care. The invocation of the Name of Jesus gladdened my way. Everybody was kind to me, it was as though everyone loved me. … If anyone harms me I have only to think, ʻHow sweet is the Prayer of Jesus!ʼ and the injury and the anger alike pass away and I forget it all.

The Way Of The Pilgrim.

HE who has the Kingdom of God within himself will imperceptibly pass it on to others. People will be attracted to the peace and warmth in us; they will want to hear us, and the atmosphere of heaven will gradually pass on to them.

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica.

THE Invocation of the Name, practised aright, involves each one more deeply in his or her appointed task, making each more efficient in his actions, not cutting him off from others but linking him to them, rendering him sensitive to their fears and anxieties in a way that he never was before. The Jesus Prayer makes each into a ʻman for othersʼ, a living instrument of Godʼs peace, a dynamic centre of reconciliation.

Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia.

**

GOD is love.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us.

1 John 4:8-10.

**

LOVE came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Christina Rossetti.

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