Iona reflection

Iona reflection

Iona reflection

  a special place 

The train departed 

Mark Twain’s 

Maryborough Railway station 

A journey begun fifty years ago

I arrived

 a young Presbyterian man

To join

An Irish Order 

The Sisters of the Brigidine Community

To create Australia’s first ecumenical school


I was on a spiritual journey

To explore and discover

Whether faith

Had been challenged 

By reading

Social experience 

Or weary cynicism 

Simply having 

No role for faith in my life 

At least to be 

A sensitive humanist

 three months of sojourn

some uplifting 

some heart wrenching 

the barbarism of genocide

Secular abuse of power

Opening up to the rawness

Of human struggles  

Long distant from Christianity

Its evangelical fervour 

That shaped my youth

Giving safety to the very nature of who I was 

Now open to many voices of different hues 

In the beautiful warm days

Of an English summer

 Glastonbury and ancient rituals

Goddesses in convention



 I sped by train[PU1] 

 Through rural England, sensory gardens and ancient estates 

  Oban Scotland   a destination  

a glorious sunset

Overwhelming beauty


the Isle of Mull 

A cheerful bus driver drove me across the rough terrain

Telling stories

He came to Mull to go to a party 

“A Tupperware Party”

Finally sailing across the small sea

Photo of St Oran's Chapel : Iona

In a slight mist

Stood the 

Moving and formidable shape

Iona Abbey

First established in 563 

St Columba from Ireland 

A community has been there ever since

Destroyed and reincarnated 

Through wars 

In 1938

George MacLeod,

Established an ecumenical Christian community of men and women

Different walks of life

Different traditions within Christianity

A place for peace and justice 

I entered through the rain

Tears welling up 

My heart and soul filled to overwhelming.

1500 years of history resided here

I felt part of a Christian journey.

In the silence

I felt embraced and forgiven

I was at one with family and friends    

 At one with so many I had recently met


So I sat



At one with myself and the world

In the silence 

An email 

Sister Margaret Mary Cassidy

 A founding member religious at Maryborough

Had died

here in the beauty of this place 

We like the travelers before 

were at one 

Ecumenical Christian

The spirit had reentered my soul. 

Peter Harris 


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