Thursday, March 13, 2014

Antiphonitis - Answered Prayer


 Flowers lined the path that led to the deserted monastery high up in the Kyrenia range in North Cyprus.
"Consider the flowers."  Hmnnnn........
It was nestled in a valley close by a spring and there was evidence of past cultivation on disused terraces and un-pruned olive trees.
Its quiet in the mountains.
Antiphonitis - Answered Prayer.
The monks who lived out their lives here have left me a message.
Pray - Speak - Listen
I sung evensong verses and responses......
It seems to me there is a ministry of visitors topping  up  prayers
 in places where prayer has been valid.
I wonder if others would join in ?
Let me know




Son of Encouragement ?

 I'd come to what was the necropolis outside the ancient city of Sardis to pay my respects to the apostle Barnabas.
Bar = Son of
nabas = encouragement 
The church has been turned into a low quality icon museum but you can see where St. Barnabas's body once lay.
In nearby Famagusta the great Cathedral was turned into a mosque by the conquering Ottoman Turks but they protected the Greek Christians.
In 1974 the Greeks Christians  fled  to south Cyprus. 
Christian Greeks to the south - Muslim Turks to the north
Ethnic cleansing ?
So I wondered  what price encouragement today? 

A Bitter Pilgrimage

 The walking was great! The wild flowers  - to die for! I was in North Cyprus last week. The bitterness comes through visiting the disused, deserted, and desecrated churches. When the Greek Christian community fled they took some the better icons with them. Others robbed the best that were left and the least worthy have found their ways into Icon Museums run by the Dept. of Antiquities.

I don't know the history of Kozan Monastery but I entered to pray.

It is a goat shed now!



Standing in the apse I began to sing the Gloria -
It's the TS Elliot thing "kneeling where prayer has been valid! 
But choked somewhere in the middle - 
I couldn't fight back the tears

Could this be the future for our Norfolk rural churches?