With Scotland featuring in the news every day, a more tranquil reflection on that very special island off the Western coast, IONA
Night Encounter: Oran's Chapel.
Dusk, hovering gently by an open door
is nudged imperceptibly into island night.
A small myriad of flickering flames
cast soft shadows
which the ancient walls absorb,
or deflect as they will.
"Ubi caritas, et amour,
Deus ibi est,"
a charged chanting of ecumenical voice
proclaims the truth of a God of light.
Music and fabric together
link us mystically
to earlier followers of "The Way"
meeting in dark caves;
braving persecutions which appal us
even to contemplate
in our western pilgrimage today.
Yet our sisters and brothers in faith,
even as we sing, suffer similarly.
Briefly, we here, can sense ourselves at one
with fellow Christians of every age,
of every race, imprisoned or free;
lifting our prayers from this chapel of Oran
for justice, for peace, for love, for joy.
For Christ, for Christ,
in the past, in the present,
and in the future,
whatever that might be.
More poems about IONA can be found in the general index opposite, all prefaced by the island's name
IONA from Fionnphort:
Oran's chapel lies just
to the left of the abbey building