Born for a Purpose
For a year until April 1988, Sister Heylin of the Sacred Cross Community lived her solitary life in a caravan on what some say is the site of a mediaeval hermitage above the Old Church, by courtesy of Mr Cadbury. But a change of ownership of the land meant a move to Crick Farm, where Sister Heylin pursues the life which she describes thus:
I begin at midnight when I get up and pray for two and a half hours; this includes the saying (silently) of Vigils. Here my prayer is for the Church, the world and particular people. Then back to bed till 5.45am when I get up and say Lauds, after which I have a good hour’s prayer and end with a spiritual communion. Breakfast follows, and like all meals it is a time of sharing with others in the blessings of the earth. Here I find an intimate way of union with people of many lands. Terce follows – a short office of praise to the Holy Spirit and time to remember people and their work.
The morning is spent in household chores; gardening and sewing are my main ones. Both occupations are rhythmic and prayerful. At 11am I have an hour of reading. I say the office of Sext at mid-day followed by lunch. Sext is a time to remember the great work of redemption and reconciliation which Christ has done, and is still doing, throughout the world. I have an hour’s rest after my lunch and at 2pm another hour set aside for prayer, again largely intercessory. Between three and four o’clock is the last meal of high tea. Having wshed up, I have about three quarters of an hour of prayer and adoration. I then prepare for going to bed by 7.30pm. sleep is all part of life and, so, is a kind of prayer – just ‘resting in the Lord’.
I hope my very life is becoming with each breath one of a true Anchoress; that is, someone who has their roots deeply grounded in God. In my case I hope it is a hidden well of Love, Light and Life which God can use to help ‘water the face of the whole earth’. It is thanks to my community, and all of you who have welcomed me so lovingly into your midst and in so many ways support me with your help, that I have found to my increasing joy something more of the purpose for which I was born.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart
HEYLIN COLUMBA SSC
Nothing is so beautiful as spring
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing….
[From Spring, by GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS]
[from: Penallt – A Village Miscellany]