Hinba: Isle of the Sea

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In St Columba’s underground cell on Hinba, old Gaelic for Isle of the Sea, inspired by Columba’s spiritual elder, Enda of Ireland, it was still possible to pray in the heart, pray in timeless light, lucid and luminous, unveiling primordial glory in the spontaneous immediacy of unconditioned grace.  On retreat there in June 1974, this underground cell became a place of grace where wisdom was creative in her translucent energy.  Wisdom visited with the gentle energy of a wondrous completeness, permeating heart and mind, securing inklings of a realm that the tradition calls the Kingdom of God.  Everything comes from God through wisdom, and everything returns to God through glory.  Wisdom leaves nothing outside, so can be trusted in her loving embrace, as witnessed on Hinba, Isle of the Sea.

Wisdom is not something created, neither is she nothing at all, but as uncreated light embraces all that arises, shepherding home all who are lost.  She never strays from the realm of radiant Trinity, which mediates blessing to all.  Her indeterminate glory has invincible power without imposing on the freedom of all who choose to work with her.  She mothers prophets, priests and kings in order to wed them as the bride of Christ in each and all.  She transfigures them in the translucent glory of Christ crucified so that they share in his resurrection, ascension and glorification. She nourished Columba and his mother Queen Eithne, here, where her gravestone resides and the pulpit rock still remembers the monks who inhabited twin beehive cells nearby.

Saint Eithne’s grave is still marked by a Byzantine Cross where wisdom discerns the Great Peace and transmits its infinite completeness to the heart that turns and sees.  The wisdom of old stones is not pedantic or doctrinaire, but gently liberating.  Beyond literal description and symbolic expression, wisdom communicates her mysteries of glory in a ruined chapel without profaning them.  She opens the eye of the heart so as to awaken it to the hallowing Name, revealing  God in the midst.  Radical in her clarity, wisdom renews Hesychast tradition and renews tradition afresh in inauspicious times.  She cures divisive dualisms and heals monistic confusions wherever she turns.  There are no limits to her uncreated creativity as she is remembered here on Hinba, Isle of the Sea, where the corncrake cries.  In the underground cell built for Columba, inspired by his elder, Enda, wisdom infuses her hallowing balm whenever open wounds cry out for healing.  Her uncreated light rises as she raises her own who know her as she knows them, meeting her descending glory, bride of the lamb, recreating creation anew in every moment, here in the Isles of the Sea.


Father Silouan was unable to contribute a Wisdom Journal Post for a while due to heavy building work on a wooden cell in the Monastery during this period.