An Orthodox Christian hermitage nestles among old stone walls, abiding unnoticed within the Cathedral City of St Davids, grounded in centuries of hallowing prayer. There is nothing spectacular to see here yet heavens open on earth when wisdom turns and sees, unveiling the Name so God’s kingdom comes. Hidden in the silence of the early hours, prayer arises to meet the Spirit’s unceasing prayer in the heart, gathering into one the fragmented brokenness of conditioned fallenness. Wisdom opens everything to the unconditioned radiance of the Holy Name, releasing what is arising into freedom. Her deliverance severs bonds which bind the heart, freeing the single eye to awaken to the unveiled face, revealing the hallowing glory of ‘I AM.’ Demons of doubt and fear shudder when love’s glory intervenes to reveal the glory deifying forgotten saints. Hearts awaken even as their hardened crust cracks open to reveal hallowing light, ineffable but glorious. Souls sing as glory opens glory to an endless openness. Completeness dawns as incompleteness sees through the closed pretensions of compulsive ignorance.
There were Christian Orthodox hermits here from the sixth century although later Viking raids often destroyed all trace of their wooden monasteries. Hesychast prayer nevertheless bore witness to the communion of saints, awakening love’s power to break open old cycles of violence, disclosing peace that ascribes all glory to God. Hermits come and go as each age awakens again to the mysteries that inspired them. Sometimes brambles concealed all signs of them. Sometimes their memory was long forgotten until centuries later, prayer again awakens and they were remembered. Each age interprets saints as it reconstructs its world, only to discover that wisdom alone remembers the forgotten heart of glory. The age to come leaves traces everywhere. Its past is the icon of glorified saints who saw into the timeless presence of what for most was still to come. But when the remembrance of God is neglected, vision is lost until grace awakens hearts to uncreated light, unveiling glory through the Name.
When Saint David awoke to wisdom, it is said that in wisdom’s generous embrace even little things were remembered. God remembers those who remember God, hallowing those who are remembered. Wisdom opens everything to glory through her hallowing remembrance. Saint David lives on in the wisdom that inspired him, renewing the tradition of the desert even in inauspicious times. Wisdom’s icon reminds us that Sophia’s seraphic fire is winged and that her royal presence crowns all who turn and see. She orbs the world with her living flame of love so that everywhere her seven pillars of fire and light unveil the glory of the age to come. Here Dewi’s desert became a small city, recalling the desert cities of monastic Palestine and Egypt amidst the cliffs and coves of Pebidiog. But who is to say our times are inauspicious? Wisdom’s ever-present presence, always new, is unfalteringly auspicious. The communion of saints is not just old dogma but wisdom making all things new, remembering even Dewi’s little things. The timeless openness of wisdom unveils glory now, hallowing the ancient desert city, inspiring it anew in every generation.