Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Chapel on the Rock, St Beuno's; Part three.

The Chapel from the bottom of the hill.
The East end.
The Calvary scene, simple but beautiful.
The west end.
The view from the Chapel door.

The New Testament contains five different metaphors for the foundation of the Church (Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5–6, Rev. 21:14). One metaphor that has been greatly disputed is Jesus Christ’s calling the Apostle Peter, the "rock":

"You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).
In about 1850-1855, a Jesuit Seminarian along with a stout local Catholic Architect decided they would build such a Church on a Rock in the grounds close to St Beuno's. The land belonged to the college and off they went. The first time I walked up the hill I thought I would never get down alive again. The feat was quite an amazing one (hampered by the sheep droppings all around the base of the hill which is quite slippery when the ground is damp). I can only imagine that the Jesuit and his army of helpers were guided by the Holy Spirit. It is a walk of faith but once at the top, the view that greets you was quite breathtaking. The Chapel itself is quite simple, it has a low altar / prayer table, four icons adorning the north and south walls, a beautiful Calvary scene and a sense of beauty, tranquility and peace with God. The retreatants undergoing the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises are encouraged to make the same walk of faith each day for a period to pray over the icons (you will see photo's of them in a later post).
Traditional Daily Offering of the Apostleship of Prayer when undergoing the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings
of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls,
reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians.
God, our Father, I offer You my day.
I offer You my prayers, thoughts, words, actions,
and sufferings in union with Your Son Jesus Christ,
Who continues to offer Himself in the Eucharist
for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit,
Who guided Jesus, be my guide and my strength today
so that I may witness to Your love. With Mary,
the mother of our Lord and of the Church.
Signed: Christopher McGuinness (AKA: A Hildaite).