A Prior Meeting: Anselm

Date added: 29/05/2020



Solvitur ambulando

around the ‘cloister’ meadow

of Grey Friars, Canterbury.


Five days in Bec, Normandy,

now, beckoned and called,

four days, silent, in Canterbury.


Cassock forgotten,

now vested from the vestry,

a gift, it turns out, from Bec.




is God.


Quite a thought from Anselm,

a Prior and Abbot of Bec

and Archbishop of Canterbury,

echoing around the cloister

and through the centuries.


God cannot be thought of

as non-existent

without contradiction.


It seems too neat:

perfectly to define God,

in effect,

with the property of existence.

Kant couldn’t.


If conception is not earthed

is it real?


God was conceived and earthed

in Nazareth.


Maybe ‘meeting’ is the clue

   which coheres?

The co-inherent meeting,

   of Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

   of Word and flesh,

   of God and people.




is God.


So, God-who-meets is

co-inherent not incoherent,

and cannot not be met.


Hail God, well met.

Quite an adventure,

coming across God,

in the meadow,

in the cool of the evening.


© Graham Kings, Nourishing Connections (Canterbury Press, 2020).

first published on Fulcrum August 2010, also on Spiritual Journeys and in Graham Kings, ‘Remembering, Thinking, Imagining: Augustine, Anselm and Rowan’ on Covenant 2018.