Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Sunday, 24 April 2011
|The Resurrection by Pierro della Francesca|
Saturday, 23 April 2011
In my second year of university, I picked out Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder from the Big Read of the BBC, a compilation of Britain's favourite novels. Brideshead Revisited was the "Catholic classic" in the list, and without further need of convincing, I bought it from Waterstone's 3 for 2 deal along with a A Suitable Boy and A Prayer for Owen Meany. I quickly got into the book as it starts with the kind of heady university experience that I was then undergoing. It moved into a family drama, the characters of which all seemed recognisable to me and my Catholic setting. The decadence of the overprivileged was also immediately familiar, if a little guilt inducing.
Friday, 22 April 2011
The Kingdom of God is at hand! Throughout Holy Week, I have been reflecting not just on the passion of Jesus, but also on the Kingdom he began. The culmination of the Gospel was to give that life of his for us. And what else was his life, than the Kingdom of God? I realize that his passion cannot be separated from his public ministry, they are one. I am struck in listening to readings this week how Jesus with the same earnestness with which he sought the Kingdom, also seeks his fulfillment on the cross. So as I read the passion I try to make sense of its strangeness by bringing to mind some of the things Jesus did, the healing and reconciliation of the blind, the lame, the dispossessed. I try to take on the mind of the Beatitudes and see the passion in that light.
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Saturday, 16 April 2011
On a day of the brightest sunshine I was looking up at the stark white clouds set against the blue sky, stretched out like silk. I wondered to myself, what is the most important thing in my life? Pausing for a while I waited, but I didn't receive an answer straight away. Nevertheless, the asking and waiting taught me something. Those pale clouds in the sky are formed when part of the earth, a ploughed field perhaps, is warmed by the sun. The air rises up into the sky carrying with it moisture that condenses into bundles of fluff at those cool high altitudes. Standing in the sunlight on that bright day, I felt my life too warmed by the sun and it raised my mind to what was important to me. My thoughts turned to dreams of the future. Not plans carefully worked out but deeper things some of which I could not even describe.
Monday, 11 April 2011
“When the rain
Is blowing in your face
And the whole world
Is on your case
I could offer you
A warm embrace
To make you feel my love”
Adele’s recent album 21 has broken the record for the number of weeks a female artist has remained at the top of the UK charts, and she is also having huge success in most other European countries, and in the US. 21 is currently the most downloaded album on itunes. I first came across Adele last year when I heard her sing Bob Dylan’s song “Make you feel my love” (from her first album 19), and immediately starred it on my Spotify library. Her deep soul voice, accompanied by piano, seem to fit perfectly with this song, bringing out all its emotions. At the time I was struggling a bit with different things – and I got real comfort from listening to this song.
Sunday, 10 April 2011
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.
T. S. Elliot, 'Burnt Norton'
Today I'm taking a well deserved day off from studies. It's been a hectic couple of weeks, rather more taxing than I thought they would have been. The last week of term is always burdensome, but in addition I took part in an activity which required my whole self to be invested. And so, looking back this morning on the last weeks, I feel tired and in need of rediscovering the lifeline with God, the still point of my soul.
Thursday, 7 April 2011
General confusion exploded in the Catholic blogosphere at Pope Benedict's comments which might be summarised as "It is better for a male prostitute to use condoms". Some saw it as a kind of conversion towards a more humane way at looking at morality, while others felt it was a continuation of the moral reasoning always evident in Ratzinger. Some felt betrayed and disappointed by the man they proudly monikered "the Church's Rottweiler". Has our pope gone soft?
Tuesday, 5 April 2011