A thought for the day:
The Eucharist by R. Voight, is often used, as a reminder of what Eucharist means. It does fit in rather well today with Holy Thursday.
“My Father, when will we learn? You cannot talk EUCHARIST – you cannot philosophise about it. YOU DO IT. You don’t dogmatise Eucharist. Sometimes you laugh it, sometimes you cry it, often sing it. Sometimes it’s wild peace, then crying hurt, often humiliating, never deserved. “
The last vestiges of the Church in Ireland….
Sports- a staple diet for men especially, has been abandoned. Many will be suffering from malnutrition due to that. What else? Pubs closed. Schools closed. Churches closed. Work-places closed. And then even Sports shut down. What will we talk about? It is ‘Doomsday.’ (Film 2008). Scotland was quarantined. A virus called Reaperhad taken over. It does seem prescient. And way back in Old Time, Good Friday was a day when the pubs closed (in Ireland). The barmen (usually men in those days) sometimes went on Retreat. One of the last vestiges of the malign influence (!) of Church, disappeared, when the pubs opened on Good Friday. Closure ended. That of course combined with Divorce, Eight Amendment, Same Sex marriages, the leaning Tower of Pisa or the Roman Church, fell over. Supposedly. It is ironic that the invader Covid 19, has managed to close down pubs and everything else. I smile too as I remember long ago on the Via Veneto (Rome,) some notices in the windows of various establishments saying ‘Closed for the Feast.’ (Some beautiful ladies used to sell their wares from such places!).
William Wordsworth at 250
Wordsworth was born 250 years ago (7thApril). I lived in a house in Carlisle once occupied by a close relative of William’s. The Lake District is an extraordinary world of beauty. It deserves the word awesome. (Usually overused). On his birthday, I revisited his poem Above Tintern Abbey. The idea behind the poem, spoke to me. Memory. Being fed, revived and refreshed by memories. Chewing the cud!
“While with an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, We see into the life of things……With many recognitions dim and faint, and somewhat of a sad perplexity, the picture of the mind revives again: While here I stand, not only with the sense of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts that in this moment there is life and food for future years. And so I dare to hope. “
Augustine had an interesting line in the ‘Office of Readings’ (Wednesday 5thweek): “So we must recognise our voices in him (Christ) and his voices in us. “
Noli me tangere:
There is an Exhibition of six of Titian’s paintings in the National Gallery in London at present. The Gallery is closed. But one of Titian’s paintings (not on exhibition) is – Noli me tangere. (Don’t touch me). It does catch the moment. As one young lady said to me – yesterday at the door, ‘I can’t wait for a hug.’ She was obviously very hungry! I don’t think she was referring to me when she said it. Another rather older woman rang me this morning and said that she had received a video of my granddaughter. I did remind her that though the video was lovely; it was my recently born grandniece, she meant. A little girl much wanted and adored. Her name is summed up in her given name: An Angel of God.
Eavesdropping (on a train):
The Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (in Scotland), Gordon Jackson QC has resigned. He was Alex Salmond’s barrister at a recent trial. He was overheard (on a train) saying: “This is hardly sexual … Sex Offenders Register? His behaviour (Salmond’s) was inappropriate, stupid … but sexual? Unfortunately, [he names one complainer] and [he names another complainer] say it’s sexual.” Jackson also said of Salmond: “I don’t know much about senior politicians but he was quite an objectionable bully to work with, in a way I don’t think Nicola [Sturgeon] is. I think he was a nasty person to work for … a nightmare to work for.” He then referred to one complainer, he said: “We thought that eventually people might think she’s a flake and not like her,” and then he went on to discuss his defence tactics with another woman, saying: “All I need to do is put a smell on her.” Alex Salmond walked free. This was very strange talk. A legal duel – is this the fight for justice? I doubt if Jackson’s use of the word ‘smell’ would hardly tally with what Pope Francis meant by the ‘smell’ of sheep. (Strange days too with George Pell being freed – which was no surprise).
Just a smidgen of fleeting whispers:
There was hint of unreality. I got a call. Would I link up through Zoom, to a home for a Funeral? My technical ability is very limited but I tapped in the various numbers and then was in the room with the family and with the body. It was a rich Service. I got a video the following day of the Coffin being closed; being wheeled out of the house. It was most reverend and deeply emotional. The son did that as he couldn’t attend the burial. He was quarantined. We may have to learn new and different ways of celebrating Rituals. I think the official Books don’t do it. But that is very true of much of our present Liturgies. I have surfed the net and joined several Masses. Some were very good. A few were very strange. I visited more churches those days than I ever did. There are different ways of celebrating Communion. That Spiritual Communion Prayer does irk me. If only we could wake up our creative juices. We might help people to reach God in these times. And in the coming years.
Shed a little light – There is a hunger(James Taylor).
Hunger. For company. For God. For a touch. For the banter of life. For being needed. For food. Who and what indeed feeds us? In the busyness of life, too much of our food is unhealthy. We rush about. We work hard. We are there, at the beck and call of everyone. We haven’t time to think. To look around. We gather for Eucharist and how much gratitude is there? How much awareness of the sacred? Do we fall into a mumble of prayer? How present are the people in the Church? Is it a Community or a passive group letting the priest get on with it? Do we hear Job 38? Is 1 Kings 19 happening for us? And my other favourite: Gen 28.17. Is God in this place? I think we are starving with the need for real food. If only this time of desert, (of House Arrest) stirred the hunger within, for what really is essential to living life to the full.
Seamus Ahearne osa