Archive for March, 2006
Loyola Hall is in the middle of its season of spirituality courses and I am working at full capacity or, given the ME/CFS, slightly beyond it. The courses though are something I love to be involved with–there is such a palpable sense of God at work during them.
A week ago was ‘Theology and Spiritual Accompaniment’–three days working with a group of 14 exploring some of the theological questions that surface from the group’s experience and practice of spiritual accompaniment.
March 23rd, 2006
There’s been an interesting protest march today in the North East—from Chester-le-Street to Durham Cathedral. The Northumbrian Association is marking St Cuthbert’s Day by also unveiling a petition demanding the return of the historic Lindisfarne Gospels, which were written by monks on the island, and are currently held at the British Library in London. They want the 12 hundred year old books returned to their home where they were written in honour of St Cuthbert.
Now you’ll notice that, just like the Cuthbert Gospels, the saint himself has been displaced today in favour of St. Joseph. Joseph in turn was bumped from his rightful place on the 19th of March by a Sunday of Lent.
March 20th, 2006
Peter Scally has asked me to make clear that Pray-As-You-Go is running on a trial basis right now and might change quite a bit before it is finally and formally released. Until then please take part in the trial and give him any useful feedback you can. Please note that the URL has changed from ‘.com’ to ‘.org’.
March 8th, 2006
Once upon a time Jesus was sitting there praying, looking out from closed eyes over the sun-scorched hills of his homeland. The fellows who followed him from place to place were all there watching him, impatiently, maybe wistfully. They could see the look that came upon his face. They could see … something in the set of his aching body. And they looked at each other and they wanted what he had.
“I wish I could pray,” said Martha.
March 7th, 2006
As attentive readers of this blog will know I sometimes succumb to that most terrible of preacherly temptations–to recycle a homily created for one community and time and place and use it in another setting. Sometimes it is laziness; sometimes pressing need; sometimes it seems as though I’ve said whatever it was as well as I’m able.
Apparently Edna, in the community here, has recognised that flaw too. She nabbed me after my homily yesterday and said how she’d been waiting to see what happened to the little girl because she “couldn’t quite remember the story from the last time”. The only problem is, of course, this was the first outing for that particular memory–in fact I only remembered I remembered it at all while mulling over the readings.
March 6th, 2006
Jesus came to Rainhill, message in hand: “It’s time”, he said, “Things are changing. So change your outlook. The news is good.”
I remember my first trip to the swimming baths from school, all excited, heart racing, aged maybe 5 or 6. The sharp stink of chlorine and disinfectant and wet changing rooms. Actually I’m lying about that because all I remember is a single image. A snapshot, a frozen frame, of a girl, a classmate—name erased by years—drowning that morning. I think she missed her step climbing down into the shallow end. She’s etched sharply against the black and white tile … floating underwater, her hair spread out all around her like a mane, a halo, eyes open, mouth gaping. I’m standing there on the pool side in wonder … here is something new, something astonishing, here is time frozen, here is death working, here is life all suddenly dangerous. Fear and wonder and chlorine all tasted together.
March 5th, 2006
If you are looking for something new this Lent to help you pray your way to Easter look no further than Pray-As-You-Go. This site, the brainchild of Peter Scally, SJ, co-creator of SacredSpace, provides a daily 10-minute reflection in mp3 format to download to your iPod or play on your computer. Each day’s file includes music, scripture, and some other material to help your reflection.
The site also has some downloads to help you focus and become still or to guide you in prayerfully looking back at the end of the day.
March 4th, 2006