Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A plug

  I've posted a picture of this icon of Christ and Abbot Menas before, but it seemed to fit for this post too...

The end of term is rapidly approaching and, in the way of these things, we're starting to think about next year already. Once again I'm going to be involved in the course called Exploring Christian Spirituality, run by the London Centre for Spirituality, which happens on Monday afternoons and will be starting again in October. I've promised to give it a plug, so here goes! Click here to read all about it!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

They're back!

Picture from the Devon Wildlife Trust

A Pentecost blessing from the returning swifts.  I have thought I've heard them on the last few mornings, very early, while I've still been half asleep, and each evening I've scanned the sky for a sight of them. And tonight I saw them for the first time, soaring and whirling and screaming.  So few, though, compared with past summers. I've read that a third of swifts have been lost to Britain since 1995. How precious these tiny airborne scraps of life, coming to us all the way from Africa to herald summer each year. How fragile and beautiful. 

Pentecost - for Sunday Snippets

"You have listened to fears, Child," said Aslan. "Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?" (C S Lewis, Prince Caspian, Ch. 11)

Happy Pentecost! I'm back at RAnn's Catholic Carnival after a while away, so here are a few Sunday Snippets from the last few weeks:

Reflections on my trip to Sweden
And, just for fun, what's in your shopping basket?
I've also been writing on my other blog, which is about Labyrinths - A Gracing Maze

    Monday, 13 May 2013

    De gustibus...

    Have you ever played the game where you sneak a look into someone's trolley at the supermarket and try to guess the story behind their choice of purchases? I once saw a trolley containing nothing but a large crate of tinned cat food and a bag of quick-drying cement (can't even begin to guess...); another had two thermal vests and a pineapple (feeling the cold and longing for the tropics?)

    So here's a glimpse into a virtual trolley, courtesy of Amazon. I would so love it to be one person who bought all three items (in case you can't see, it's a "pin the tail on the donkey" game, a multi-coloured sombrero and a copy of St Augustine's City of God). I bet they throw great parties!

    And what on earth was it in my shopping history that prompted the connection?!

    Saturday, 4 May 2013


    First on, there was nobbut God (Yorkshire version of Genesis 1:1)
    To praise you is the desire of man, a little piece of your creation (St Augustine, Confessions, I:i)

    It's early... The house is empty. I am sitting up in bed. I can hear birdsong outside, and distant traffic; clocks ticking and hot water in the pipes; beyond, beneath and within that, silence... I can feel the breeze from the window. A van pulls up and its engine idles... I am distracted. Who is it? Are they coming here? My thoughts are outside in the street, neglecting the bliss of my body snuggled in pillows and duvet. I return... My hands are warmed by a Chinese cup holding African red bush tea: I sip it and savour the delicate honey-warm taste. I think of the Cloud of Unknowing, and in my own little flawed way I try to follow its advice: I breathe the word GOD, in and out. 

    It's the season of Beltane.  It's May, Mary's month. It's still Eastertide.  It's good.