Mary was born in 1903. A gentle, generous soul, she lived in her farmhouse by herself following the death of her husband after 65 years of marriage.
Mary watched the television news each evening, often being troubled by the images she saw. One day, bringing in tea in china cups from her kitchen, she talked about a report from Africa she had seen the previous evening.
“Every country is entitled to its freedom”, she said, “but I don’t think anyone starved in the days of the Empire”.
I recoiled at …
Sermon at Saint Matthias’ Church on Palm Sunday 2007
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. Luke 19:38
Tiredness seems to heighten awareness. Everything stands starkly against the background. Sounds are often piercing, loud sounds are unwelcome. Experiences of such moments can become engraved on the memory.
Sitting at a meeting one afternoon, an Irish Government official talked about overseas aid and showed a map of Tanzania. One of the towns featured was a place called Songea. As the speaker gave statistics, I drifted to Songea.…
There was laughter at our church meeting this evening. A member talked about reusing materials again (and again!).
“Protestant prudence,” I laughed.
Another person at the meeting joked that “reduce, reuse, recycle”, was part of being Protestant.
Deep within our culture there is an ethos of making every cent count. What we regard as prudence is probably an excuse for plain meanness in some cases. Our catechism, which would have deeply imbued the thinking of those over 40, stressed the central place of work in our lives, it stressed our …
Listening to one end of a telephone conversation is fascinating sometimes. When you have known the person speaking for long enough, you can piece together the unheard segments of the exchange.
So it was when the best beloved was talking this evening.
“Which newspaper did you were say you were from?
“And who gave you my name?”
“I’m happy to do an interview, I don’t think a photograph will be possible.”
“Why? Because my teenage children would not want to be in a photograph”.
“Well, if it’s a picture driven …
Sometimes scientists come much closer to religion than they would care to admit. Here are the concluding paragraphs of Carlo Rovelli’s contribution to the 2006 Edge collection, What we believe but cannot prove. Rovelli is a theoretical physicist.
“Beliefs that one cannot prove are often wrong. But they are also often healthy, and they are essential in science. Here is a good example from twenty-four centuries ago: Socrates, in Plato’s Phaedo, says, ‘I know not what the art of Glaucus could prove the truth of my tale, which I …
I spent the third week in March back England, attending lectures at Trinity College in Bristol. I was so late in trying to book a room for the week that the College accommodation was all full and I found myself commuting from my parents’ home in Somerset up to the college which is on the Downs at the western edge of Bristol. The forty mile drive wasn’t so bad – I listened to the wisdom of Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 as I travelled up the M5 at 7.30 …