Sunday, 19 September 2010

Still small voice

Last night I decided to go and see the Pope. The last time a pope visited was about thirty years ago so I thought I may never get the chance again. I had heard him on the radio and found him wise and gentle.

I got to Hyde Park Corner and there was a reasonable crowd and I thought I should be able to see him. My ears, however, were assailed by a discordant noise. A group of Moslem protesters, cordoned off by the police were in full voice. One man had a microphone. He was attacking the visit, my faith and my country among other things. He was condemning all who did not turn to Islam to hell. His voice spoke of God but it was a voice full of anger and hate.

I wandered away to be out of earshot. I got chatting to a nice guy who was taking photos. He pointed out some snipers up on the monument at the corner of Hyde Park. I had not noticed them.

I asked him if he was Catholic and why he was attending. He said that he went to church as a child but had not been since. He said that some kind of inexplicable yearning had brought him to see the Holy Father.

This, I thought, is how God communicates. I thought of the still small voice that spoke to Elijah. I compared it to the ranting man on the microphone.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.

1 Cor. 13.4

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Taste and see

How often do we long for something or wait expectantly only to find we tire of the thing after a while? We will sometimes jump through hoops to get something material but put off seeking a spiritual pleasure.

St Gregory has it about right.

There is a great difference, dearly beloved brethren, between corporal and spiritual delights in that the former, when we are without them, enkindle in the soul a strong desire to possess them, but once they are are attained, they quickly satiate us. Spiritual pleasures, on the contrary, when unattained, produce a certain aversion; but once we taste them the taste awakens desire, and our hunger for them increases the more we taste we see that, if we do not taste these delights,we cannot desire them, because their flavour is unknown to that the psalmist says ’Taste and see that the Lord is sweet’ ( Psalm 33.9 )