Thursday, 25 November 2010

Money and misery

I was talking to my neighbour just now about the news story about the man who did not trust banks. He was moving his life savings, £80,000, over 100,000 dollars, and put it on his car roof in plastic bags. Yes, he did, drove off and the money came off and went missing. My neighbour said his best option was to kill himself which I thought was a sad take on the matter. It is terrible that money can mean more than life itself to some people.
Our Lord warns us that money can be stolen. Store your treasure in heaven is the alternative.
I would really like to know how that man now assesses his life now. Does he count his blessings and think he can still smell a rose and can still enjoy a sunset? Who knows?
St John Chrysostom says this, 'Sojourn with the rich and see how plentiful are their sorrows, how bitter their complaints.'
I remember asking another neighbour of mine about the people who lived in the flat above me, what were they like. He said three words, 'money and misery.'

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Post restante

The photo may seem a bit mundane. Let me explain. I was in the local priory when I noticed the pile of letters. They were for a priest, Fr Brendan, who died two years ago. He was a dear man and much loved. It was rather poignant but reminded me as a believer, a ‘saint’, he is still with the rest of us saints waiting to take his place in eternity. He is not in some far off place detached from us. He is also still considered as being part of the religious community he served and was a member of. Each year on his year’s mind a photo of him is placed on the altar.

Perhaps amongst the community of the saints death is a rather meaningless dividing line.

St John Chrysostom called the body of believers the faithful throughout the whole world, those who are, and those who have been and those who will be.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A Time To Dance

Though I am wary sometimes of the motives of ‘inter faith dialogue’ there are times when I feel an empathy with other faiths. Yesterday, I went to the HIndu Dawali celebration in Trafalgar Square. A band came on stage and got everyone dancing in a circle. It was an overcast day but the rhythm and music and the sheer enthusiasm of those there to just have a good time was impressive and seemed to link us all momentarily. The MC said that Dawali was about recognising the past and looking forward to the good things of the future. There was nothing liturgical or sectarian and the dancers just embraced the moment. We seemed to be joined by our common humanity. Enjoying music and dance became a common bond.

Sadly on the radio was news of the Catholics in Iraq being killed in their own church.

When in the 17th Century the Portuguese came into contact with the Hindu Indians on the coast, as they opened up trade routes, they thought the Indians had already been converted to Christianity. They thought their gentleness was a result of Christian belief.

Though Hinduism with its very different symbols, an elephant headed god, may seem remote to us our own scripture says there is a time to weep and a time to laugh and a time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastese 3.4