Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: birmingham, Holy Week, photography, photos, poetry, roy fisher
a day for Roy Fisher’s poetry today
“In this city the governing authority is limited and mean: so limited
that it can do no more than preserve a superficial order. It supplies
fuel, water and power. It removes a fair proportion of the refuse,
cleans the streets after a fashion, and discourages fighting. With
these things, and a few more of the same sort, it is content. This
could never be a capital city for all its size. There is no mind in it, no
regard. The sensitive, the tasteful, the fashionable, the intolerant
and powerful, have not moved through it as they have moved
through London, evaluating it, altering it deliberately, setting in
motion wars of feeling about it. Most of it has never been seen.”
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Holy Week, photography, photos, poetry, seamus heaney
this morning they were queuing up to get into St Bede’s for Mass
In amongst all the pain and joy of Holy Week I am reflecting on the union and unity of it all.
Reading Seamus Heaney
So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a farther shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.
Suspect too much sweet talk
But never close your mind.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Geoffrey Hill, Holy Week, photography, photos, poetry
this evening reading Geoffrey Hill:
So, the fifth day, I turned again
To flesh and blood and the blood’s pain.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: carthusian spirituality, carthusians, estate churches, estate ministry, Holy Week, urban ministry
“Montalgre: eleven monks. Only eight, if the sick aren’t counted. I was Procurator for seventeen years and have been Prior for two.
For a long time there has been talk of closing Montalgre. There are no vocations.
This has created discouragement, anxiety and a certain guilt. It is like a sword of Damocles.
We must try to get beyond this situation and give it some meaning. In the Gospel I have found light. I do not recall any place where Jesus assures us prosperity and success in this life. Rather the reverse: the strait gate, the narrow way, contempt, the Cross. The Gospel asks us to follow Jesus in his poverty.
So I thought about the poverty of our numbers and quality also, the lack of resources and our uncertain future. And I discovered that our situation was almost ideal for living the Gospel, not in theory or asceticism, but quite simply in living from day to day. Thus I came to confidence in God, but a confidence that for the most part is blind, without any light or sensible consolation, but accompanied by sorrow.
The words of Jesus have come alive for me: ‘The Father cares for you.’ ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and the rest will be added unto you.’ ‘Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.’ Above all the passage where the apostles’ boat is foundering in the storm. A real tempest not an imaginary one. Jesus is asleep. And when he wakes he reproaches the apostles for their lack of faith. Thus we have to have confidence and above all when everything apparent says we shouldn’t. This is the paradox of the Gospel.
In reality, I am myself of this mind, disposed towards an absolute trust, almost to the point of absurdity, perhaps the absurdity of the Cross.
But can I lead the community in this direction? Perhaps I am trying to justify the situation, or ease my mind, or delude myself. Anything is possible. But, even so, I will have confidence in God and I believe this is right. God deserves this blind trust, and, I repeat, it is almost always sorrowful.
Perhaps the danger for the poor communities is a deeper impoverishment at the level of aspiration (a little like the underdeveloped countries): a certain conformity or resignation in the face of reality; a regret for the past; obsession with vocations.
But we learn to simplify the life, better to seek what is essential: God and our neighbour; to prize fraternal charity more than rules or norms. And finally, whatever happens, to accept the will of God. Fiat!”
From The Wound of Love, A Carthusian Miscellany
I will be living out of this during Holy Week and Easter – and I expect beyond.
Prayers for your journey in the coming week.