Friday, 27 July 2012

More than Gold

A helpful God-incidence:

Verses 9b-10a of Psalm 19, as appointed by the Lectionary to be said at Morning Prayer today

The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether

More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold

More than Gold - Perhaps that's all that needs to be said about the Olympic Games. It has been very easy to be cynical about the Corporate nature of the build up - this is not really about Sport, but about the Sponsors. The somewhat joyless fun fascists have already been out; apparently, it is my patriotic duty to enjoy these Games, and I think we could have done without the ridiculous, macho posturing we have seen this week from our Prime Minister and the Mayor of London (a Province in the South of our nation, I believe). Reports from priests and Parishes in East London make it clear that the so called Legacy has already failed; there has been and will be little benefit for those who live and work in the Area, and even routine journeys have become almost impossible, for communities who are now just gritting their teeth and waiting for it all to finish.

Nevertheless, as the Sport finally begins, I hope it delivers in terms of expectation and enjoyment for both participants and spectators. The genuine warmth and interest shown as the Torch Relay progressed through Yorkshire, for instance, hints that enough of us are prepared to ignore the nonsense, and do something at least to make this the People's Games. So, with prayers for the safety and well-being of all involved, I will permit myself one genuine grumble:

What on earth is this 'Team GB' business? Why have we excluded one of the four Nations that make up our Country? Does no-one from the organisers realise that the name of this Country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

Prayers for the Games

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Holy Annie, God's Granny, Pray for Us!

The Commemoration of Sts Anne and Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandparents of Our Lord.

A Fraternal greeting to the good folk of my former Parish of St Anne, Southowram, and having spent a delightful day yesterday in the company of our granddaughter, a prayer for all grandparents, including those, who for reasons of family difficulty, distance or circumstance, are unable to see their grandchildren regularly.

O Anne, most blessed in God, grandmother of Christ our Lord, who didst give to the world a shining lamp, the mother of God; together with her intercede that great may be the mercy granted to us.

This has been my first post for a while, for two very good reasons, firstly, a sense of being a little overwhelmed on return to work after a period of Sabbatical leave, secondly, due to an unplanned stay in Hospital leading to the removal of my Appendix, and a period of recovery that is taking far longer than I had hoped it would. There have been some good days, and some not so good, but I am incredibly grateful for so many expressions of support, so many cards and offers of practical help, and most significantly of all, for prayers offered.

It has been, as all the best reality show contestants claim, a journey - in that I have learnt a lot of stuff about myself, some of which is quite uncomfortable. Leaving aside the odd bout of flu and the occasional migraines, this has been my first ever bout of serious illness, and my first Hospital admission apart from a couple of day surgery procedures over the years. As a Healthcare Chaplain, I have been particularly struck by how it feels to be on the receiving end, especially that so much waiting around has been hard. I'm also aware how some of the spiritual strategies and resources I have sometimes offerred to those in need just don't seem to have touched the sides for me. I hope I can receive this as a prompt to humility, and I am certainly grtaeful that my enforced inactivity has given me the chance to catch up on some reading.

Good St. Anne, mother of her Who is our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope, pray to her for us, and obtain our request. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A Thought for Myself

Marking 23 years as a Priest, and 24 years as a Deacon in the Church of God....