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Showing posts from June, 2020

COME BACK TO ME

STAY WITH PETER

Stay with Peter , you said Peter in chains Peter imprisoned Between two soldiers Peter sleeping Like Jesus in the boat Jesus in the tempest Quiet, calm, trustful Peter, rock solid Eyes fixed on the Lord Looking toward Him Radiant in the seeing Stay with Peter , you said Peter in his deliverance Gospel unchained The full length of the street Stay with Peter , you say Peter in our time Imprisoned Trustful Delivered Radiant

I HEAR VOICES, I SEE FACES

I no longer hear accents. Only voices. I do not see colour. Only faces. The latter happened to me in Tanzania where I was initially very conscious of my own whiteness. There were so few of us in a black country. Tiny toddlers ran screaming at the sight of me, a little older they sought to insult me by calling out “Mzungu” and when they got used to me, they would take hold of my arm, rubbing it to see if the colour came off. Then when I eased down into the pool of our common life and blended, we were simply people making good with what life presented to us.   One of my favourite singers of the early 1970’s was Madeleine Bell of ‘Blue Mink’ who had a hit called “Melting Pot” , a possibly naïve thought and hope but one that resonated with fifteen-year-old me and still sings itself in me from time to time. What we need is a great big melting pot, big enough to take the world and all it’s got! The blending of every colour. Not hearing accents has happened here in England. So mu

LIFE MATTERS: Thoughts on Fathers Day

The day plays with me. Teasing, messing with me! As soon as I sit down to eat my dinner the doorbell rings. When I make a mug of tea the phone rings. Toast goes cold and ice-cream melts in the tub. I go out the back to sit in the warmth of the sun that has been shining all morning and immediately it ducks in behind the clouds!  I remain in the sacrament of the present moment. God and all of life in the moment, the present reality. When you stop to take notice, the noise is astonishing - the amount of noise going on every single minute, noise that we usually move in, that we are part of – until we step back from it. All the cars driving up and down, an unbelievable number of motorbikes that render all other sounds mute. In the briefest gap in the traffic someone’s hammer echoes, a rasping drill, the cry of a single seagull on the church roof, the chorus of a hundred more bouncing off the houses, the flapping of pigeon wings. Hidden beneath and emerging now and

Corpus Christi Homily 2020; First times and last...

INTOXICATING ORDINATION: Pondering Priesthood 40 Years On - Eamonn Monson SAC

“Each morning we must hold out the chalice of our being to receive, to carry, and give back. It must be held out empty – for the past must only be reflected in its polish, its shape, its capacity.” (Dag Hammarskjöld) Ordination was intoxicating. It put a pep in my step, a smile on my face, tears in my eyes. All my life I was getting ready for it, having wanted to be a priest from my earliest memory, but when it came how ill prepared I was, how distracted. It’s a bit like accompanying the dying – you think you’re ready for death when it comes but it always manages to catch us off guard. Ordination caught me off guard, overwhelmed me, knocked me off my feet. And why wouldn’t it because it’s not just a major event, it is as close an encounter with God as you can get. Close encounters with God are overwhelming, sometimes devastating. It takes time to regain your balance. Elizabeth and Hyacinth come to mind from the comedy series 'Keeping Up Appearances' - Elizabeth nervo

40th Anniversary of Ordination - Father Eamonn Monson SAC

Mass of the Most Holy Trinity June 07, 2020

THE PACT (Job in Isolation)

I make a pact With my eyes, a pact With my mind Not to lead my heart astray Lingering where the soul Does not belong I make a pact With my senses And break it My body ravenous For companionship The touch of another These isolation days And weeks now turned To months I am at peace I am at war With myself

WHITE DOVE RISES: A new Intensity and Intimacy

A white dove rises, fluttering in the air as I emerge from the Crematorium. Brilliant white, radiant against the blue of sky. Sign of peace, symbol of the Holy Spirit which is appropriate in the days leading up to Pentecost. I’ve slowed down to an extraordinary degree, like my brain is in slow motion, taking longer to complete what needs to be done in the time allotted. We’re given exactly half an hour for each funeral service and on Tuesday when I floated on for 50 minutes, the supervisor was understandably frustrated and sharp with me. In my defence, Tuesday was intense – I had three funerals in the space of two and a half hours and it’s quite difficult to switch from one group to another, to give them the attention they deserve, to leave one grief behind and enter into another in such a short space of time. Five funerals in a week feels like a lot, three in one day is something else. But it has to be done. Done with grace and honour for the deceased and the family. The s