Thursday, 17 December 2009

Meditations on a Brussels Sprout.

Christmas is a-coming! Wet snow is falling (and even lying) and yes, I caught myself tra-la-laaing "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" at the sink after breakfast (and wondering if it was the Spanish Inquisition's favourite Christmas ditty?). Tonight is the Emmaus House "feed the Benedictine groupies" night and turkey and stuff are on the menu. Due to one of the gang of 3 being yukky with some foul lurgie gained whilst visiting the sick in hospital, I am senior veg peeler and shopper for the day and found myself peeling a pile of fiddly little green things (sprouts) just after 9am.

Look at a Brussels sprout sometime: it's wonderfully intricate, even if you don't understand all the marvellous biological workings and stuff about chlorophyll (I am no scientist). Why biblical literalists want to believe that God made the world in 6 days rather than through the wonderful mechanism of evolution I have not a clue. Surely God is more honoured by acknowledging the process of divine creativity than simply having the Almighty plonk down the Creation in a "Here's one I made earlier" fashion?

I also thought about the nature of the Community in which I am living: "inspired by the rule of St Benedict" is the official line. But actually in practice, it's rather more of the "Arminian nunnery" of Little Gidding and Nicholas Ferrar. Thoroughly Anglican in it's Office but without the clutter of habits et al. Actually thoroughly domesticated, in that homely way that is the hallmark of classical Anglican Prayer Book spirituality. It's far from incompatible with a Benedictine inspiration: read Martin Thornton's "English Spirituality" and see what I mean.

Now back to inspect the plum puddings! How Dickensian!


  1. Does that leave "sticky backed plastic" as the work of Lucifer chained?

    Just to note that the Brussels Sprouts for my Christmas dinner have probably just got to the boil ... 'Tis the in-laws hosting again :(

  2. Oh God, mushy overcooked sprouts are definitely the work of Mrs Beelzebub!

    Sticky backed plastic is, of course, man-made, therefore morally neutral save for the effects of original Sin!

  3. "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" as a favorite of the Spanish Inquistion! Haha! Thanks for that laugh this morning!