Thursday, 27 May 2010

Communing with...

well, that would be God - in my own way. I ended up having A Mobile Quiet Day! Having started the day with Morning Prayer in our nice garden shed with the San Damiano crucifix (aka the Holy Hut of Tollcross) before doing some bits and pieces in the house, I proceeded to Costa Coffee for a breakfast roll and a cappuccino and a snoop at the paper. Rather worryingly, I found myself in agreement with John "Vulcan" Redwood on the Euro zone crisis!! Then I headed off in the general direction of the University, but cut up to the Sacred Heart Lauriston - a gloriously baroque Jesuit interior - to spent a bit of time praying. The prayer that came into my mind unprompted was one of Ignatius of Loyola:

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I possess You have given me:
I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.

Then it was up to George Square to the Labyrinth opposite the University Library, which walked in the sunshine, is a joy. I love the way you close in on the centre and then swing away: it is such a powerful paradigm of our relationship with God. What stuck me today was the decoration in the centre; trefoils little Trinity symbols, reminding me that my journey was to be at one with and find my rest in the Triune God.

On then to Old St Paul's in search of a lunchtime Mass. There wasn't one (8am today) so instead I snuck into the Lady Chapel, lit a candle and plonked down in front of the Blessed Sacrament to reflect on Ps 100.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

2 things struck me: Know that the Lord he is God - and not a figment of my fevered imagination. And that his truth - the reality of the Divine - will endure for as long as the human race is drawn to worship and honour. The Church as we see and have known it may fade and die but God will not. My final Holy stop was St Patrick's in the Cowgate. Leaving aside my arrival at the tail end of a Mass, the fact the Marian hymn was syrupy Victorian bilge, sung inaudibly and at a pitch only bats and nuns can register and the dreadful glittery material at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (Redemptorist Church - the Jesuits had a discreet and tasteul crown of flowers on the Immaculate Conceptions' napper in Sacred Heart!), I was able to pray a bit again. My little expedition ended with a run up to the Museum in Chambers Street to behold the Lewis Chessmen on display, then a mezze lunch and trip to the cinema to see "Bad Lieutenant" with Nicholas Cage - very good, I loved the iguanas!

Our weekly Benedictine study was a bit less satisfactory - simply because it was crowded and noisy and my little brain went very Aspie and stressed out. Who knows what riches tomorrow holds? Because today was very rewarding indeed.


  1. Costa Coffee? It sounds like a great place. Since my last name is Costa, I may be prejudiced.

  2. That's a harmless prejudice! The Italian version of Starbucks!

  3. Coffee Republic also does rather nice coffee, but sadly the East Kilbride branch has now closed, which is a great pity.

    I'm not so keen on Starbuck's stuff, as I always felt it was a bit wishy-washy.

    Is St Patrick's in the Cowgate where Margaret Sinclair is buried? If so I've been in there once. I may also have been in Sacred Heart, Lauriston; is that vaguely in the Tollcross direction not far from Spikey Mikes?

    I don't like the look of modern Jesuit spirituality from what I've seen of it online; they are still very fond of guitars, cheesy 1970s choruses and mass celebrated in jeans and sweaters!!!!

    OSP is still a lovely place to light a candle and pray.

    regards ALAN

  4. Yes the CR in Falkirk was good but closed: the chain must have folded. You are spot on about St Pat's and SH. And OSP.