Thursday, 31 January 2013

Mothering Thursday

 File:Firmin Baes - Doux rêves.jpg
Yes, a little early one might think, but it was the congruence of a trip to the Mother in Law (depositing the Christmas hamper as a pre Lent treat!) and my mum's whatever the heck it is birthday (74 not out) that prompted this.  Between visits that required an appallingly early rise for a day off and phone calls, it was a wee bit of gallop!  Still, both of the mater's seem happy and that's always good
Mothers make us.  Both biologically and emotionally, they from us into the people we are.  Sometimes that's good, at other times it's less so.  Just look at the difference between Jesus and Oedipus!  However, as I get older I see more of my parents in me.  Partly it's physical look, more subtly it's psychological out look on life.  I'm as grumpy as my Dad - but equally I realise I also seem to have something of his resilience in the face of adversity.  So it is with a sense of gratitude that I recognise the importance of parental influence in my life - and thank God I'm not a parent, as I'd muck up the poor brats dreadfully!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

A holiday Sunday


It was time for some leisure after all the shifting of house malarkey of the last 2 weeks.  After a perfectly enjoyable service (Phillip the organist's last) with the wonderful Howells Collegium Regale as a Mass setting, it was off to the pictures to see "Quartet".  OK, the Filmhouse was awash with the middle-aged (ourselves included) but it was a good film about aged musicians in a Home for the crumbling artiste.  No one delivers a waspish put down like Dame Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly nicks scenes like billy-o as a randy old tenor, Pauline Collins is sweet and touching as an old dear in the early stages of going ga-ga - and I completely forgotten how good Tom Courtney was as an actor.  Plus Jim from the Dibley PCC turns up and sings!  Worth an afternoon out of the cold.
Then home to cook a nice beef stroganoff and find the heating's on the blink.  Life resumes on Tuesday with a return to work.  Poo!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Unity and Harmony

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Unity at Taize.

Here's a thought for the modern age from the pre-modern age:

From a Discourse Against the Pagans by Saint Athanasius.
The Word creates a divine harmony in creation.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made. In these words John the theologian teaches that nothing exists or remains in being except in and through the Word.
Think of a musician tuning his lyre. By his skill he adjusts high notes to low and intermediate notes to the rest, and produces a series of harmonies. So too the wisdom of God holds the world like a lyre and joins things in the air to those on earth, and things in heaven to those in the air, and brings each part into harmony with the whole. By his decree and will he regulates them all to produce the beauty and harmony of a single, well-ordered universe. While remaining unchanged with his Father, he moves all creation by his unchanging nature, according to the Father’s will. To everything he gives existence and life in accordance with its nature, and so creates a wonderful and truly divine harmony.
To illustrate this profound mystery, let us take the example of a choir of many singers. A choir is composed of a variety of men, women and children, of both old and young. Under the direction of one conductor, each sings in the way that is natural for him: men with men’s voices, boys with boys’ voices, old people with old voices, young people with young voices. Yet all of them produce a single harmony. Or consider the example of our soul. It moves our senses according to their several functions so that in the presence of a single object they all act simultaneously: the eye sees, the ear hears, the hand touches, the nose smells, the tongue tastes, and often the other parts of the body act as well as, for example, the feet may walk.
Although this is only a poor comparison, it gives some idea of how the whole universe is governed. The Word of God has but to give a gesture of command and everything falls into place; each creature performs its own proper function, and all together constitute one single harmonious order."
The sense of divine harmony - the choir of creation - strikes me as being far from incompatible with modern science.  From what little I understand of quantum physics, it seems perfectly reasonable to synthesise the two.  Richard Dawkins might see it as unnecessary, but frankly that doesn't bother me.
Harmony is what lies at the heart of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which we are in at the moment.  The harmony of different insights and emphases that makes the true and full unity of the Body of Christ.  May that harmony be our aim and goal this week.  Not just for this week, but for the ongoing life of the Church.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Moving on up!

Well, up to the Forth at any rate.  Today we got the keys for a flat we've bought in South Queensferry which will be much handier for work etc.  So the next few weeks (on annual leave from Tuesday) will be busy shifting, painting and generally being domesticated! (Yikes!).

I must say that I've always liked South Queensferry as both pretty and historic with it's links to St Margaret, the pilgrim route to St Andrews and its views of Fife.  The local Pisky Church is a 15th century Carmelite Priory which is rather wasted on the Evangelical congregation - projectors and screens in a medieval gem isn't much to my taste - so we will retain our links to St Michael's in Tollcross.

Anyway, with the move afoot, much blogging seems unlikely in the near future. I might get some more regular blogging done afterwards.  Meanwhile pray us a s we cope with the great flit!