Quite a week - a significant anniversary, today, a 'name day' and I'm preaching at a friend's Silver Jubilee mass in the midlands on the weekend before coming back to a harvest supper and a Sunday of harvest thanksgiving masses - the joys of rural folk religion! The exceptionally warm weather will help - autumn is making amends for the British summer which, once again this year, went missing and never returned.
Still, a few even small reasons for celebration are always welcome in the midst of what feels very much at the moment like the encircling gloom. It's a consolation sometimes to reflect that Christian hope is not the same thing as facile optimism, and that God's timing, like the weather's, isn't always what we feel it ought to be.
'Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle...'