Monday, 12 September 2011

Stormy Weather?

We're back from August in the Vendée to storms here in Britain - in more ways than one.
We had no sooner arrived at the Vicarage after a delayed channel crossing than we heard the news that Kate's mother, in great pain, had been taken into hospital in West Wales where, an emergency operation later, she still remains in a critical condtion. Your prayers for Marian would be very much appreciated.

As a result it was impossible to get to any of the events in South Wales over the weekend, the Credo Cymru Festival of Faith in Cardiff or, just down the motorway in Newport, the installation at St Woolos Cathedral of the new Dean of Monmouth, Fr Jeremy Winston SSC, to whom this blog sends its warmest congratulations and prayers. Is it my imagination or does the diocese seem a friendlier place?
I still think he would have made an excellent Provincial Assistant Bishop, but........

Other storms? Well, we seem to experiencing this morning the edge of the tail of Hurricane Katia - strong winds out of a clear blue sky. And something - both parochial and perhaps of a wider theological significance - which I hope I won't have to share with you (and just keep it for the memoirs, perhaps!)

Anyway here are some photos of the Vendee, beginning with one of our garden's resident snake basking in the afternoon sunshine (there is always a snake, even in Eden,) a couleuvre verte et jaune, the western whip snake - of impressive size but, in case you were wondering, definitely non-venomous.

The grenadier has not only survived but is in flower....

Not far away in the Mervent Forest , there are signs of a definite revival at the Grotte du Pere de Monfort, the local shrine associated with St Louis Grignion de Monfort (see previous posts). There is a new statue in the cave itself, candles to light, information leaflets and the somewhat neglected pilgrimage chapel, almost on the shore of the lake, is now open on Sundays for afternoon prayer avec Jesu et Marie.

It's definitely autumn in Britain -  I will miss the wide open skies and the quality of the light - à bientôt!

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