Saturday, 3 August 2013

P.S. Don't miss this

If you need cheering up, this should do the trick - Eccles & Bosco's Liturgy for G. K. Chesterton
A short excerpt:
Priest: It isn't that they can't see the solution... 
People: It is that they can't see the problem.
Priest: If a thing is worth doing... 
People: It is worth doing badly.
Priest: A dead thing can go with the stream...
People: But only a living thing can go against it.

Now I'll go away happy ...

"For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.."

Neatly coinciding with the current thundery breakdown in the hot and sunny weather, comes our annual vacation. Of course, it's off to the Vendée for a few weeks'.... not rest, exactly .... but regrouping and recharging - physically, emotionally and spiritually. 
This year will be different, of course, with the walking pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela coming up during September, but it's always possible to tell when one is in need of a break: one's patience becomes shorter, and irritability too often triumphs over charity or a sense of humour...

As for the state of the Church.....? 
It will be good to take a break from the intractability both of our theological, political and personal divisions, which seem to be ever widening, and perhaps, even more so, from the sheer attrition of trying to proclaim good news afresh to an over-stimulated and increasingly excitable world, but nevertheless a world which seems (unsurprisingly, perhaps) to have grown cynical and suspicious of the medium by which that good news is conveyed. 
It will also be good to escape, even for a little while, the febrile ecclesiastical atmosphere which seems obsessed with the latest 'liturgical' gimmick or hastily constructed organisational panacea with which 'they' hope to address the problems of numerical, spiritual and intellectual decline.
More and more in this context I find myself agreeing with T.S. Eliot that  "the rest is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action."  The only tried and tested way to be faithful (as I was reminded again this morning in an article in August's New Directions) is to strive to practice the 'science of the Saints.'

But the last word before the blog goes quiet for the summer has to go to Eliot again:
"....There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business..."

Back (briefly) at the end of the month - enjoy the summer!

Sa nuit d'été, a setting of Rilke from Nocturnes by Morten Lauridsen

Friday, 2 August 2013

New Bishop of Ebbsfleet appointed

No, not the 1st April post again; this time - at long last, after an interminable and potentially damaging delay - it's for real:

From Forward in Faith [here
Forward in Faith welcomes new Bishop of Ebbsfleet 
Forward in Faith welcomes the appointment of Canon Jonathan Goodall SSC as Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

In addition to his gifts as a priest and pastor, Fr Jonathan brings with him significant diocesan and national experience. As a former bishop’s chaplain, as a staff member at Lambeth Palace, and as a key participant in ecumenical relationships and dialogue nationally and internationally, he is well equipped for his new role as bishop, counsellor, spokesman and advocate. His expertise will complement that of the other Provincial Episcopal Visitors, the Bishop of Fulham, and the other bishops of the Society, with whom he will work closely.

We wish to express our gratitude to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In making this appointment, he has given a clear signal about the continuance of appropriate episcopal care for our parishes and people.

We look forward to welcoming Fr Jonathan to membership of Forward in Faith and of its Council and National Assembly.

The official announcement from 10, Downing Street is here 

The See of Ebbsfleet website has this message (scroll down) to the Ebbsfleet parishes and clergy from their new  bishop designate