Still reading in between going to Mass, singing a bit, eating and chatting and a trip to see, 'War Horse.' A hard weekend indeed.
Went out for lunch with my parents, one brother and sister-in-law and her parents. The pub had had quite a few cancellations which I think was quite good for us. Good lunch and then we adjorned to the bar to see Wales beat Ireland, which cheered my Dad, who has had a bit of a week. Actually, he's always cheery and not known at all for moaning on, but he looked a lot more cheery after Wales snatched victory right at the end and he got to see it in a pub. Due to our dual heritage, for that match I can go either way. My Mum asked my brother which team he was supporting. He looked a bit non-plussed in his red rubgy shirt.
Other brother spent two hours digging his car out of his estate to get to work....
Anyway, the book.
Really it's a wonder that there are any priests at all.
My years of feeling very out of place, having opposite reactions to everyone else and periodically getting very angry are a mere trifle compared to what some of the young men in the book have been through.
What I have witnessed is just the tip of the iceberg.
We lay people are a bit slow on the uptake. When I was a student the Anglican Chaplain at another college enthusiastically expounded on Liberation Theology and said he thought that the Catholic Church would ordain woman in the next 10 years. I remember thinking that wasn't going to happen ever. I graduated 20 years ago next summer.
I went on a Cathsoc Retreat to Lindisfarne and when we met at the station, I wondered who the scruffy old bloke was. There weren't any mature students in the Catholic Society and there were hardly any mature undergraduates at all at all in the university. (Yes yes mature undergraduate, contradiction in terms etc.) He turned out to be the priest. The Mass is too awful to describe. Let's just say he wore someone's scarf as a stole, which given that Durham is a collegiate university was not a very unifying thing to do. I thought it was stupid. I think now that I was so used to never feeling remotely engaged in anything Catholic that I accepted that it was me. I kept trying, but I was rubbish at being a Catholic. Pity that carried on for another 20 years. It wasn't all bad. There were some good bits and to be fair, a number of missed opportunities on my part, but by and large, it was rubbish. But then, I could have done what most other people did and stopped going to Mass.