Being the saddo that I am, I check sitemeter now and then and see that I have a link from The Catholic Herald to the previous shockingly trivial, vague and generally vacuous post.
So I though that I'd better try and be a little more cogent, even in my enfeebled state.
Here goes. Over the past three days I have got up earlier and gone to Westminster Cathedral and thence to work. Why? Well lots of reasons. The er obvious one, St Therese of Lisieux of course, on whom I am by no means an expert, but she is a Saint and Doctor of the Church and that is enough for me. And for the reason lots of people love her that is that she didn't do anything externally very amazing in her short life, though joining the Carmelites at such a young age impresses me no end, but she lived a hidden life that was extraordinary. My reading extends little beyond the CTS Pamphlet, but that says all you need to know.
Another reason is that I like good old fashioned piety. I like Cathedrals full of people praying their own prayers and doing their own thing. I like lots of people lighting candles. I like the Altar covered in roses. I like the fact that woman and men who are written off by the world are held up as examples by the Church. I like the fact that we can all have our private intentions which we may never share with another soul, but yet all be united together in the Church. I like the family in front of me at Mass with their children in pyjamas. I like the slightly wacky lady next to me (who was probably thinking, 'I like that slightly wacky lady next to me.'). I like the Irish Nuns behind me, the people in posh suits and everyone else. There were oo lots of people at the 7am Mass this am. I don't know how many people half the nave holds, but it was pretty full. I want to be with other people who hold the same beliefs as me and are trying to live according to the same way of life. I don't care where they come from, what they look like or anything else about them as long as we share that.
I don't want to 'share' my intentions out loud with other people! Mind your own business! I hate meetings. I hate Committees. I don't want to discuss the teachings of the Church. I can listen to my PP or read the Catechism thanks. I don't want to change the Church. I want the Church to change me. I go to Church to say my prayers. I go to meetings at work.
So, emboldened by my visit to St T of L, I put my votive candle on the counter at Pret a Manger (impressive witness eh?) as I paid for today's brekkie and had a chat with the lady serving about when the relics were going and how big the queue was. I hope she got there later in a break. How often is visiting a Cathedral to venerate the relics of a Saint a perfectly normal piece of conversation when you pay for something in a shop in England?
If anyone reads this who has any power to do anything, please stop wasting time discussing stuff in meetings and just lay on lots of Masses and devotions. Don't ask people to 'share' anything. Don't have any liturgical chit chat, banal music, or novelty of any sort. Give us the real deal.
As Fr Z says - Say the Black and do the Red, then we can all get on with our prayers.
In fact just dust down your 1962 Missal and do what it says in there.
Then there might be more need to have 100 000 votive candles to hand in our Cathedrals and Churches.
PS Thank you to the organisers of the Tour and all the people who worked in whatever way.
I say JOB WELL DONE!
I'm looking forward to a lie in tomorrow - get up at 6 - but it's been a very good week.