Monday: A long drive down. Was there time to go to Mass? No, I had to vote. But I missed the vote anyway. Always go to Mass first – it’s more important.
But on Tuesday I was so involved in my own thoughts that I couldn’t remember at all what was in the readings. I wanted desperately to go into the sacristy after Mass and peer at the book but the little gate was locked and I didn’t dare. How often are we deterred from seeking the truth by a little locked gate about one foot high.
Anyway, when the verger came to extinguish the candles and take away the book, he pushed the gate open with his foot. It was unlocked!
On Wednesday I was on the boat so I only had sky and sea for a church, which is as good.
I decided to go to confession on Thursday and the priest gave me some useful advice: “Remember, one morning you won’t wake up.” Indeed, I had felt a bit ill that day.
Open the day every day with a prayer: What can I do for you, God? How can I dedicate my day more to you? How can I think more of others and then close the day with a little review of how much you have achieved.
I had told him of my experience of the Sunday before. So certain when I was reading of the Resurrection experience of the Apostles; that they could not have lied, or been misguided, they must have been feeling the truth. Then beset with doubts, confounded with the enormity of the universe, I was tired by the time I arrived at the monastery on Friday.
I couldn’t find my place at Vespers; the Compline book had gone missing. It was only when the darkening abbey church was completely empty that sitting in front of the Crucifix and peering down, the stones seemed to merge into a greyness, that reality in the form of the stones was merging with unreality in the shape of the Crucifixion, where they were all one reality and there forever.
By Saturday I was like the crowd at Antioch in the reading. I could not accept that we, I, are worthy, capable of eternal life but we can only take refuge in what Jesus tells Philip today: Ask of Christ and he will grant you what you want. What do I want? To believe.