Feast of the Venerable Bede

We were at the Leavers’ Mass at Stonyhurst. The sermon was remarkable but we were asked to remember just three things: have gratitude for what you’ve got, have imagination, retain hope. This seems not bad advice.

Later I was lying in bed. Every time I thought about politics, I felt depressed. Every time I concentrated on some religious theme I felt content. And later still, in the bright Sunday sunshine of a terrace, I started reading a Sunday newspaper, feeling angry as it was designed to do.

I started reading on my blackberry something about St Philip Neri. It was his feast day 26 May. He is one of my favourite saints because of his sense of fun. He refused to take things too seriously. He told one of the more pompous people who came to him for confession “As your penance, carry a cat around Rome.”

We do take ourselves too seriously.