SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
I am reading about the American philosopher Charles Peirce (1839-1914) who invented “pragmatism”. I like to think that my contribution probably not original is assumism.
I am reading Leslie Levine, “I think therefore I am.”
I believe that all these proofs or disproofs of the existence of God are really just a play on words and are bunk. True it is hard to imagine how the ordered material world could create itself out of nothing. But it is even harder to imagine a sungle God-like intelligence making the million million life forms of the earth let alone the billions of stars and other planets, so one is left with assumism.
Religion makes me feel joyful, that is a fact. Everything else is assumed. It is a triumph of faith over reason except that I don’t even have certain faith. Other people have it: they believe. I search – perhaps the searching like the travelling is as joyful as the arriving.
And of course in this life we shall never arrive. I sadly will probably still be searching on my death bed.
“Near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit.” (Ps 22)
Today I am 65, an OAP without as yet a state pension. A strange feeling. In the past virtually everyone at this age would be dead or sitting in a corner of the hut in extreme decrepitude, and in the next few weeks I intend to walk the Haute Route between Zermatt and Chamonix.
Today I ask about the point of bombing Syria. It occurs to me later that instead of the phrase “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” we say in regard to ISIL and Assad “my enemy’s enemy is my enemy”. Little changes.
Today’s reading is from Exodus 11:5 – “When Pharaoh, King of Egypt, was told that the Israelites had made their escape, he and their courtiers changed their minds…”
The last day of Parliament. I speak on the Finance Bill asking whether the Government has decided that a two-child policy is the norm, and then drinks in the garden of Downing Street. I don’t get to speak to the PM. I am immensely heartened by how well Jeremy Corbyn is doing in the Labour leadership. Perhaps there still is a place for principle in politics.
Exodus 15: “I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph.”
Another memory of the Easter Vigil and the glorious singing of this triumphal hymn.
WEDNESDAY – St Mary Magdalene
Mass at 10:00 am is in the restored chapel of St Mary in the Oratory, bright with its new colours. After, I talk to Pete about my parents meeting at Bletchley Park. I spent the weekend reading Martin Sinclair’s history of it. What a story of the devising of random chance numbers, making sense out of chaos.
A memory today of the glorious readings, all too few, of the first weeks of Easter and encounters with the risen Jesus:
“It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb.” (John 20:1-2)
I go for a sail in the Solent in my little boat and by chance encounter the great hydrofoiling yachts of the Americas Cup. At first I have no idea what is going on – I am only irritated that I have to bypass the course and sail into the wind. Then the sight of these huge creatures of the wind, sailing faster than the wind at 30 or 40 miles per hour, is amazing.
Poor Naomi cannot do more than six knots.
“Look towards him and be radiant, let your faces not be abashed.”
I came into Mass late as the parable of the Sower was being read:
“When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding, the Evil One comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path.” (Matthew 13)
I walked along the edge of the Wolds with great views stretching away thirty miles and rested in Tealby Church and read Psalm 46:
“Our lord is refuge and our strength, our help in present need.”
With a welcome drink of water from the tap outside the church, I walked home after looking at the vault of George Tennyson d’Eyncourt, MP for thirty-five years. I am still three years behind.