SUNDAY – Christ the King
A usual quiet day in Lincolnshire. Mass, a ‘run around the block’, that is three miles keep turning left up the narrow country lanes and bridle ways up out of the deep valley and down again, Sunday lunch, invariably now just Mary and me. A sleep in front of the fire and then at 7 the long three and a half hour drive back.
Here we have Daniel, a likeable chap who calms lions and the book of the Apocalypse foretelling the end of the world. When I read the words of the Gospel for today, I think of the Passion being intoned quietly at that amazing Mass at Downside on Good Friday: “So you are a king then?” “Yes I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth.”
The quiet, weary voice of the monk is very moving.
I ask a question of the Defence Secretary – is it wise to just wound a wild beast, without the ability to kill it?
TUESDAY – St Andrew Dung Lac & Companions
Daniel’s vision of the statue shows how all power breaks in the end – “Its feet part iron, part earthenware.”
At our one-to-one prayer group after Mass at the Oratory, I am reminded that “politics is not fundamental.” We decide whether to build two or three runways at Heathrow yet the fundamentals remain the same. Also the Church cannot change fundamentally. It bases itself on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which was written two thousand years ago, once and for all, and is never going to change.
Once again in the crypt chapel we sing the Taize chant: “Bless the Lord my soul, and bless his holy name. Bless the Lord my soul, who leads me into life.”
A two-and-a-half-hour statement from the Prime Minister on Syria. I ask if there are any credible ground troops to finish the job – not a rag bag army.
Later at Mass we read of Daniel being thrown into the lions’ den. I always wonder if on the side the lions were not given a hearty meal by the king but when Daniel’s accuser is thrown in their bones are ground to dust so perhaps they were hungry.
A long drive up to Lincs but first Mass in the Holy Souls chapel – a beautiful exuberant memorial of death in mosaic, and the reading one of new life: the budding vine, the first sign of spring.
The shooters are up early. A black Labrador shifting through our garden, sounds of shots penetrating the thick Norman walls of our village church as I read Psalm 72: God grant the King wisdom.