I go to the 150th Anniversary Mass of the Catholic Church in Gainsborough. A lovely occasion. They have done a history of the parish. Such quiet dedication over so many years: often with a very small parish.
“The just will live in the presence of the Lord”.
MONDAY 18th July
We go to a magnificent funeral Mass for Anthea Craigmyle.
Later I have a DCLG question in the House. I manage to get opposition to the Mayor of Lincolnshire into it and I speak French in the Chamber following Nice: “Nous sommes avec vous maintenant et pour toujours”. The new Home Secretary does not reply in kind.
Show favour O Lord to your servants and increase the gifts of your grace.
TUESDAY 19th July
It is the hottest day of the year. A broiling 30’C. I cool off in the lido and at the Chelsea Physic Garden.
The Cathedral in the evening is a tiny bit cooler. The difficult Gospel from Matthew 12:46
“Jesus replied: who is my Mother, who are my brothers?”
I am left alone in the Downing Street garden with Theresa May as everyone else goes off to vote on the Higher Education Bill. She likes serious discussion and is not really interested in pleasantries. I like her.
WEDNESDAY 20th July
My birthday. By chance I have a PMQ for the first time in years. I start by saying I agree with the PM and everyone laughs. She congratulates me on my birthday. A good day with all the family on the terrace for supper. Our last Mass in the crypt before Recess. From Jeremiah:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”.
THURSDAY 21st July
A quiet day. Our last day of the Commons before the Summer Recess. Momentous times. Great Britain leaving the EU after 43 years.
A little adjournment debate on the through train to Market Rasen.
Another difficult reading from Matthew 25:29
“Anyone who has will be given more. He will have more than enough”.
So we have to keep trying harder.
I read Cranmer’s life in the library and joke to John McDonnell that I am trying to keep up with modern politics by reading the life of Cranmer.
FRIDAY 22nd July – St Mary Magdalene
I take the train to Lincolnshire – much delayed and walk home over the Wolds.
“The Lord said to Mary Magdalene: go to my brothers and tell them: I am going to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.”
Theodore is put safely on the bus to his first OMV pilgrimage to Lourdes.
SATURDAY 23rd July – St Bridget of Sweden
I do a surgery and walk to Kirmond le Mire with Monty.
I read a psalm in our church: Psalm 89 King James Version
“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations”.
I am reading but by bit and slowly; the Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. It seems that we ought to try to be happy; to be content with one’s lot.