Third Week in Ordinary Time and the feasts of the Conversion of St Paul and of St Thomas Aquinas

SUNDAY 22nd January – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

We go to Mass at Market Rasen and in the afternoon to a Christian Unity service in the Salvation Army hall. The Anglican vicar builds a little wall of bricks to illustrate our decisions of the past and hope for the future.

Isaiah – “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light”.

MONDAY 23rd January

We drive down from Lincolnshire.

Mark 3:22-30
“… how can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last”.

A reading I always find difficulty in fully understanding.

The Supreme Court is insisting on a Brexit Bill. Good, we should have tabled one long ago.

TUESDAY 24th January

I ask a justice question, creating a stir. There always have been prison riots. I remember one when Waddington was Home Secretary, but then why have we cut the number of prison officers by a quarter in six years?

There is a Mindfulness course on at the House of Commons which I join. 140 colleagues have done it. They would not join a Christian meditation course but no matter, it is much the same. Freeing the mind without God at the end of it.

WEDNESDAY 25th January – The Conversion of St Paul

I ask the same question as yesterday of the Labour Party spokesman in a debate they have instigated.

No answer.

THURSDAY 26th January

The Opposition is complaining that we are only having five days for debate on the Brexit Bill. I say plenty of us in this place can speak for Britain but having a debate open till midnight on the first day should be adequate.

FRIDAY 27th January

We bury Aunty Betty.

Apparently she didn’t want a religious service and at 92 she is entitled to her opinion so I just read Corinthians 1:13, the most beautiful bit in the Bible that doesn’t even mention God.

I watch Mrs May’s fantastic speech to the Republican Congressional caucus. It is nice to have a Prime Minister one actually agrees with, a conservative Prime Minister.

SATURDAY 28th January – St Thomas Aquinas

Mary flies to India and I am home alone.

I go to my favourite Mass, the 10.30 sung Saturday Latin Mass in the Cathedral, the winter sun streaming through the windows behind the High Altar and lending everything a hazy, incensed glow.

In the afternoon, after a Monty walk, I go to the Tate Britain. I love the last half an hour before it closes. The galleries are nearly empty – the art still incomparable.