I was able this week to return to the Rule of Benedict and investigate leadership and people issues, as well as revisiting Scriptures that had slipped out of focus. I usually have to speed read stuff. Stopping that for a week and receiving wisdom at a sensible pace, going back over it and chewing it over, really is a very healing thing.
The other great theme this year was Toussaint, which is a public holiday and big thing in France. It was a bit weird to get up in the morning and find the best part of 500 people in Church, including three and four generations of some families!
Praying the Angelus regularly reminded me powerfully of a friend who came to faith on one of our early Alpha courses in Sandhurst, but, sadly, died of cancer at home a year or so afterwards. It wasn’t an easy passing. I remember spending time with her, not quite knowing what there was to say really. The prayer that hit me forcibly, and has always since made me think of her, is the collect for the annunciation, which I was taught to pray along with the angelus years ago:
O Lord pour thy grace into our hearts; that as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an Angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection.All in all this has been a week when heaven and earth have been rather close to each other, in various ways...