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Musings on the Readings for the Thirty-Third Sunday of the Year – 15th November 2020

Musings on the Readings for the Thirty-Third Sunday of the Year - 15th November 2020 When I am working with parish groups exploring how the readings for each Sunday are put together, I have fun explaining how the First Reading is usually from the Old Testament, it's purpose being to point towards the Gospel. However, this Sunday's offering seems to be, at first glance, far removed from doing that. What does a tribute to a good wife have to do with the Parable of the Three Talents? And how to weave into it the message from the Second Reading that [...]

Musings on the Readings for the Thirty-Third Sunday of the Year – 15th November 20202020-11-13T12:51:08+00:00

A very Medieval Pilgrimage and the Power of Relics

A very Medieval Pilgrimage and the Power of Relics Evelyn Nicholson - April 2020. Since my own conversion to the Catholic faith some years ago, I  accepted the idea of relics, but never really ‘got’ them,  rather enjoying the reports that St Teilo had his mortal remains divided into three portions, so that the three monasteries connected to him would each have a fair share! [1]This view changed in May 2016, when I learned through social media, that a relic of St Thomas Becket was being temporarily brought back to Canterbury Cathedral by a Hungarian mission, following reception at London [...]

A very Medieval Pilgrimage and the Power of Relics2020-11-09T14:22:44+00:00

A Tribute to Cambridge Professor Nicholas Lash

A Tribute to Cambridge Professor Nicholas Lash Nicholas Lash, Norris-Hulse Professor Emeritus of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, died aged 86 at home in the early hours of July 11. His funeral is to be held today at noon at the Cambridge Chaplaincy, Fisher House. Nicholas was involved in the formation of the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology. Janet, his widow, says he was honoured and proud to become a Patron. Both Janet and Nicholas were pivotal in raising funds to purchase the Institute’s buildings which now house the Lash Library, his entire personal collection. Professor Janet Soskice, Chair [...]

A Tribute to Cambridge Professor Nicholas Lash2020-11-04T13:58:32+00:00

Red Kite

After a bad morning, bad in every sense, It was good to walk again in fields of green, to take in dappled sunlight in the shaded lanes To be soothed by the glide of a brace of swans in a brook.   Then through a curved gate to a grassy plain flanked by horse chestnut trees,in flower, I was not prepared for the encounter. You dropped in altitude, majestically beautiful, your breast aglow.   Dark wings indented and streaked with white. You eyed me with great interest, circled low for seconds long. In that moment we made bargain and a [...]

Red Kite2020-07-23T17:48:09+01:00

Surprise Training

Surprise Training When you say “Surprise!”, everyone reacts differently. For some, it is something nice to look forward to, for others it is an unpleasant experience, an uncontrollable element that breaks into your life. But one thing is always the same – it is not possible to train for it, because of the essence of its unpredictability. That is why we often find ourselves in situations where we are surprised, whether it is a good/bad grade at school, the unexpected behaviour of a person close to us or the loss of something important. And I’d like to talk a [...]

Surprise Training2020-07-23T17:48:51+01:00

Interconnectedness

Interconnectedness In my retirement, I have been blessed by the companionship of many people, mostly women who are finding creative ways of processing through this time of social distancing.  Some are introverts and find it a welcome gift of extra time to paint and to write; others are coordinating conference calls and numerous screen-time gatherings to combat the quiet.  One of these friends is a clinical social worker who finds her spiritual strength sustained by writing poetry, especially now in between teletherapy sessions.  A new poem of hers arrived in my email inbox on the same afternoon as I [...]

Interconnectedness2020-07-23T17:50:55+01:00

Bossy Angels

Bossy Angels Have you noticed how bossy angels are? In today’s reading from Acts 8, there is Philip minding his own business, when along comes an angel who imperiously demands that he gets up and goes, and so Philip does and look what happened next... In Scripture, all the angels greet with an instruction: ‘Go!’ ‘Get up!’ ‘Do not be afraid!’ even ‘Hail!’ They immediately get our attention. I get the feeling, and you can see it in the grin on the angel’s face in the picture, that angels do not take no for an answer. They will wait [...]

Bossy Angels2020-07-23T17:51:22+01:00

Sacrifice – God so loved the world

Sacrifice – God so loved the world I started writing this blog a while ago, following an excellent seminar by Professor Susan Docherty at the Margaret Beaufort Institute, looking at the rewritings of the Old Testament. This was an excellent introduction to the other literature that has been discovered that enriches and expands our understanding of the Old Testament. One of the texts we looked at tackled that difficult and complex text where Abraham to all intents and purposes seems to be wholly set on sacrificing his own son. The wonderings and discussion in the seminar set me thinking [...]

Sacrifice – God so loved the world2020-07-23T17:51:53+01:00

Theology, Creativity and the Arts Postgraduate Study Day

Theology, Creativity and the Arts Postgraduate Study Day It can feel quite life affirming when a theme or themes evolve from a conference. The conference title 'Theology, Creativity and the Arts PG Study Day' told us something of the area but, being broad, you couldn't predict a direction. Margaret Beaufort Institute provided an ideal setting for friendly and informative  interaction with a stroll across their delightful garden between one talk and another. The presentations were parallel so no delegate heard them all. I just aim here to give a feel for a handful of the talks with particular focus [...]

Theology, Creativity and the Arts Postgraduate Study Day2020-07-23T17:52:23+01:00

An Upside Down Weekend

An Upside Down Weekend This weekend’s readings for Christ the King seem to be upside down.  We don’t usually celebrate kingship by focusing on torture, crucifixion, mocking, jeering, offering vinegar or sour wine and abusing our King as detailed in today’s Gospel.  Usually kingship is associated with fine clothes, gold, rich wines, rich food and wealth.  So just what is going on here?  It is no accident that the liturgists ask us to remember Christ’s death as we celebrate this feast of kingship, for Christ is inviting us into a very different kind of kingdom.  It is a kingdom [...]

An Upside Down Weekend2020-07-23T17:52:58+01:00