Confectionery and Sacrifice

Writing in the Independent[1] Michael Glover says of a painting by Albert Irvin:

That pink cross is a far from a religious symbol as it could possibly be – unless we could be tempted into regarding the raising of an ice cream cone as a religious gesture.

Perhaps we could. Thérèse recalls her aunt giving her a paper basket of sweets,

crowned with two pretty little sugar rings, just the right size for my finger; straight away I shouted, ‘Oh great, there’ll be a ring for Céline.’  But oh dear, I took my basket by the handle, gave my other hand to Maman and off we went; after a few yards I looked at my basket and saw that my sweets were nearly all scattered in the road, like Tom Thumb’s pebbles.  And … one of the precious rings had suffered the fate of all sweets … I had nothing to give Céline! … my sorrow exploded.

As a child she had grasped the idea of sharing what she had – her widow’s mite was a few sweets.

Ronald Knox was talking about the Mass to schoolgirls, and mentioned the custom of giving spiritual bouquets –

So many Masses heard … so many sacrifices for one’s intentions. It is always understood that sacrifices are unpleasant things, isn’t it? But I hope if you ever give me a spiritual bouquet, you will include a whole lot of the other sort of thing too; so many ice-creams eaten … then I shall feel you are offering the WHOLE of your lives to God.[2]

[1]Great Works’, Radar Magazine, 10.10.2015 p54.

[2] Ronald Knox, The Mass in Slow Motion, London, Sheed and Ward, 1948, pp 69 – 70.





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