A few weeks ago I heard a bishop’s letter describing how people have not returned to Mass since the end of the pandemic. We can all think of reasons why this should be, but should I stay or should I go? Despite all, I stay, even if my feelings of exasperation are not infrequent. But read on; there are good reasons to stay on board.
The other day a friend shared these words from a song by Robert Lebel which keeps her steadfast in her mission as a hospital chaplain in these troubled times: ‘How many they are, the blessed, the ones no-one ever talks about … how many they are, these nobodies, these blessed everyday people.’
Yes, there are many women and men who help us to believe that Christ has not abandoned his Church. Let us not leave them to fall by giving in to the temptation to abandon ship during the storm. To do that would be to abandon the poor as well.
Dominique Greiner, Croire-La Croix, 12 November 2022
You can find the text of the song in French, and a YouTube recording here.
Image from Saint David’s Cathedral.
Faith is never about myself alone, but about those around us:
Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Matthew 25:44
We offer this reflection from Tagore as a contrast to Frank Thompson’s poem of two days ago. He urged his beloved to forget him, Tagore insists on the sweet sorrow of parting, as a foretaste of death: parting and death do hurt, they cut through the false pride that Thompson accused himself of.
War always brings parting and death, realities that Romantics like Thompson and Brooke minimised, at least before seeing combat.
ON BOARD A CANAL STEAMER GOING TO CUTTACK, August 1891
The quiet floating away of a boat on the stream seems to add to the pathos of a separation—it is so like death—the departing one lost to sight, those left behind returning to their daily life, wiping their eyes. True, the pang lasts but a while, and is perhaps already wearing off both in those who have gone and those who remain,—pain being temporary, oblivion permanent.
But none the less it is not the forgetting, but the pain which is true; and every now and then, in separation or in death, we realise how terribly true.
Glimpses of Bengal Selected from the Letters of Sir Rabindranath Tagore.