Suddenly it was time to harvest the apricots, and a bumper crop on our tree this year, branches laden, bending under the weight. Up in the tree is a good place to be, close to the sun-reflecting fruit.
There was plenty to store and plenty to share as jam or ice cream.
Good news, yes, but is it all good news?
As I downloaded this photo from the camera I saw that the one Mrs T took three years ago was taken three weeks later in the month. This year we had blackberries before the end of June.
Even a friend living in a nearby village has seen very few swallows or martins, though numbers of sparrows and starlings seem greater than recent years.
And now the city council propose an ugly new multi-storey car park near the centre of town but also next to a pollution blackspot.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
This surely refers to knowingly keeping God’s law, rather than blindly following those devised by human law-makers, who may not be supremely wise and well-meaning.
To say or sing Laudato Si’ sounds almost ironic at times, but we must live in hope and not allow ourselves to be cynical. We can start by sharing the apricots and leaving the car at home when we could walk.
Today the 11th of July, we celebrate the feast of St Benedict, Abbot. In the reading of today from the book of Proverbs,(2: 1- 9) God is telling us to take his word to heart, learn His commandments, and apply our heart to the truth. We can rest assured that God will keep watch over us. St Benedict left everything and followed Christ. Today am I setting my heart on His words asking Him to teach me? Am I turning my ear to His wisdom? St. Benedict advised:
‘Whenever you begin any good work you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection.’
When I am faced with difficulties, where do I turn? St Benedict lived a life of solitude and prayer. How often do I take my time to listen to God talking to me in the busy world of today? Do I hear God calling me to bless His name at all times? Do I hear the invitation of God to taste and see the Lord is good (Psalm 33: 2-11)? As Benedict’s Rule advises, ‘Listen carefully to the Master’s instructions and attend to them with the ear of your heart.’
St Benedict discovered the love of God and left everything and followed Him. I pray that each day, I also may hear God talking to me through His creation and have the grace to respond wholeheartedly. Amen.
St Benedict at Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland by Roland Zh
The spine of the book caught my eye; I had not opened it for a year or more:’collected Poems and Plays of Rabindranath Tagore’ (MacMillan, 1952). This Bengali poet (1861-1941) has been a favourite of my mother’s for many years. I particularly like his short, proverb-like verses. AS the Biblical book of Proverbs has it: ‘The fruit of the just man is a tree of life: and he that gaineth souls, is wise.’ (11.30) Tagore was a just man, respected by many in the West as well as in India. Many of his works are to be found at Project Gutenberg.