Tag Archives: Somerset

August 1: Shared Table XIII, Dishonouring the poor at table.

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If there shall come into your assembly a man having a golden ring, in fine apparel, and there shall come in also a poor man in mean attire, and you have respect to him that is clothed with the fine apparel, and shall say to him: Sit thou here well; but say to the poor man: Stand thou there, or sit under my footstool: do you not judge within yourselves, and are become judges of unjust thoughts?

Hearken, my dearest brethren: hath not God chosen the poor in this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love him? But you have dishonoured the poor man.

James 2:2-6.

I was struck between the eyes by a restaurant review which described the diners as bravely consuming roasted grasshoppers and silkworms. Where did the chef source them, I wondered. It all sounded like the decadent feasts portrayed in Asterix the Gaul comic books. Then I read an article by Joseph Pons, a student at ICES University in France.1 He writes about quinoa, the so-called super-food.

I had images of acres of the stuff, ripening in Somerset. Wrong! Quinoa comes from Bolivia and Peru and was a staple for poor people, till rising prices meant they had to sell all they could produce and buy rice from Asia to feed their families. Meanwhile, richer Asian people are buying Western agricultural produce.

Quinoa cost forty times the price of wheat in European markets in 2013.

Yes, I tend to think of a global food chain as linking us together for good, but in this case it is not for the good of all. And so far as I know I’ve never eaten quinoa, grasshoppers, or silkworms. But then one of our mottoes here at Agnellus Mirror is ‘Eat whatever they put before you’, (Luke 10:7) so who knows what will be on the menu some day?

Let’s hope it will not be served to us to the dishonour of the producer, and let’s strive to avoid such damaging fads.

text and photo: MMB

Barley in Kent.

1Joseph Pons: L’Avenir commence demain en consummant differement, in La Ruche ICES, 22/5/2017, p10.

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18 June, Year of Mercy: Embarking on Mercy

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mercylogoMercy is not something that can be enclosed in a static fashion in a building. No one can draw a line around grace or mercy, and say, “here it is, we have caught it”. God is always more immense than our buildings. We may celebrate the community which loves to share mercy in a specific place. But the presence we encounter must help us to progress further on a journey, to set out on new routes, to embark on a voyage. In this sense, a harbour or a pier could be as true a symbol of the newness of mercy as a doorway.

We cannot pin down the symbolism of the Bristol Channel, seen here, by deciding that this journey is just beginning or just ending. It can be both and either. The transformative character of our life of faith and grace is likewise full of endings and beginnings.

mercygate (640x469)

Nothing is quite as thoroughly an ending as a retirement home, we might suggest.

Yet for people of genuine faith, that will be a place for friends visit us, gladly hearing words of enlightenment and courage from us.

What our visitors may learn, from conversation with us, therefore, is how we view the final days of our earthly life with great hope, the tremendous beginning of eternal life and joy.

St. John’s hospital in Canterbury, being an almshouse, surely has this potential too….

I often nowadays see this doorway closed off, with entry prevented. But this open image suggests far more.

CD.

Mercy is not something that can be enclosed in a static fashion in a building. No one can draw a line around grace or mercy, and say, “here it is, we have caught it”. God is always more immense than our buildings. We may celebrate the community which loves to share mercy in a specific place. But the presence we encounter must help us to progress further on a journey, to set out on new routes, to embark on a voyage. In this sense, a harbour or a pier could be as true a symbol of the newness of mercy as a doorway.

We cannot pin down the symbolism of the Bristol Channel, seen here, by deciding that this journey is just beginning or just ending. It can be both and either. The transformative character of our life of faith and grace is likewise full of endings and beginnings.

Nothing is quite as thoroughly an ending as a retirement home, we might suggest.

Yet for people of genuine faith, that will be a place for friends visit us, gladly hearing words of enlightenment and courage from us.

What our visitors may learn, from conversation with us, therefore, is how we view the final days of our earthly life with great hope, the tremendous beginning of eternal life and joy.

St. John’s hospital in Canterbury, being an almshouse, surely has this potential too….

I often nowadays see this doorway closed off, with entry prevented. But this open image suggests far more.

CD.

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