The view from Dylan Thomas’s home in Laugharne.
I never made the chance to ask Fr Austin (our writer AMcC) to expand on what we should understand by a personal relationship with God; now I am casting around for answers, and realising that there are at least as many ways as there are Christian believers.
I think of people who walk around their local church, stopping for a few words at each statue: the saints are part of their family who can lead them in prayer.
If you call them superstitious you must say the same about the Canterbury Cathedral guides who light a candle at the start of their day of welcoming visitors.
Others walk around their church praying the Stations of the Cross, accompanying Jesus (and his mother) on his walk to Calvary; this was my grandmother’s way, one she could also follow seated at home.
Today I invite you to join Dylan Thomas, whose birthday it is today, when as a child, at Christmas day’s end he
went to bed. Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night. I turned the gas down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.
There was darkness aplenty in Dylan’s life, as there must be in anyone’s. Even in the darkness the holy one is near; a few words will suffice to acknowledge that.