Sunday, August 19, 2012

'Laughter and the Love of friends'

Post title is from one of my favourite pieces of Belloc. As he has it, there is nothing else 'worth the wear of winning' in this earthly life but these two things that is 'laughter and the love of friends.' I have just spent three days realising the truth of it yet again. Three days free of the stress and worry of economic difficulty and its pressing problems. We were students together and so our memories go back more than fifty years. What a precious gift this is. And how it helps us both now with today's struggles and incomprehensions. My friend is apparently and unchangeably Protestant, which is a terrible shame. I'm sure she would be happier if she could swim the Tiber. I've never really tried to persuade her do that. Maybe I will try next time she comes, next summen I hope.

But even in 'The Year of Faith' I can intend nothing that will upset our trust in each other, nor the sound basis of our long friendship which is Christian charity. I shall have to be very careful indeed. In St.Romain Church on Friday afternoon I tried to explain to her why I despair of the Church in France, not t mention in England and Wales. I explained why it was so wrong that it has been made impossible to kneel during Mass, or to receive Communion in that way, and how how the 'versus populum' habit has meant that the community is always concentrating on itself rather than on God..She seemed to agree with me so perhaps I will have a chance to further the argument next time.

All this does not stop me from being grateful to God for giving me such a precious friend. May He give me the strength and the right words next year.

God bless all here
In Christo pro Papa

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