Monday, February 2, 2009

Candlemas 2009: A Long Night's Journey to the Light.

Well, I for one have been on a spiritual and emotional switch-back since the rumour first broke that our Holy Father was about to lift the excommunications. Tthe ride is not over yet. Even the redoubtable Fr Tim titled a post 'Trying to keep up.' This produced a mental picture of the entire orthodox Catholic movement led by their Clergy, all pedalling like fury in a Papal version of the Tour de France, and trying to keep up with the leader in the white and yellow jersey. Boy has he got stamina, in 'part-ic-u-laaa-re' for someone well past retirement age for such exertions.

By Saturday I had 'hit the wall' and that is why I haven't blogged here since then.
My exhaustion was largely spiritual. So I've been receiving trackside treatment for a couple of days. Even before the Swiss Guard thumped his halberd on the ground to start the race, I was in need of time off for more 'training'.

By Sunday felt fit enough to compose a Candlemas post for 'In the Sight of Angels. My energy was insufficient to the task of making a summary of Dom Gueranger's 48 pages on the Feast. Instead I posted an extract from my 2001 reflection on the multi-faceted light shown forth by it. By the time it was done felt a lot better. The Holy Father's mien and words at the Angelus were also soothing. He was received extremely warmly by the crowd, which clearly touched him because he thanked them twice. At the end he didn't disappear as abruptly as usual and I had the sensation he wanted to stay a little longer in the warmth of their affection before continuing the 'race'.

During my 'treatment' a decision was made that I should post more concentratedly on spiritual aspects of what's happening, with occasional dashes of humour when the muse visits. Commenting on other blogs should be more or less confined to reasoned defence of Pope Benedict. That is why I commented on HS both yesterday and Saturday night. Where there is vituperation I should attempt to defuse it, but I am not to get involved in wrangles. There is no point in worrying about the Media either. They are behaving according to their agenda and are being selective and biased in their treatment of His Holiness. Far better to say an extra Rosary for the Holy Father and his intentions, than fulminate in futile impotence against the hacks.

This morning after the Office, I took my own advice, the Pope himself leading via CD. We had reached the Litany at 'Mater castissima' when there was a squealing outside the French window. Our black cat, Bruno had caught a blackbird. I hammered on the window. The noise startled him enough to turn and open his mouth. To my great relief and joy, the bird flew off to rejoin his mate, who was anxiously waiting and watching from the elder tree in the courtyard. I'm afraid he will be fairly bald for a while, judging from the amount of feathers he had been forced to leave in Bruno's mouth. This worries me because we are promised another freeze this week.

The recording ended. Meditation on the Candlemas extract mentioned above, searching for guidance as to what to write in this post:. Each facet of light seemed to have bearing on the present 'trouble' The eighth one arrested me for some reason.

'-the light that completed the cycle of prophecy immediately surrounding the birth of the Saviour'.

Decided to study all these prophesies again, and the reactions of those who received them. Here again were bearings. They will certainly come to you, if you choose to consider them in this way. Suffice it to say that the necessary concluding stage in the entire session was to do something I often resort to, when trying to decide between opposing parties whose actions and words I can't satisfactorily interpret intellectually. Why didn't I do this straight away, you may ask, and what is it?

Answer: I wanted to see whether THAT is what I should write about, and in any case learned a great deal on the way to finding confirmation. What is this thing I do?

I jot down 4 lists: 1. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit; 2. The fruits of the Holy Spirit; 3. St. Thomas Aquinas' list of correspondences between the seven Capital Virtues and the seven Gifts; 4. The seven deadly sins.

Then after prayer to the Holy Spirit, I match the participants against the lists. Usually, the more complex the situation, the longer it takes, but in the case of the Pope, and all the other forces, groups and individuals involved, based on long evidence to date it was remarkably quick today. It's not a simplistic exercise and is gruelling. Anyway, I'm sure it's not necessary to tell you who 'ran' out the winner, this time.

Those more spiritually advanced than myself, will possibly say to themselves, that that the fact I didn't do this earlier in the week, shows how far I have to go, and I agree. It also shows the damage that can be done by too much blogging!!

Off now to watch the Mass direct from Rome. A happy, holy and enlightend Candlemas to all here,

In Christo pro Papa

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