Fluvialia ≈≈ Mia's blog


April 13th


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Some events occurring side by side or nearly, in the last little while. And I put them down side by side for reflection, yours as well as mine. A Trois-Rivières priest is agonising over the state of the Church of Rome; ‘pirates in purple’ is the eye-catcher in the journal publishing his text. The Vatican – am I putting this the right way? – has excommunicated the mother of a little girl raped by her step-father (this in South America), the mother having allowed doctors (also excommunicated) to abort the twins carried by the abused 9-year-old. Shortly afterward, the newsworthy British-born Bishop (he denies the Holocaust) of the Society of St Pius X, recently unexcommunicated, also from South America but now expelled, is shown being escorted from Heath Row; the bid of the SSPX to buy a disused Anglican Church in Manchester is being held in question.

Pirates are no longer relegated to Penzance or Robert Louis Stevenson. They are almost daily news these days, and this past week no exception, as some of the many Somali pirates who ply their trade and their international waters got themselves arrested. This is relatively rare, arrest. Pirating is a growth industry. On television, they don’t look happy, those pirates. I expect their 200 hostages aren’t, either.

The snow geese ply the national waters in front of us, the noble St Lawrence, noble geese. A few thousand of them are letting the incoming tide ‘flow’ them upstream. They’ll be back again, like yesterday’s lone ice floe. I watched the tide turn with it, it marked me the turn, just there past the 4-trunked tree; it hung fire (so to speak) then descended again. ‘Hanging ice’ – a new way of looking at the St Lawrence effect.

The woman beside me in the Anglican pew in Montreal Easter Sunday (yes, we drove 5 hours for that liturgy; hey, the music’s good, it’s the high point of the worshipping year, an’ we love a parade) spoke French, like her companion, didn’t sing the classic Easter hymns, didn’t go up for communion. When I was a parish priest, there would be a few who would stay behind in the pews, not sure they were allowed. They were. They are. And more than not would simply come forward and do as their neighbours did. When in Rome…. I would have loved to have a conversation with that woman yesterday, ask her what brought her there, the music, or companioning a friend, or…? Was she looking for something, and was she finding it? - I’d have loved to ask.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter sermon ended with these words:

 

We need to hear what is so often the question that's really being asked when people say, 'How do you know?' And perhaps the only response that is fully adequate, fully in tune with the biblical witness to the resurrection [...] Next

Society itself [is] the ‘religious community’ in which Gospel imperatives are carried out. Everyone is under monastic discipline, you might say; there is no vicarious holiness.

Rowan Williams