The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Monday, September 29, 2008

And the Rest is Silence

The scarcity of posts in the last few weeks is a side effect of the last stages of my divorce case--after two and a half years of horrific wrangling over, essentially, nothing, the case settled before trial.

And, in the last few days since we signed the papers, I've been drawing breath, and slowly beginning to thaw out of the suspended animation that this kind of litigation imposes on a life. As a lawyer myself, I've become more aware than ever of the capacity of this system I've devoted most of my adult life to to abuse and dehumanize.

And now it's time to go on. Sorry about the emotional tone, but if I hid this strange feeling of life on hold, I might be disposed to close my eyes to it, and lose what lessons there are to be drawn from the experience.

As to the divorce, the rest is silence--but the anglocatting will go on!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Collect of the Day

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to
love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among
things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall
endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Words I needed, today. Apologies for the light blogging recently; a long-simmering personal crisis has been coming to the boil. I hope to be back to more substantive things this week. In the meantime--"all will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well..."

Monday, September 15, 2008

St. Ninian

From Bede's History of the English Church and People, Bk. III, ch. 4:
IN the year of our Lord 565, when Justin, the younger, the successor of Justinian, had the government of the Roman empire, there came into Britain a famous priest and abbot, a monk by habit and life, whose name was Columba, to preach the word of God to the provinces of the northern Picts, who are separated from the southern parts by steep and rugged mountains; for the southern Picts, who dwell on this side of those mountains, had long before, as is reported, forsaken the errors of idolatry, and embraced the truth, by the preaching of Ninias, a most reverend bishop and holy man of the British nation, who had been regularly instructed at Rome, in the faith and mysteries of the truth; whose episcopal see, named after St. Martin the bishop, and famous for a stately church (wherein he and many other saints rest in the body), is still in existence among the English nation. The place belongs to the province of the Bernicians, and is generally called the White House, because he there built a church of stone, which was not usual among the Britons.
Bede's History of the English Church and People

Monday, September 1, 2008

"Rivers of Living Water"

Last Friday's Daily Office reading, John 7: 37-52, is an inspired example of Jesus' gift with metaphor. In offering the crowd water, Jesus is restating a theme that we have seen once already, with the Samaritan Woman, and illuminating its scope:
[Jesus] claims that in Him may be found the fulfilment of all which this ritual [of libation at the Feast of Tabernacles] represents. Not only so, but those who slake their thirst at that spring will become themselves fountains for the spiritual refreshment of others. He thus carries further the teaching given to the woman of Samaria. (IV, 14). He who trusts in Christ not only receives the water of life that springs up to eternal life but becomes the source of that gift to others. For no one can possess (or rather be indwelt by the Spirit of God and keep that Spirit to himself. Where the Spiirit is, He flows forth; if there is no flowingh forth, he is not there.
Temple, Readings at 130.

Now, think of this metaphor--not just water--the sine qua non of life, that which makes farming, fishing, existence possible--the primary component of our physical makeup--but living water, that nourishes not only ourselves, but others. We become a source of that nourishment to others, as Archbishop Temple so aptly writes.

Or do we?

I look around at our Anglican Communion and see very little flowing out of the Spirit--much anger (in myself, as well as the ususal suspects) and much squabbling, and much fighting. And an occasional exercise of grace--like Peter Ould's rebuke to his own side that so struck me last month, or the calm confidence of a friend whom I won't name to spare his blushes, that all will be well, and we really have to get to work now--poor to be fed and housed--no time to worry about labels and coalition politics, thankee!

We take water for granted. Let us not take the Living Water, and those who become its fountains, for granted.