Tuesday, July 16, 2013
It has been quite a while since I blogged anything. It's not that I have been particularly busy but sometimes I just do not know what to blog about. I am also trying to get back painting. As a school chaplain I am on 'holidays' that is almost three months off from school (yes!) but I have some minor duties here in the house: Mass, confession etc. In June I took eight days away in a hermitage in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow which is about an hour and a half drive from where I live. Glendalough is famous for it's round tower and lakes but not many know about the hermitages near to the Parish church. They are in fact in the parish priest's garden. Each has a large bedroom-cum-sitting room, an en-suite bathroom and a kitchenette. The hermitages are self-catering. There is a prayer room with the Blessed Sacrament reserved, a small library of spiritual books and it's only about fifteen minutes walk to the monastic site. The National Park and a stretch of the Wicklow Way are nearby. I found it really quite (apart from the sheep) and a truly prayerful place. If one wants to be alone to pray I highly recommend it - it's where I will go in future.
In early July we had our Provincial Chapter. It was good to get together with the friars from around the Province and catch up. We elected our new Provincial and his four Definitors (I think the new term is counsellors). They are meeting at present to decide the placement and ministries of the brethren, an anxious time for all of us even those who are immovable. I have ideas about where I would to be and what I would like to do and I hope that is what God and our leadership want that too. It won't be easy for them for we have very few 'younger men' and a lot of posts to be filled. Please pray for them and us.
I had read Romano Amerio's Iota Unum during my retreat and I am reading Michael Davies' Liturgical Revolution series at the moment. I am now on the second volume 'Pope John's Council'. Iota Unum is a great read but it helps if one has some background in philosophy and theology. It complements the work of Davies as it charts and analyses the statements and decisions of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman curia and the bishops (mainly European) before, during and after the Council. It can make for a shocking read. Davies' series begins with 'Cranmer's Godly Order', concerning the Reformation in England. It lays the groundwork for the final book 'Pope Paul's New Mass'. Pope John's Council charts the events and effects of the Second Vatican Council. Davies was a convert to Catholicism who devoted himself to defending the Church's Tradition against those who would wipe our history away. Some of his talks are on Youtube e.g. here. As a speaker he has a humorous and easy-going manner despite the seriousness of his topic. I liked what he had to say and his balanced approach in saying it - that lead me to read his books. I recommend you consider doing the same.