Wed March 6th
What is it about the marriage preparatiion talks? So often, they are accompanied by an extraordinary, and rather delightful, encounter. Regular readers of this Blog will remember the time I got lost, and recieved help and an unexpected lift to the church from a dear Moslem man who spoke about it being a priviledge to help a "Christian sister" in good work....last night, it was a Tibetan monk! This is what happened: on the Tube going home from Chelsea (after a most happy and successful evening with some delightful young couples, excellent talk from the praish priest about the marriage covenant, Christ and his Church etc etc....) I found there were huge delays, and passengers were finally jammed together on a lone late train trundling out of Earls Court. I was Not Popular for having a bike on board, but a kind figure in Eastern robes beamed at me as I mumbled apologies for jamming the wheel against his foot. I had a book in my hand, with a small holy pic of the Pope, which I was using as a bookmark. "Pope" he said, and beamed. "Yes" I said. The Tibetan monk beamed: "He is a good man. Very good man. He is the new Pope?" "Yes, the new one.....look, would you like a picture too?" and I dived into my bag and produced one for him. He was thrilled "For me? A gift.....I learn English" He indicated the newspaper he had been trying to read, and shrugged to show he didn't think much of it (indeed not, it was one of those freebie papers, and they have v. little news and often rather horrid features). "Now I study this instead" and he read, with great devotion, the prayer on the back of the card. By now a couple of other people were interested. They obviously enjoyed the sight of a nutty woman with a bicycle handing a picture of the Pope to a Tibetan monk. I enjoyed it too. We parted as warm friends, he held up the card and then tucked it down into some deep pocket within his robes.