...about the relics of St Therese of Lisieux when I read criticism of the whole project the other day. Golly, people have got cross! A leading atheist - whom I knew slightly when we were both involved with politics a good many years ago - wrote a passionate piece in The Times begging us all to denounce the arrival of this reliquary and all associated activity. Others sneered alongside, rather more politely. And I, who in my youth always felt that St Therese was a figure who seemed unappealing (nicely brought-up,keen to be an enclosed nun, ill,died young) suddenly found I had a different attitude, and was certainly committed to joining in with the whole event. She's a saint for everyday, a saint for now, a saint for life's ordinary difficulties.
Also, crowd-Catholicism is sometimes good, reminding us that the Church isn't about meetings and conferences and blogs and discussions, but about prayer, and all of us as ordinary people trying to love and serve God. Vast crowds venerating the relics at Portsmouth and at Birmingham, and a friend from the West Country phoned up with a touching description of taking along a non-Catholic friend for what turned out to be a powerfully moving evening steeped in prayer.
LOts of good things happening around the relics. I'm off to the play presented by a young team at Oxford in a couple of weeks, info here. Beautiful new CD of music just produced for St Therese - info here.