...the music as you walked down Victoria Street. And the crowds were gathering...friendly, chatty, calm, expectant. People poured across the piazza in a steady flow to join them. On a giant screen, Mass was being broadcast from inside the Cathedral, complete with magnificent music and a mitred Bishop preaching.
The relics of St Therese were coming to Westminster Cathedral. I hadn't really planned to be there - just thought I would "look in while passing". I had a letter to drop in to Clergy House for Canon Tuckwell, the administrator, so I needed to go that way. As I approached the piazza I noticed a friend, stopped to greet her...and was hooked.
Visiting the relics of St Therese was a wonderful, prayerful experience. Everything about it was right. A delicious October evening with twilight merging into the London lamplight and the glow of the illuminated cathedral. Lots of lots and lots of friendly people. The joy of sharing all this with good friends, and making new acquaintances as the queue moved along. Dignity and beauty in the procession and the liturgy. People clutching roses. Occasional outbreaks of a Marian hymn. The quiet of the cathedral as we mounted the steps.
We had each been thinking of the prayer-intentions we were bringing along, and promising to pray for one another. As I approached the casket I suddenly remembered another, more urgent plea to put before the saint, and so in the end it was that one that actually took priority! Dear Saint Therese, please please take all my petitions and present them to God...