...of wonderful American Catholics and their excellent priest, Father John Riccardo on a hearty History Walk from Westminster Cathedral to the Tower...all hugely enjoyable, everyone cheerful despite insistent rain...at London Bridge Fr John concelebrated a lunchtime Mass with Fr Christopher at Precious Blood Church, before we enjoyed sandwiches and coffee and then crossed Tower Bridge to pray at Tower Hill...
Later, we sat relaxing over mugs of tea and the talk turned to many things: saints, and Christ, and the Church, and the Resurrection... and how and why St Thomas initially failed to believe that Christ had risen. Fr John said "What do we know about Thomas? What was he?" and we all said "um...an Apostle? One of the Twelve...?"
"Yes, but what else?"
"Er..." and none of us could think.
"He was also known as Didymus."
"Yes! He was a twin!"
"Exactly. And twins are often mistaken for one another. Think about it. He had spent his life being mistaken for his twin. So he thought it perfectly natural that they had mistaken some one for Christ. He was all ready to say 'look, it happens all the time - you've just made a normal mistake'. And then when he saw the wounds in the Lord's hands and side..."
Never thought of that before. It really made us think, and we got talking about the New Testament and all sorts of other details that occur in the various accounts...and finally the waiter came up to say that they were closing and we really must go, and we realised we were the last group there and everything was being cleared away... "Oh, sorry..." I said "It was just that what we were discussing was so interesting - " "I know. he said "We've all been listening! I'm Brazilian. I am sort of a believer, but I'm not really certain..." , and I gave him one of the holy-cards of St John Paul from Rome and he was happy and so were we, and then later when we were outside and making our farewells, he came out and gave us bowls of unsold fresh fruit, to take away...