Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1st 2007
Anyone who hasn't looked at the current Catholic Times newspaperand tried out my Quiz is really missing out. The paper is sold in most Catholic churches in Britain. Go to yours, get a copy, and take part in the Quiz. There are prizes....

People always say that Christmas is just for children....but as far as I am concerned, it gets better and means more every year. The fact of the Incarnation seems more staggering, more beautiful, and more interesting. A sense of gratitude for belonging to the Church - not always very strong when it is tested by silly liturgies or by tiresome churchy events, propaganda, or bureaucracy - can swell strongly viewed from the perspective of this central event for all humanity. The timelessness of so much of what we do - family, laughter, evergreens, feasting - chimes with one's deepest sense of a need for structure in life. And anyway, Christmas is filled with things I like: proper games, country walks, ginger wine, country pubs, dark afternoons, colder weather (not cold enough this year, but one can't have everything), interesting books, carols, and going off with Jamie on expeditions to share pleasant meals with cheery people. I like knowing that the Holy Father is celebrating Christmas Midnight Mass in Rome with crowds and crowds of people. I love the repetition of the Scriptural accounts of the events in Bethlehem, with readings and carols endlessly repeating the details of shepherds and wise men and the star and everything. I love knowing that it's all been marked and celebrated and thought about and known and discussed and loved for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.

On car journeys, when we weren't listening to Christmas carols (I gave Jamie a CD of old carols and wassailing songs as part of his Christmas present.....) we listened to a wonderful exploration of Hilaire Belloc's PATH TO ROME produced originally as a radio documentary and now available from the Belloc Society. Hugely recommended.

Plans for the New Year, ideas for things to do and write and organise.

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