Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Scola Cantorum...

...of the Cardinal Vaughan School sang at today's 10.30am Mass at Westminster Cathedral: magnificent.

I was there to meet a young friend - working as an au pair with some relatives - as I had promised to show her around London. We had a happy day, beginning with a trip up the Cathedral Tower - spectacular views across London and out beyond to the misty suburbs and the North Downs. She was also awed by the Cathedral itself, where the 12 noon Mass, with wafts of incense and a vast congregation, was taking place. As we stood there, the priest was silently incensing the altar, and then the server incensed the concelebrants, and then all of us, and I suddenly saw it as a young outsider would, in all its beauty and solemnity, and realised all over again the glory of the Eucharist..."Pray, brethren..."

We went on to explore Westminster: the bells of the Abbey were pealing out, bright sunshine made the Thames glitter and golden leaves were fluttering down in St James' Park. We lunched at the Albert pub in Victoria Street, a favourite haunt, and then caught a bus to the City. There were protesters with banners denouncing captalism so various areas had been cordoned off, but we looked in at some Wren churches and finished with tea near St Paul's.

But London in Autumn beauty brings sadness, a sense of nostalgia. The Palace of Westminster, the Union Jack flapping against the flagpole on the Victoria Tower, Big Ben calling out the hour with its huge deep rolling note...I remembered days working in Parliament and writing on all sorts of issues, in the days when defending male/female marriage, and opposing gross forms of "sex ed" for children, and working to affirm the sanctity of human life all seemed more possible and achievable...


Anonymous said...

We could still defeat current proposal on redefining marriage by lobbying our respective MPs, Joanna. When faced with numbers in opposition within their constituency and awareness that we can actually monitor their voting record, then it is achievable as voting against a majority will be political suicide. I live in a borough with a population of 250,0000 Now, I am certain that a high percentage would not consent to the equality proposed. On that basis, MPs votes ought to reflect their constituent's hopes and desire for the kind society they wish to live in for the benefit of their children. And, all must think of the consequence to them if and when the proposed legislation becomes the legal moral standard.

I am setting up a petition from my Parish and inviting other faith communities within our borough to do the same. We must form a collective force and remind our politicians that they are going too far.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Auntie Joanna: With regard to your mention of long-term protesters outside St. Paul's Cathedral--Protests against capitalism in U.S.cities cannot be dismissed. The protests, global in nature, have Marxist overtones. The goal is to collapse the system. Community organizers, who know exactly what they are doing, are using technology to the hilt. Hard-core ideologues, bent on revolution, are happy to attract the "I want a peaceful world" or "I just want healthcare" students, union members, or senior citizens. Numbers MATTER for daily media coverage which they ARE getting worldwide. NY reporters never question why protestors, screaming about "Wall St. greed," NEVER mention that it was those companies that gave enormous sums to Pres. Obama's election campaign against Sen.John McCain. Opposition is very selective. Protestors yell about student loans but do not target the universities (agents for change); and, companies whose products use are also safe from demonstrations. Although small businesses are the major source of jobs in the U.S., owners of small businesses in NYC are physically threatened if they do not let protesters use their restrooms for bathing, etc. Families in surrounding NYC neighborhoods have difficulty shopping; cannot use public parks; and are fed up with the blatant sex, drug use, and piles of garbage.These protests will continue through 2012, with a wink & a nod from the former community organizer in the White House.
Sheila A. Waters
Bronxville, NY