Monday, March 23, 2009

Heavy dust

Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be expiated,
   and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:
when he makes all the stones of the altars
   like chalkstones crushed to pieces,
   no sacred poles or incense altars will remain standing.
Isaiah 27.9 (NRSV)

It has been a very busy March.

I have started a Bachelor of Theology, Priestly Formation, and a parish placement. All in a new city.

Anyway, it is all going well. Blogging seems like a luxury compared to essays on Aboriginal spirituality, Origen, Christology, and OT exegesis. The upshot of all of this is I am coming to terms with my vocation as a priest. 

Being at uni has been an eye opener. Discussing theology with fundamentalist Christians and athiests is great fun, and rewarding. To know that I am neither is a relief, and understanding both is blessing.

At morning prayer and eucharist last Wednesday, I noticed a small cross in white chalk upon a brick. It was tiny, maybe 2 cm, and about 5 metres from where I was sitting.  As I gazed upon it, and the Great Thanksgiving Prayer was happening, I began to experience the great weight of the little cross, like it was holding up the entire world. Eternity was being focussed onto it's arms. It was a reoccurrent sensation. It would disapate then focus. Looking at it again this morning, it was just a small white chalk cross. These little moments and recognising them, staying with them, and allowing them to be is a part of the journey. Realising that they won't neccesarily be repeated is the balancing factor.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

George Herbert

I have added another piece to my on-going Saints series. This time George Herbert.

Have a listen here

Herbert isn't regarded as a saint, yet the Anglican church celebrates his life on February 27th. 
Where the other pieces in this series have focused on more "mystical" elements, the George piece is far more earthy. 

On listening to the completed piece, an intensely strong memory of reading
A Country Parson flooded back to me, accompanied by pictures from Percy Dearmer's Some English Altars.  A chilly Christchurch morning and stained glass.

Here is one of his poems.


LORD, how can man preach thy eternall word ? 
        He is a brittle crazie glasse : 
Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford 
        This glorious and transcendent place, 
        To be a window, through thy grace. 

But when thou dost anneal in glasse thy storie, 
        Making thy life to shine within 
The holy Preachers, then the light and glorie 
        More rev'rend grows, and more doth win ; 
        Which else shows watrish, bleak, and thin. 

Doctrine and life, colours and light, in one 
        When they combine and mingle, bring 
A strong regard and aw :  but speech alone 
        Doth vanish like a flaring thing, 
        And in the eare, not conscience ring.