Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Sad to see this morning's news of the death of Father Richard John Neuhaus, the Editor in Chief of 'First Things' magazine. Although I did not know Father Neuhaus personally (we had spoken on the phone a couple of times when I tried to get him to come and speak to our priests) he was a good friend of a couple of my friends. He was a tremendously important figure in the US Catholic Church and a fine writer. Reading the report in today's 'International Herald Tribune' the writer makes much of his "conversion" from liberal to "conservative" theology: one is reminded of Churchill's comments about such a change! May his priestly soul rest in peace!
I arrived back here in little Siberia, otherwise known as Vermont, at 2.30am this morning! As you can tell by the time, the flight was chaotic. From London to JFK was no problem, Virgin Atlantic was fine, although the stewardesses seem to be a little bossy now - but that seems to be just another sign of what we in England call the "Nanny State" - with everyone telling you what you can and can't do. The Delta check-in at JFK was the worst I have ever seen - positively Fourth World. The plane was due to leave at 8.45pm - it actually left at Midnight. Then I had a horrible drive through the snow to Stowe. It was amusing leaving England in the throes of "Arctic conditions" and "travel chaos" with about two centimetres of snow on the ground! I had a lovely time at home visiting with my family and, even though the weather was cold by English standards, we had some beautiful sunny winter days.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Yesterday I had to go up to London on the train to renew my passport - which had to be done with the 'rush version' - so they can charge an arm and a leg - £114! I met a friend and his fiance before the 'interview,' which lasted all of four minutes and was then told "you can pick up your passport in four hours!" It was 2.30pm, so I went off to Westminster Cathedral, prayed for the Colonies at the grave of Bishop Challoner, the Vicar Apostolic of London who had the care of the American Colonies. Then to the bookshop - then to the 'Byzantium Exhibition' at the Royal Academy. I was only interested in seeing the Icons - the few from St. Catherine's Monastery on Sinai were wonderful. It was nice to see a few people praying in front of them (including me) because they are not objects of art - they are objects of devotion.
As I went up to London on the train, on another crisp but sunny English winter's day, I was struck by what a different view I would get if I was on a train in Vermont on January 2nd. The fields were green - some buds are appearing. I saw a falconer walking through a plowed field with his falcon on his arm; people were playing golf! Today I had a lovely walk through the country lanes - it was altogether delightful! Tomorrow Father John Boyle has invited me to say his morning Mass in Ashford and preach. A blessed Epiphany to you all!