Saturday, January 3, 2009
English Winter Scenes
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!