• Faith and Life,  Mother of God,  Spiritual Devotions

    Reign Of A Queen

    In the last post, I had mentioned the little altar and the crowned statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I noted that although I had thought the altar to be complete, there was actually something crucial missing. At the time, I didn’t know this, of course, though I would soon discover that missing element. In essence, a Queen requires a subject over whom she can reign and to whom she can give direction. As on other occasions, it was all because of my Aunt Margaret. In the summer of 1981, she had shown me an old, small book she had – about four inches by three. It had a hard-boarded…

  • Faith and Life,  Mother of God,  Spiritual Devotions

    Upon Her Head

    In an earlier post, I had mentioned that the little altar here in the study has a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which bears a crown. While many Catholics will have some familiarity with such a thing and so will not be at all surprised to read this, there may well be others who wonder about this seemingly odd thing to do. And so, I though it might be useful to write a little more about this, how the statue came to be there and to be crowned in the first place. For anyone who reads anything of what I write, you may not be surprised to learn that…

  • Faith and Life,  General

    The Seventh Day

    “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work He had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:3) Standing in the garden earlier this morning, I was struck by how quiet everything was. There was very little road traffic and so it was beautifully quiet – just the sound of the thrushes, roosting in the trees at the back of the garden. The morning had a very ‘still’ feel. The drizzle was falling gently and silently and the grass was glistening with a scattering of tiny wet diamonds, which captured and reflected the gentle light of the morning and caused the blades to…

  • Faith and Life,  Mother of God

    The Gentlest Caress

    In the oldest part of Westminster Abbey, London, stands the tiny chapel which is pictured above. It is opposite the tomb of Saint Edward the Confessor and is surrounded by the tombs of numerous Kings and Queens of England, as well as a huge number of illustrious figures from the worlds of the arts and literature across the centuries. This statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been touched so much in the past thousand years that the face is partially rubbed away and much of the fine detail has been lost. And yet even now, so very long after the statue was first placed there, still it is adorned…

  • Faith and Life

    Acedia and Intentionality

    I was supposed to have been writing something yesterday. It was going to take a little time and a bit of thought, with planning beforehand and editing afterward. It all sounded so simple. What was far more simple, was the procrastination with which I approached the task at hand. Suddenly, a variety of other things filled my mind and vied for my attention and time. Some of them succeeded. In the end, my writing was done and sent onward to it’s final destination. Looking at my spiritual life, I see some similarities. Casting my eye toward the bookcase here in the study, I see a growing pile of some of…