Thursday, 29 March 2007

Frivolous Pursuits At Aylesford

Having been accused, by a certain young priest I know, of only blogging about boring things like nails, hair and shopping (which is a bit rich, coming from a man who, while at seminary, was a devotee of Bluewater in general and "Next" in particular!) I thought I would mention a few of my purchases during my retreat. Yes, Mammon reared its ugly head...

...but, in my defence, I was instructed by my spiritual director to take certain steps designed to elicit a prayerful frame of mind...

Having emerged from the shop, I spotted Fr. Tim, and asked him to bless my purchases. On asking whether I should bother unwrapping the various items (I was quite happy to do so, as I was keen to show them off) I was told that they definitely should be unwrapped... and photos would have to be taken...

From left to right, I have a small statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and larger statues of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mary and the child Jesus (no specific title allocated, but I shall do some research another time) and St. Martha. St. Martha appears to be accompanied by a crocodile. I said I thought it was "that Old Serpent" (due to a very long tail) only to have Fr. Tim point out that the serpent had four feet. If it's meant to be a dragon, it's the only dragon I've ever seen without wings... and it has a tongue to rival Lassie's!

...and why is St. Martha shown with a dragon/crocodile anyway?

I then went and bought some reading matter. First, "The Story of a Soul" by St. Thérèse of Lisieux (I'd read it before, and hated it for being slushy and overly sentimental... It occured to me that it might be the translation - she's incredibly popular with lots of people, and they can't all be wrong, so it must be me!) published by TAN. Next "The Prayers of Teresa of Avila" edited by Thomas Alvarez. Thirdly, "The Story of a Family: The Home of St. Thérèse of Lisieux" by Fr. Stéphane-Joseph Piat (another TAN publication), and finally, "Edith Stein: Life in a Jewish Family" which is her autobiography. I've only just noticed that it doesn't go further than 1916 - she never finished it because of her arrest by the Gestapo.

The more observant among you may have noticed the bottle in the photo: yes, it really was an orange chocolate liqueur (there was brandy in it too!)... and no, I didn't leave it until Easter... and yes, it tasted divine... like Baileys, only more so!

Some time was spent in contemplation, however... here you can see two of the retreatants (or should that be retreatees?) contemplating the view... or perhaps, given that they were eyeing up the geese, considering what might be on the menu for lunch...


1 comment:

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

i have 'the story of a family' & thoroughly enjoyed it. There were 7 girls born & 2 little boys who died in infancy. Almost like my family with the 8 girls. How awful to bury your children. Therese's mother suffered much..& of course her Father an awful mental illness towards the end of his life, which was a crucifixion for them all.
Over on Fr tim's site i mention a translation of The Story of a Soul by Oratorian Fr Michael Day (now deceased, which you might like..

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