Friday, 26 September 2008

When the Leaves Come Falling Down.

Parking in Wakefield last week brought with it the signs of autumn. A car covered in bird dung from nesting pigeons and a couple of leaves, just old enough to detach themselves from the tree. 'He went before his time' we would say if we were other leaves holding a memorial service for the fallen, but the time is coming soon for them all as the seasons take another turn. Time, also, for me to finally decide about whether to accept the offer of a curacy in this Diocese or to look further afield, for Monday looms and Monday is the day. Where I will go is still one of the great mysteries of the world, like the reason that 24 hour shops have locks on their doors, it is unknown. I hope that it may be where I will be best suited to do what I am sent to do. This is all.

In his short story, 'You Must Know Everything', Isaac Babel tells of a young man's relationship with his overbearing grandmother who insists, contrary to her own life, that he must know and learn everything, the great 'everything' which she does not know and which the lack of has plagued her throughout her life. We, however, surrender ourselves, after years of academic study, to the realisation that we know, after all, nothing. This is why the service of Benediction is so important, it brings us into the presence, in a more complete way, of God. God is everywhere, but to us, with our lack of understanding, He gives us Benediction to be with us in a way which we can, just about, grasp in our flawed understanding. Sin may have cast the world down, but the Eucharistic Presence offers the reality of redemption, that perpetual presence of the memory of the Christian people, a chance to walk by the sea of Galilee with Our Lord, knowing much but, ultimately, knowing nothing and being helpless.