Insight or Revelation?

Two of my many passions are politics and food. They don’t usually collide but last week they did when the EU decided in its wisdom that henceforth the olive oil which routinely appears on Spanish bar tables (along with its invariable companions, vinegar, salt and pepper), would have to be served in single-trip, tamper-proof bottles. That was to be the subject of this posting, but whilst I was slowly counting to ten and allowing the impending rant to mellow to a reasoned argument, someone in Brussels saw how stupid this was and rescinded the directive. So, what to write about instead? Well as regular readers know, I am awaiting treatment for a tumour on my prostate. Being a churchgoing Christian - or “a happy Catholic” as I tell Jehovah’s Witnesses when they come to the door - and having been greatly heartened by the election of a Jesuit to be Pope, and moved and encouraged by the number of people who have come forward to tell me that they are praying for me, my faith has been more cenral to my life these past few months than it probably otherwise would have been. This morning one of my favourite modern hymns popped into my head; “Be still for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here....” I’ve sung it a lot in church over the years, and so I’ve always taken “here” to refer to the church I’m singing it in. But this morning, the thought that also came into my mind was that the words apply wherever you are - at home, as I was; in the car, as I was later; in the waiting room and consulting room at the hospital, as I shall be tomorrow; in the radiotherapy room, which is likely to be my next destination. That’s a pretty big thought. I shall have to ponder it carefully. If you don’t believe in God, I hope you don’t find these thoughts uncomfortable. Console yourself with this: God believes in you.

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