Hello again, I trust you have had a good, holy and prayerful time this Christmas. What struck me this year was how "fleshy" everything seemed. I was conscious of the frail flesh of my elderly loved ones. Also the vulnerable flesh of those who are ill, there are so many. I was extremely conscious of the infant in the crib this year, His vulnerability, trust and love for us flooded over me like it never has done before. This I will treasure but it causes pain too, the contempt for life shown by some this season has hurt all the more intensely.
2008 was a very difficult year but I don't think 2009 will be any less so for me. So many of us are going through hardships of one kind or another at the moment. How people without faith cope I'll never know.
With all my heart I pray for you all for this coming secular year.
What have I learned from 2008?
I have learned to love St Paul and can now pray to him to interceed for my intentions, I always found him a bit distant before. Thank you Holy Father.
That I find politics totally repugnant. I hate the way it divides people who should be united. I hate the way it can colour your faith and devotion to God. I hate the way it makes you make impossible decisions.
That I'm not sure I'm a teacher. I take things too seriously, I care about what I'm teaching and this is not doing me any good at all.
That the little girl who sat crying on her dad's knee 25 years ago sobbing that there had to be more to life than getting a job, a mortgage and a microwave is still there, desperately trying to ditch the latter two and not finding much of worth in the former.
I can now tell the difference between a crow, a rook, a jackdaw and a raven.
Willow burns great in a wood burning stove, but is so bad tempered that you shouldn't attempt to burn in in an open fire.
Ash and vinegar when mixed makes a brew the devil would be proud of but it cleans glass (oven doors and stove doors) brilliantly.