Thursday, 19 July 2012

Compline

I'm now being treated in London, and whilst the doctors and nurses are excellent, efficient and caring, the "bed managers" make me very weary.  There was no bed for me this week, I am to try again next week.  Life on permanent stand-by aint no fun. At least I'm on holiday and I don't have the stress of planning cover work, and liaising with other staff only to find plans have changed.  It is one way good-will can start to become eroded.

Monday night saw me staying in London at my sister's house prior to my appointment.  She has a nice place.  It is expensively furnished and stylish.  I like my own house, but it really looks shabby next to hers.  My furniture is mainly veneer and chipboard and from crap shops and I'm not interested in objet d'art.

Being prepared for the tedium of my extended investigations at hospital, I'd taken my monastic diurnal with me, these visits can become retreats of sorts.  I can't claim to have been able to pray the hours regularly, but Summer holidays and hospital stays usually mean I can commit to more regular devotions.  So there I was, in my sister's spare room saying Compline when the Collect came up and hit me in the head and heart.

Visit we beseech thee, O Lord, this dwelling and drive far away from it all the snares of the enemy; let Thy holy Angels dwell herin, who may keep us in peace, and let Thy blessing be always upon us.

It was incredibly difficult and draining to say.  Not through lack of belief, but simply hard to say.  My sister's house was not used to prayer.  The house was not used to having angels summoned to it.  It came as quite a shock to realise just how much God expects us to do; how much we who claim to be Christians are expected to do in terms of blessing the houses of those who are strangers to God, in return for their hospitality.

To end with, here is a picture of a hospital ward from the near mythical past when the NHS had no internal market and patients got beds and outside air was allowed into the wards rather than sickly air-conditioning.


1 comment:

Robert said...

I've always loved that prayer. It seems the church used to be much more oriented toward the spiritual side of things with prayers such as these, with all the blessings and exorcism, etc, that we so rarely see/hear/use these days. I think it has been forgotten that often the world is at odds with us, that there is a power in the world that wants to drag us down (to hell eventually) and that we need to sanctify everything we do with an orientation toward God and heaven, and with prayer, sacramentals and the sacraments.

I hope the docs and nurses are able to help you.