Sunday, 26 June 2016


The efficacy and power of prayer does not come from us. Prayer comes through us but it can leave us drained.  In order for Joshua to be successful in battle, Moses has to pray and if he got tired and his arms dropped things did not go well for Joshua.  So Aaron and Hur supported his arms.  The analogy to the work of the Church and Christ's work is blatantly obvious.  Yes, prayer drains.  The woman with the issue of blood drained the strength from Christ, we ought not be surprised if prayer weakens us too.

Usually I try to keep my prayer as lighthearted as possible, and I thought that the prayer I made this morning would fall into that category: access to a Door of Mercy and a prayer for the Holy Souls of that place.....  I find that place an exceptionally sad place, there is an atmosphere there I've never felt in another Catholic Church, not even in those desecrated during war. I thought this prayer may help.  Perhaps it has, I'm now so drained....

But perhaps it is just me.  Perhaps the tiredness is my constant battle with myself and my ideals.  Perhaps it is both. Perhaps it is something else. Prayer can be very irresponsible, it just happens and we never quite know its reasons or its consequences, a fleeting prayer for a near stranger could have done this to me. Indeed, one never approaches prayer for others from the position of one's own perfection and understanding.  Charity is wrought in our imperfections and that is what fits us for Heaven, perfect charity is made in imperfect, ignorant people......

I have also put an end to a 25 year old hurt. Back then I didn't know my own strength and I cornered someone intellectually and morally and left them with virtually no dignity and no room to back away. And subconsciously at least, I've been basking in my own righteousness ever since. It was time to make peace, it was time for us both to smile and get on with our very different lives.... I'm staggered it has taken so long, though perhaps this one needed time... And the release; letting go of the past, the complete freedom we now both have, that too is probably extremely draining. I seem to be spending a lot of time now  'mending stuff and ironing out creases'.

Time for some Louis MacNeice and time for bed....

 from Autumn Journal XXIV

Sleep, my body, sleep, my ghost,
Sleep, my parents and grand-parents,
And all those I have loved the most:
One man's coffin is another's cradle.
Sleep, my past and all my sins,
In distant snow or dried roses
Under the moon for nights' cocoon will open
When day begins.
Sleep, my fathers, in your graves
On upland bogland under heather:
What the wind scatters the wind saves,
A sapling springs in a new country.
Time is a country, the present moment
A spotlight roving round the scene:
We need not chase the spotlight,
The future is the bride of what has been.
Sleep my fancies and my wishes,
Sleep a little and wake strong,
The same but different and take my blessing-
A cradle-song.
And sleep, my various and conflicting
Selves I have so long endured,
Sleep in Asclepius' temple
And wake cured.

The Spiritual Wombat takes a nap.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Reasons why....

.....I won't be voting on Thursday to decide if the UK remains in the EU or leaves.

I don't care and I don't want whatever trivial response I generate in the booth with my stubby pencil to cancel out the vote of someone who actually cares.

I can't care about something that seems to me to be an illusion.  A question has been generated that simply can't be answered in a binary way, yet we are being asked to make a binary choice.

I feel like I am being manipulated.  I feel like this is a pretence at democracy; this is lazy government. Most referenda are simply a manifestation of lazy government.  "Let the people say, let the people say...."  but it is a sham, and an horrific waste of money, and I wish to make a democratic response to this by not voting.

The actual outcome doesn't matter.  It is what we do with the outcome that matters.  What needs to happen is that the outcome acts to foster greater subsidiarity.  It should be the beginning of the debate, it should act to develop a greater understanding by a greater number people of nationhood and government.  However I am not optimistic or even enthusiastic.  Indeed in this instance it will probably be the most economically ruinous outcome that works the greatest good!

hey ho, as Noel Coward once sang: Hooray! Hooray! suffering and dismay!

I'll leave the last words to a real Physicist.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

She who pays the rent

Ollie Bear here after a long break, hope you are all well.  She who pays the rent has not blogged much recently so I thought I'd inject a spark of life into the blog by letting you know what is happening here at Cozee Cottage in deepest Wessex.

She who pays the rent has been having a somewhat difficult time of it and we who sit and think on her spare bed are nearly feeling sorry for her.  However, heaven help you if you give her any false pity, so just read and digest. She comes form the wrong side of the Pennines, but this trait of hers is quite in keeping with good Yorkshire bears, she'll give you a very hard stare of you go "ooo how awful" or "gosh, you're having it rough".  I mean this is how we bonded in the first place. About 20 years ago now, I was sat on a shelf above the cake counter in a tea room in Kirby Lonsdale with a price tag on my paw and some young children started pointing at me and saying to their parents that they "wanted" me.  Panic set in, I'm simply not a "children's bear", I became petrified and then she caught my eye and saw the panic therein.  She returned my look, not with an "oo you poor bear, how awful for you", no she walked straight up to the counter and "purchased" me before the children's pesterpower could have any effect on their parents.  It was a sweet moment, the look on the faces of the children is not one I will forget. You see, we both know if you are going to have pity, it needs action not words.

But back to my ramble.  Yes she's definitely having it rough.  She started the year by having a patch of really good health, we actually thought that the doctors may have finally got her medication right and she may actually start flourishing again.  It has been a long time.  But then her job went crazy stupid in the amount of works she was being expected to do.  It was unreasonable, she said it was difficult but she felt quite well, so she kept going in the hope that things would settle down.  We knew she was not OK, and then one day she wobbled badly at her work and they had to call an ambulance. There was nothing wrong with her that A&E could sort out and they told her to get back in touch with her consultant.  We don't think she's been right since then, she sighs a lot and it takes her a long time to do anything and also she's been far less attentive to us.  Also, Cyril the Wombat (her personal valet, pax! we don't like each other much, I think I'm jealous, he just arrive one day in a paper bag covered in wisteria and our little world has not been the same since, he lives in the study so he sees more of her than we do) says that although he's plying her with as many oven chips as she can eat, she's not exactly putting on weight.  Anyway, her consultants have been doing a barrage of tests on her, the most spectacular of which was a lumbar puncture.  She had an "unfortunate" reaction to this which meant she was in bed for about a week and she was definitely in a lot of pain.  I don't think her "ailment" responded well to this shock and she's still not right.  She even called for one of those "men in black" who came and muttered loads of Latin over her and did something with some oil.  They were both very cheery about it afterwards, but she is like that, she can be so annoyingly and genuinely cheery when things are serious, it quite puts a bear off his guard.

So yesterday, I called her into the spare room for a chat.  We needed to know the truth about her.  Quite frankly we are worried.  We are worried about her naturally, but bears are also selfish creatures and we are worried that she may lose her job and we will forfeit our cushy life here on the Spare Bed of Deep Thinking and Tranquillity.

Annoyingly she just said "well boys, stuff is happening, it often does to me and we get through, be patient. If you want to do something useful, read the Book of Tobit (Douay version), and think deeply about the messages contained therein".

We're reading and we're thinking and we're stumped.  We can't quite see what a tale about sparrow droppings, dead fish, a lively dog and a very helpful angel has to do with life here in Cozee Cottage, but we are working on it.