Saturday, March 22, 2008
An English Pope?
I read an interesting piece in the Spectator profiling the man some are speculating may the head of the Catholic Church in the UK. He seems to be a thoughtful man and I greatly enjoyed reading about Huw Gilbert. Here are a couple of my favorite bits and I especially liked his wonderful postcript email.
‘We need to go back to the patrician period, the period of the fathers of the Church, to see how they dealt with the culture. Our culture is in many ways antipathetic if you like to the work of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit is still the Holy Spirit and can still, well, raise up children to Abraham out of the stones.’
You may well have decided that I was not worth ‘profiling’, which I would quite understand. If not, am I allowed a little follow-up?
I like the idea that beauty and holiness are the apologia for Christianity. The beauty of Christianity needs to shine out more; this is where the celebration of the liturgy becomes central. And the goodness of Christianity, i.e. the holiness of self-giving love (the witness of charity) and of prayer, needs to be sustained and developed. And this too, certainly: that the one thing Christianity has to offer is Easter. Simply: Christ is risen!
In the same issue, Philip Pullman is quoted as saying ‘“Thou shalt not” might reach the head, but it takes “Once upon a time” to reach the heart.’ which I liked. It seems that so often the atheist crowd (Hichens, Dawkins et al) see the Christian gospel and religion as the same thing which of course they are not. Grace is a difficult thing to grasp for all of us but Pullman the atheist has happened upon a profound thought that the biblical story is indeed one that starts 'Once upon a time' and then tells it not as fable but as truth.
I have also enjoyed watching White Gospel which is the story of Southern Gospel music through the years. It is worth watching just for the bit on Sacred Heart singing in four parts. Spell binding stuff.
Some are often moaning about the erosion of our Christian culture. I am actually quite encouraged this Easter. The Sport Relief song by Leona Lewis is Footprints which is great and also the Passion on the BBC and the Daily Telegraph gave out a free NIV gospel. That's enough good news to be getting on with.