Tuesday, 22 June 2010
From ruin to ruin in a week!
Despite the title of this post I am upbeat, hopeful and joyful to be sharing the fruits of God's blessings and his gift of the church to the world especially during these wonderful June days. One might have thought that the reduced numbers at the Glastonbury Pilgrimage last Saturday, the economic gloom and the turmoil in Anglicanism would have dampened resolve and spirits. On the contrary it is more important than ever for traditionalists like us to hold heads up high, to share the inheritance of the saints who even died for the faith we strive to witness to. As Bishop Edwin says in his writing here..http://www.theanglocatholic.com/2010/06/glastonbury/.we owe it to those who have gone before and those who will follow, to stand up and be counted, not in a retiring and despondent way but in the light of the truth and with constant joy. Firstly, the ruins of the great Abbey Church of Glastonbury was the backdrop to a memorable Pilgrimage Mass. I know we were 600 or so communicants and that is low in comparison to years gone by but hey! that's 600 souls joining to worship God together on a precious Saturday in June as Bp. John Ford reminded us. Cause for joy not gloom. The quality of the worship, the obvious devotion of most of those present (with the notable exception of 'the robed voyeur') and the uplifting sermon from Fr. Darren all combined to give new life among that ruin. This ruin is one imposed on the Benedictine church of God by the despoiler of the Catholic church of the people of Britain. But we are there in witness, we have not forgotten the place or the sacrilege which destroys and diminishes life itself.
Secondly, the ruin is of the Abbey Church at Tintern of the Cistercian Order in our neighbouring parish here in Wales. The majority of the photos on this blog are taken by me and this was from last evening on the Summer Solstice on my way back from my secular occupation showing a rental property in the Wye Valley to a new family who would make it their new home. I could not drive by at 7pm without stopping with prayer and camera to mark the beauty, not the ruin where the current tenants are jackdaws but the reminder of what this house of God was like and could have been like today were it not again due to the sacrilege to Christ's body the church and the the abuse of power that reduces it to a mere un prayed-in ruin. Who knows what the British landscape will look like in another few centuries or much much less there will be more ruins for sure. For those struggling with the great re-formation in which we are living, remember, we are not blocks of stone which will one day decay. We are living stones, we go where the Shepherd leads us unburdened by materials and set fee in faith to go where ever the Master is calling us and His Church. Even in these blessed lands in which we have the privilege to live and pray and minister and die and where we hope in a resurrection when all will be revealed in Glory if, if we remain faithful, humble and above all joyful even surrounded as we are on this earth by decay, ruin and imperfection.Thank God for his gift of life and faith and above all the will to worship, to pray and to witness joyfully, sustained by the sacraments of truth by the priceless jewel of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. If it becomes not truly Apostolic it can surely never be truly His church?!