He stood with his fists raised in open aggression. But as he spoke he was swaying a little – ‘Come on – I can take on the lot of you.’ One of the approaching Police Officers attempted to calm him down – but he was having none of it. He swung his fists wildly – but only succeeded in tripping forward and falling to the ground. Still shouting, swearing and threading violence he was lifted up by the Officer closest to him and led to the nearby police car. Continue Reading
For the last few days I have been thinking again about the dark places of life. Not because, at this moment ,I am experiences a dark place myself, although there have been periods in life I have known something of it – but I have been struck again by how our attitudes to the dark places of life can either bring us down even further or help us reach towards the light.
However, there is more to it than that – because, strange though it seems to us, it is, very often, in the very place of darkness itself, that place some have called ‘The dark night of the soul’ (John of the Cross) that light is to be found. Continue Reading
‘The service is about to start – but you can stay and sit at the back if you like.’ The voice came from a black robed Priest who, glancing up, I saw walking towards me.
I had been visiting a historic church building in England not fully realising that a service was about to start – possibly because there were only two older people sitting on pews in the vast building. Continue Reading
Matthew Shardlake had seen it all – burnings, hangings, beheadings and torture – all in the name of religion. He had witnessed these gruesome, hellish, barbaric acts committed by Protestant on Catholic, Catholic on Protestant – and even Protestant against those of their own brand who disagreed with the ruling elite on matters of conscience.
Matthew had started out as a young man with a strong faith – but now, much older and wiser, that was all but dead. Continue Reading
For a tree to be healthy and strong it requires good roots. The same is true of a building – if the foundation is suspect then, as we have sometimes seen, the consequences can be devastating.
The problem for the birds or animals living in the tree or the people in the building is that they usually have no way of knowing if the roots are diseased or the foundation is unsound.
The same is true in the realm of faith and religion. Continue Reading