Sunday, 19 September 2010

Of Newman... and, er, me

Pope Benedict's wonderful visit to the UK reached its climax today at the Beatification Mass in Birmingham. Cardinal Newman is probably better known outside Britain than inside, so hopefully all this will spur people on to find out more about this towering presence in the British Christianity of the nineteenth century, whose influence flows through the twentieth into our own.
My last pictures from our Poland pilgrimage are of myself "in action". The first one is me at the shrine of Divine Mercy. At one point in my homily I left the centre of the chapel and moved over to stand below the famous painting. The slightly blurred image is, I think, partly the photographer not using flash, and partly me getting excited to be celebrating Mass in such a special place!
The second picture is during our last Mass, at St Florian's Church in Krakow, where John Paul II was curate. Here I tried to bring together all the threads of our beautiful pilgrmage. Pope John Paul carried the wound of his assassination attempt in 1981; the Virgin of Czestochowa carries three slashes left by an attack by soldiers; Auschwitz leaves a gash across the face of the twentieth century. And Jesus himself had to pass through Calvary on his way to Easter. Yet he took his wounds into heaven, teaching us that our sufferings are part of our journey, and that we must not be deflected by them from our task as Easter People, to bring new life. The war against evil has already been won, but the skirmishes continue to ravage our world and our lives. We can make a difference.

No comments:

Post a Comment