Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Crossroads of the past

Well, I admit it, a few years ago I joined Facebook. There, I've said it!
Now, one of my favourite things on there is "Remember Old Cardiff". This was just started by some chap putting some pics of Cardiff past on there - and now it's followed by thousands, and you can just send him your own pics.
Well I was taken aback a few days ago when I saw a picture of somewhere very close to where I grew up. In the old days - yeah, even before Eastern Avenue was built in 1971 - there was a crossroads at the top of Penylan Hill, where Penylan Road met Cyncoed Road, Waterloo Road and Llwynygrant Road. When the new A48 was built, the crossroads disappeared, to be replaced by a bridge joining Penylan Road to Cyncoed Road. The pic shows this, with houses in Cyncoed Road ready for demolition.
I suppose I haven't seen this view for over forty years, and it took me back in a flash. Just another crossroads to most - but such a familiar sight to me...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Child Who Was Never Born

I recently came across this striking and powerful image of a sculpture called "The Child Who Was Never Born". It was commissioned by a group of young mothers in Slovakia. The mother, in stone, weeps while the child, in crystal, gently lays a hand on her head. It was inaugurated in the presence of the Slovak Minister of Health. Take a few moments to sit with it...
Memorial For Unborn Children, 2010, Martin Hudáček, Slovakia

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

New Year videos

A while ago I posted a video from "Outside da Box", a company working in collaboration with the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in America.   Turns out they do a lot, and so here are two more.
The first one is called "Evidence". It has caused a stir in some quarters in the US. It develops the well-known saying, "If you were arrested for being Catholic, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"  I think it's very good - challenging and well-made, like all the company's videos.  You can find it here.
The second one is food for thought as we pull away from the Christmas season. It also asks some questions - a bit cheesy, especially the end maybe, but the quizzical look on the boy's face I enjoyed. Here is the second video "Joy Story".  
The company have loads more, so why not have a browse?

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


So Christmas went well in our 3 Churches - I think!  I managed to get away for a few nights to see my family, which was great.   And now a new year - St Luke tells us that Mary was pondering everything in her heart after the shepherds left. 
Maybe she was not the only one.... Here is the meditation I wrote for our Carol Service.


Take your rest now, my beloved Mary, take your rest.
I will hold your baby – our baby – safe in my arms here  
in the dark of the night.

It only seems yesterday
that you told me your news back home in Nazareth
How can I tell you how sorry I am that I...?
I will never ever leave you again.      
I will look after you
until my dying day
I promise you, Mary

Why has God done this, my darling?
Why has he chosen us?   
I know why you...
but why me?

Look at Him, cradled in my arms.
So beautiful, so wonderful.  
So innocent.

How can it be that this little one is so...   
How can Emmanu-el  

I’m sorry that this had to happen far from Nazareth
It’s my fault, I know. 
My ancestor David -
maybe it’s his fault really.
I’m so sorry that we couldn’t find a room
and the little one arrived here of all places,
with the animals.  

Look at the stars,
oh light of my life,
shining on us tonight.
Can it be that this little fellow
had something to do with all
Look at that big star in the east.
I’ve never noticed that before
so beautiful...

And everything is still, nothing to disturb you
except a few voices far away.
Listen, Mary,
I think it’s some of the shepherds from the hillsides.
What can they be doing in the village at this time of night?

Can it be, my Mary, that
God has come to us
has come among us
OUR baby? 
Have the heavens up there met the earth below
Has the Lord come to meet His people
our baby? 
How can the Lord who needs nothing
now rest in my calloused carpenter’s hands
and need my poor love and care?

Rest now, Mary,
because we don’t know what lies ahead.
But I’ll get you home as soon as I can,
you and the baby.

Let me sit down here beside you,
put my arm around you,
and together we will look after this new little life.

Take your rest, my darling wife
take your rest my two precious loves.
I am here
I will look after you