Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Spiritual wisdom of age from the Pope

Following on from the Papal birthday and election anniversaries I thought I would copy this extract from the Pope's homily on his birthday as published on the blog Rorate Coeli. It is a fine example of the Pope's thoughtful spirituality and shows the wisdom of his years:

The anticipated Easter Vigil as a sign of History

The day on which I was baptized, as I said, was Holy Saturday. At that time [1927], the practice was still that of anticipating Easter Vigil on the morning, after which the gloom of Holy Saturday continued, without the Alleluia. It seems to me that this peculiar paradox, this peculiar anticipation of the light on a dark day, could be almost an image of history in our time. On one hand, there is still the silence of God and of his absence, but, in the Resurrection of Christ, there is already the anticipation of God's "yes", and we live based on this anticipation, and, through the silence of God, we feel his words, and, through the darkness of his absence, we foresee his light. The anticipation of the Resurrection amidst a history that goes on is the strength that shows us the path and helps us move forward.

We thank the good God because he has given us this light and we ask him that it may remain with us always. And on this day I have reason to thank Him and all those who once again have made me realize the presence of the Lord, who have stayed with me so that I would not lose the light.

I find myself before the last stage of my life's path, and I do not know what awaits me. I do know, however, that the light of God is here, that He is risen, that his light is stronger than any darkness; that the goodness of God is stronger than any evil in this world. And this helps me go forward in safety. It helps us move forward and, at this moment, I thank from the bottom of my heart all those who continuously make me perceive God's "yes" through their own faith.
Pope Benedict XVI

April 16, 2012

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