Although it began with Pentecost Sunday Mass and afterwards, kids having fun with sparklers in the backyard, this was a sombre week both on the local and world news front.
And most significantly for us, a death in our extended family on Wednesday night.
Every morning there was news from the US to share with Catholic Weekly readers – this morning it was a surprise phone call Pope Francis made to a Texas bishop who ‘took a knee’ with other clergy in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters.
Earlier in the week the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, responding to George Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests, called racism a spiritual and cultural virus.
One bright note – a young priest in Tamworth I met three years ago at a retreat let me know he’d just published his first book. It turns out that Fr Francis Afu (pictured at top) has a great story to tell about why he was inspired to start publishing his morning meditations online and what happened as a result.
Last Friday night I helped our 12-year-old son to draw up a study timetable for exams this week. He pretty much stuck to it, and thinks it helped him to be more confident doing them and has probably done ok, so that’s a big win on the home front.
My spiritual discussion group abandoned Zoom and we met up for the first time since last August, which is possible now because in our state we can now have up to 50 people in a church gathering, whereas before it was only 10 and that was very cool. In the end only eight of us could make it of our 11 so the social distancing thing was easy to do.
I always come home from these discussions in awe of the wisdom, honesty, good humour and encouragement to persist trying to be a person of prayer and simple goodness that always comes out of them. Oh I’ve got a long, long way to go – but most of them are a bit older than me and say they do too and it’s nice to be doing it together.
But I was feeling flat a few times this week, and I spent way too much time scrolling through news updates, and last night took to bed at a ridiculously early hour like 7.30 or 8pm because I was tired and brooding.
Tonight the almost-full moon looked like a benediction brought low over the suburbs when I went for a walk to accompany one of our joggers. (I took the shortcuts and she caught up with me). And this weekend is a long one thanks to the Queen’s birthday holiday on Monday, so yay, more sparklers!
So lots of ups and downs this week but in spite of all that I’m still pretty sure that all will be well and all manner of things shall be well, as Julian of Norwich would say.
How was your week?