Walking and praying
I am fortunate enough to be able to go for a little (very early!) walk most days where I am in Ipswich isolating with my mum and dad and teaching online. I do not walk very fast due to multiple sclerosis, and generally manage to pray for things that come to mind on my walks. One day, I saw something online about the Bishop of Knock who prayed for every house he passed on his daily walk. I thought the next day, maybe I could do that.
As I walked around, I prayed particularly for people I knew and had grown up with as my parents still live in my childhood home. Twice on the walk I prayed for families I had known at church as a teenager, but had lost touch with. As I rounded one corner, the father of one of those families appeared out of his front door. We spent quite a while chatting at a distance and catching up on news. I discovered his wife had had cancer and so couldn’t go out, and he is now a Reader in the Church of England, so we exchanged news of people we knew who needed prayers. I carried on with my walk.
Quite a bit later, a jogger raced past me… and stopped and came back! She recognised me and I recognised her- she had gone to my church thirty years ago! Again, a catch up followed- and a promise of coffee when lockdown is over. VERY late for breakfast by this time, I stopped to ring mum and dad so they didn’t worry, then looked up, and saw our neighbour opposite, who had recently been widowed. Again, we stopped and chatted and she shared stories of her lovely husband, and new puppy. I felt very blessed and encouraged to have shared time with these lovely people as well as the usual dog walkers I meet. For once, I didn’t feel at all envious when friends posted how far they had run that day- I thought of the Bishop of Knock and resolved to keep walking and praying!Katharine
Discovering a treasure
We, like so many others, are in lockdown here in Scotland and making the best of this situation which is a time of many graces and blessings.
During this time my friend Anne was looking for things to do around the house and while spring cleaning found a treasure of various prayers. We come together every day (on the phone) to pray the Rosary and have a period of reflection and discussion. Something had upset her the other day which was a big disappointment for her. One old lady called Mary was very ill, but she could not visit. She phoned Mary’s brother only to be told Mary had died peacefully in hospital. I understood how Anne was feeling. She was upset because her Parish Priest had not let her know of Mary’s death. I listened, and afterwards tried to share how she could live disappointment with Jesus Forsaken. This was new to her and after she had calmed down, we discussed this further and shared one or two ways of living this. The next day Anne rang and told me about her ongoing clearing out and came across Archbishop Hemmerle’s four points on Jesus Forsaken from Chiara’s spirituality. She had sat awhile to read this and was bowled over as she could relate her disappointment to Jesus Forsaken. She could now put a name to her experience of Jesus Forsaken and be much less upset with her Parish Priest. We have since looked at other aspects and experiences which can be seen in a clearer light and continue the holy journey living Jesus Forsaken. This was a deep spiritual experience for Anne and also for me to have lived this with her. We had entered into a time of deep sharing and deepening our relationship with each other and in unity. I thank