Monday, January 31, 2011

Religious sense and innocence

Watching 'Songs of Praise' last night I was overcome by a sense of lost innocence. Worse, when I looked into the sweetly sympathetic, staring eyes of Richard Coles as he interviewed the woman speaking expertly about hymns I realised that I have never been able to emanate that gaze.

Down the years people have come to me as a priest looking for someone to confirm them in their religious innocence, indeed somehow to reinforce it. I have tried hard not to disappoint them.

But finally, perhaps long since, I have reached the point where all I can do honestly is share with them my own sense of religious loss, trusting that they will be as sensitive to my bereavement as I have always sought to be to theirs. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Members only

In our society you are lucky to find someone who cares for your individuality, your subjectivity, what is peculiar, different, unique about you. People are more likely to be scared than attracted by these things. They prefer you to be sociable, clubbable, easy-going, undemanding, unknowing, unreflective, uncritical, unchallenging - one of them.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Life after therapy

Before therapy I used mainly to think.
My therapist (and Wittgenstein) said, ‘Don’t think. Look.’
So I tried to cut down on my thinking.
Apologised for thinking too much.
Since therapy
I have learned
To think and look
And think again.

Before therapy
My mother said
You can’t do better than your best.
In therapy I learned
To do less than my best
And be happy with it.
Since therapy
I have decided (thoughtfully)
That only my best is good enough.