Saturday, February 28, 2009

First Sunday of Lent

I've given up blogging and facebook forLent, but Sundays are always feastdays, and I intend to celebrate that fact unfailingly.

Lenten reading so far: Mike Aquilina, The Mass of the Early Christians. Very readable, very clearly arranged, and with very short excerpts, it's making me rethink how I'd organise a projected European Identities: A Historical Sourcebook (were I ever to get the go-ahead from a publisher to write the blasted thing). More than that, it's giving me a much clearer appreciation of how ancient some attitudes are that I've always associated with the Tridentine Church and thought of as personal preferences (mostly personal preferences that I share, but have never wanted to press on others). Note to self: must read more Church Fathers.

For reading out loud at bed-time: Thomas a Kempis, De Navolging van Christus. In jonge taal hertaald door Mink De Vries. That is, the Imitation of Christ in a fairly free translation into contemporary colloquial Dutch. Number one daughter is surprisingly unkeen (and it's not as though I'm going to force anyone to listen to it); number one son is surprisingly keen, but in a very understated, not-wanting-to-show-it sort of way that warms the heart. Is it just me being English, or would any parent delight in a child that showed reserve?

Teaching about the end of the British Empire last Tuesday I was amazed to discover that most of my class, second-year undergraduates (so in the 19-21 age range) didn't have any idea what Apartheid was. Even taking into account that most of them would have been just born when it ended, one has to ask: what do they teach them in these schools?

And having just got back from an afternoon at the zoo, I realise I'm missing the first of the planned monthly Taizé prayer meetings in the Salesian house near here. Ack! This is what comes of having the first days of Lent coincide with the half-term holiday.

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