By Cardinal Keith O’Brien
IT has been a troubling 48 hours in the history of our ancient but resilient nation. For so it was, at around 11.30 on Tuesday morning, I realised with a heavy heart and a sagging spirit, that I could not find my glasses.
I had begun to look for them at 11.15 as I had intended to read the letters page of the Daily Mail and marvel, once again, at the alertness of our senior citizens.
I scoured the surface of my desk, I looked in its drawers, I even looked underneath my desk. But reward was elusive. I crammed my fingers down the side of the seat cushion only to find a drawing pin. Like a crown of thorns it pierced my all too human flesh.
As I fell to the floor I thought of the many lessons handed down to us by our gracious fathers of the church.
I thought of Pope Deciduous XV who, in his letter to the Second Council of Magaluf, wrote: “It may seem, at times, that God is not on your side. It may seem, at times, that God is unreasonable or even demented. But take comfort in the knowledge that it is God who knows the hiding places, it is God who seeks endlessly and it is God who will remember all the things that you have forgotten.”
It was then that I was touched by a wondrous revelation: I should get someone to help me.
I called on Mrs Lamont, my housekeeper. A woman so sweet in nature, so cheerful in tone, so welcoming and colourful in disposition. In many ways she reminds me of an ice cream van.
Like St Urethra and St Calendula searching for the True Grail, we covered the four corners (of my reading nook as opposed to the Assyrian Empire).
But the glasses, like the simple jewel-encrusted, solid-gold chalice that held the blood of the Prince of Peace, remained unfound.
Mrs Lamont and I knelt on the floor and, hand in hand, we began to pray. We prayed for humility, for patience and for grace.
And as I uttered a final ‘amen’, the wisdom of the ages tapped me on the shoulder and its message was clear: We should get more people to help.
And so it is that I embrace you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, as Jesus himself embraced the Magdalene and offered to moisten her toes.
Let us, in good heart and strong faith, take up the challenge that God has set before us. All of us, working as one.
Except, of course, the homosexuals. I do not want your help. But I will need my glasses so that I may observe your sin.