The Mayflower Tree


There she stands in full bloom. The leaves in lush green and all the grandeur of flowers in a riot of colours. How old  will it be.  I have no idea. All I know is that it has been there since I was a child.

The  tree made its presence felt,  when we saw the roof above our kitchen strewn with the bright orange flowers. However, besides its beauty on the tree, it was not very helpful to my Mum, who had to get the roof cleared off all the fallen flowers. Invariably someone had to climb the roof to do this. We liked the tree as it gave such joy at summer to see it in full bloom. Mum looked at this differently. It was a tiresome task to clear the roof every time.

Years have gone by. Now we have a terrace over the kitchen instead of the roof…

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Good Measure, Running Over!

Malcolm Guite

The Chelmsford Conference Prayer

For the next couple of days I am poet in residence at ‘Refresh’ the Chelmsford Diocesan Conference. this morning I read out a poem called ‘Good Measure, from my most recent collection Parable and Paradox. Its a poem about the pleroma the sheer overflowing abundance of God’s generous love. and it was written in response to those beautiful words of Jesus in Lukes Gospel:

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.

Here it is, together with a recording which you can hear by clicking on the title or the ‘play button’

Good Measure

More than good measure, measure of all things

Pleroma overflowing to our need,

Fullness of glory, all that glory brings,

Unguessed-at blessing, springing…

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3rd July – Feast of St Thomas, Apostle

Fr Morty O'Shea

stthomasToday is the feast day of the apostle Thomas who is famous for doubting the Resurrection of Jesus when his fellow apostles told him about it. But if he is the sceptical apostle, he is also the believing apostle, for having seen and touched a risen man, he made the immediate leap of faith and so became the first apostle to call Jesus, God. Nothing is known about Thomas’s later life. A well-known apocryphal document called the Acts of Thomas relates his missionary journeys to Persia and India. The journey would have been easy enough – important trade routes lay that way – and if some of the apostles went west, to Rome, the centre of the world, there is no reason why some others should not have chosen to go east, to the edge of the known world.

We will probably never know for certain; but the Christians of Kerala (India)…

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2nd July – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Fr Morty O'Shea

Yesterday I travelled to Dublin for the pro-life Rally which drew an attendance of 70-80,000. Here are some photos of the occasion from various vantage points.

photo 1photo 2

This is today’s homily which is based on the second reading – copied at the end.

In Jan 1997 I was transferred to Brockley parish in SE London. Soon thereafter I was on for the 7.30am Mass. Like most mornings, I was not on top of my act. During Mass I looked down at the intention and saw ANNIVERSARY of (we will say) John & Mary Smith and I assumed it was a death anniversary.

holy spirit 5I got to that point in the Eucharistic prayer when we remember the dead, so I said: “Remember John & Mary, in baptism they died with Christ, may they also share in his Resurrection.” As soon as Mass ended and I entered the sacristy, I was closely followed by…

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1st July – St Oliver Plunkett, Bishop & Martyr.

Fr Morty O'Shea

Today I’m attending the pro-life Rally in Dublin.

Saint_Oliver_PlunkettToday is also the memorial of St Oliver Plunkett (*1625 +1681) and it is fitting to remember his heroic life. He was archbishop of Armagh and primate of All Ireland from 1668, at a time when the country was in a state of civil and religious disorder after the interventions of Oliver Cromwell. He persevered for ten years in his effort to ameliorate this state of affairs, until the discovery of a non-existent “Popish Plot” against the English government (invented and revealed by Titus Oates, who implicated many before he was executed for his part in it) gave the authorities an excuse to act against many prominent Catholics. Plunkett was arrested in Ireland but taken to London for trial; one of his companions was saved by being appointed as Bavarian Ambassador to London and therefore acquiring diplomatic immunity, but for Plunkett there…

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A decadent civilization?

All Along the Watchtower

Yesterday something remarkable happened. Bosco, our resident evangelical anti-Catholic stopped repeating his script and wrote:

No problem. I believe you. The world is like it is, no matter what we call it. We can jabber about it, but we cant do much to change it. Now, Europe has a immigrant problem. This is a game changer. The Europe of the 40s and 50s and even 60s is gone. Now its a shooting gallery, a killing field.Instead of being grateful, these muslims are running down the very people who let them in. Europe is in chaos. Trump is trying to keep them out of here, and that means the good ones with the bad ones. the good ones have to suffer because of the bad ones. Could this be the beginnings of Jacobs troubles? The muslims are raging all around Israel, but are largely leaving Israel alone. That is going…

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