PRELUDE TO MARCH
The Monthly Diary for February
has been completed, and sent out
to those who appreciate it.
It snowed this morning in a slow,
measured fall. I am concerned
both for the garden birds and the seagulls
who come for food.
Perhaps the snow is a light fall
which may well melt away before too long.
The vase of flowers in the cloister
is now dropping some petals.
The flowers have been truly beautiful, and a source of joy.
This is the last day of February and the snow has returned,
gently dancing in the breeze.
It is hiding the area which Dave cleared
as a feeding site for the gulls.
The gulls - and other birds - have had several good feeds today.
And now the sun is shining !
The snow is still on the ground,
patterned by the paws of nocturnal feeders
and the early morning visit
of the gulls and the larger garden birds.
It remains cold, and the birds
perch on the adjacent roofs waiting for the sower of bread !
Could this be a reminder of the Last Supper
when Our Lord said
Do this in memory of me
In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone ;
Snow has fallen snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago ....
This is a good description of our weather now !
The poem was written by
Alas, these March hares will have to delay
their ritual fight ..... the snow is still falling !
Storm Emma is producing snow which is disrupting travel,
with strong winds across Ireland and the UK
all through Friday .... which is today, 2nd March.
The Martyrology for 5th March quoted
Karl Rahner, Theologian 1904-1984
The real task of a Christian is to become a human being,
a human being of course whose depth is divine .....
To this extent Christian life is the acceptance
of human existence as such.
I was seeking for a suitable text
for the Monthly Diary and found one in
In the middle of the fourth century
Bishop Cyril of Jerusalem
gave this instruction to those
who were about to join the Catholic Church.
When you come forward for Holy Communion,
do not draw near with your hands wide open
or your fingers spread apart;
instead, with your left hand make a throne
for the right hand,
which will receive the King.
Receive the body of Christ in the hollow
of your hand and give the response: Amen.
I awoke to the sound of torrential rain
beating down on the flat roof.
The intermittent sunshine of yesterday,
and the pleasure of seeing
frog spawn on the lower pond
were not completely washed away....
The first daffodils are beginning to flower
and the purple crocuses are out.
Have they all been flattened by the rain?
Many plants are resilient
and rise again when beaten to the ground...
Tomorrow, Sunday 11th March
is this year
The name today is now focused on a family member,
the mother of the household,
who gave birth to her own children.
It was originally a reference to a return to
the Church in which one was baptised.
Baptism was seen as the true source of life -
perhaps because original sin was washed away....
It has been steadily raining here.
We had torrential rain during the night
and the flat grass areas in our garden
are drenched - once again.
Pools of water shine even in this dull light -
it can be thus even for human beings,
touched by fond memories
in time of affliction.
O Light serene of God the Fathers glory,
To you, O Christ we sing,
And with the evening star, at hour of sunset,
Our worship bring.
Sunday 18th March
I found the following quotation by
in The Tablet of 10th March 2018.
We were cut off.
Snow roared in from the east,
closing schools and silencing roads:
snaggle-toothed icicles lengthened
under the eaves.
We hadnt seen a fall like this in years.
After three days inside, cabin fever set in.
I just had to get out into the pristine world
of the white-blanketed village.
Wrapped up warm, each step I took
was a crunching, satisfying bite of wellie
sinking in crystal snow, but this
winter-wonderland vanished once Id left
our sheltered village.
A blizzard was waiting on the exposed arable fields.
Here the driving snow formed
a horizontal wall; the wind screamed.
I hadnt staggered far into the blizzard
when I realised it was a whiteout -
a snowstorm with zero visibility.
I lumbered on, making for the woods;
but without a path, landmarks or any reference points,
it was impossible to see where I was going...
The daffodils are out in our garden,
reminding me of a poem by William Wordsworth
which we learned at school.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high oer vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
We wish you every blessing in this coming