Mr Trump’s Hair and Other Weighty Matters by Bro Duncan PBGV

Human Beans never cease to surprise me. Up here in Beyond, where all is light, joy and peace, we smile over the preoccupations of Below. The number of column inches devoted to Mr Trump’s hair or the Winter Olympics cheerleaders from North Korea, the fuming and fretting over the government of the day, the feud between Brexiteers and Remainers, it all looks very different from here. So do your preparations for Lent. They are all so very serious! What you really need to do is to learn to be more simple and more dog.

Learning to be simple is natural to us dogs. We have a thought for each paw: food, food, sleep and food. Everyone is our very best friend, and we don’t hold grudges. We live in the moment. BigSis used to say that the sacrament of the present moment is the most neglected of all, and it’s true. You Human Beans are always regretting the past or worrying about the future and ignoring what is right under your noses. You make life complicated and never really enjoy anything because you are too busy having guilt trips. We don’t do guilt. Instead we do joy, lots of it! And our joy is infectious, because it’s impossible to look at our big noses and constantly wagging tails without feeling more cheerful. That’s why God gave them to us, and us to you.

BigSis says that joy is the key to making a good Lent: doing everything with the joy of the Holy Spirit. I asked St Benedict about that and he said she was quite right. Nuns always are. Then he coughed and looked a bit self-conscious and I realised he was thinking about his sister, Scholastica, whose feast day is tomorrow, and who taught the Father of Western Monasticism all about prayer and stuff. So I gave him a big Peeby kiss and looked very understanding until he was himself again. We chaps have to stick together, don’t we? Even Fathers of Western Monasticism have to put up with twin sisters who know and understand some things better than they do.

Anyway, the message to take from all BigSis’s spouting about preparing for Lent is this: Lent is meant to be a time of joyful simplicity when you Human Beans run free on the road to salvation. Of course, some parts of Lent are a bit like doing obedience work, but Easter itself is wonderful. It’s all about banquets and endless food and drink, a foretaste of what you will experience when you get Beyond. St Benedict says you Human Beans should look forward to it with the joy of spiritual longing. If you can’t manage that just yet, take a good look at your nearest dog and try to be more like him. We have the secret of eternal joy. Perhaps that’s why God lets us share his holy name in reverse. Perhaps.

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24 thoughts on “Mr Trump’s Hair and Other Weighty Matters by Bro Duncan PBGV

  1. May we learn to be content to live in the present moment and be joyful in all we do in our road to salvation. When I get preoccupied I will thing of Bro Duncan’s advice and wagging tail of joy.

  2. Absolutely sspot on . Bro Duncan
    Joy in the moment
    Us two Peebs Dennis and Micha are always teaching our human bean owner laughter even if it is tinged with exasperation at our antics
    We don’t do guilt do we
    And She knows that to whom she prays has taken the guilt away
    Keep telling her this with our wagging tails and joy filled lives .Glad you are up there in peace and joy . See you someday joyful exuberance and wags will be ours .
    Wish human beans could learn lessons like this
    We will just have to help them !

  3. I knew you’d get round to writing about Joy eventually!

    At boarding school many years ago we had an expression which somehow my daughter has inherited: “E.C.M.” This was an adjective, the initals originally standing for “Early Christian Martyr”, and referred to any too obvious, and greatly despised, self-sacrificing behaviour exhibited by a fellow-pupil — you always had to pretend you hadn’t wanted something, or some benefit, in the first place. This, I fear, is not the simplicity you had in mind, but does spare one’s nearest and dearest a certain amount of discomfort!

  4. How very good to hear from you Bro Duncan. I bet BigSis enjoyed sharing y our wisdom with us 😉
    The sacrament of the present moment has no “shoulds” and “oughts” in it, Cuddy tells me… but does lead to waggy tails and joy. I shall travel in the now – thank you BigBro…

  5. I’ve read this to mum to remind her that I’m right when I tell her to live in the moment and be happy and joyful. She listens to you more than me (I’m nearly 3 so you’d fink she’d trust what I say rather than calling me a wee whippersnapper or her little puppy still). Woof woof, Winston

  6. As a dyed-in-the-wool member of the Cats Party I shall reserve my position on the suggestion of “being” more dog, but as a cat acolyte who still likes dogs – and indeed made friends with a delightful cocker spaniel just this morning – I gladly acknowledge that dogs have much to teach us along the lines set out so persuasively here. Now I’m off to listen to Franck’s “Canis Angelicus” in Bro.Duncan’s honour.

  7. Well, talk about just being dog! Our Mass today in Catholic Bavaria was full of joy, an absolute blast. Called the Fools’/Clowns’ Mass, it kicked off the carnival or Fasching week. In the organ loft the brass band was installed and opened proceedings with a cacophony fit to rouse the dead. The church is baroque in style with terrific accoustics, so I thought the roof might fly. The music was provided by a young folk group and they and a high proportion of the congregation had come in carnival costumes, strange witches, hairy monsters, clowns…most with heaps of bells and rattles attached which rang and clattered with every movement. The PP opened the Mass proper with the traditional”Hoppla!” To which we responded “Ho!” Three times, at full volume. Said also at the end of the homily. Everyone loved it, from the elderly, frail and rather staid to the teenagers and strapping young men. All joined in and all left church with real joy on their faces, laughing, chatting to perfect strangers as tho they were old friends.
    A very old tradition which had fallen into disuse but which gave an enormous fillip to the start of Lent.

      • No, you’re right, Dame Catherine, but there are wonderful traditions in the UK, too. We used to live in Cardiff, but regularly went to the Easter Vigil at Belmont, a glorious experience with a colossal bonfire outside the main doors, and the May procession there, too. I miss them both.

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