Sabbath Calm and Chuntering On

The monastery is being besieged by aggrieved pub owners and hairdressers because of a throwaway remark I made earlier this week about H.M. Government being apparently more interested in them than in the Arts. If I were a pub owner or a hairdresser, no doubt I’d be besieging the monastery, too.* The fact is, we all tend to react to what most concerns us, or we admit to having a divided mind on some subjects where we can see both positives and negatives. At one level, for instance, I’m pleased the Government thinks it must do something to preserve Wetherspoons and the jobs it provides. At another, I’m less than pleased that the Government seems to think the Royal Albert Hall and the jobs it provides is expendable. As regards the opening of churches and places of worship, I admit to equally divided feelings, but I am very conscious of the fact that the monastery has a chapel, that the Blessed Sacrament is kept there, and that the Divine Office, with its steady round of prayer and worship, is maintained daily. I can do exactly what St Benedict recommends, go in at any time and pray. That isn’t possible for many of my fellow Christians. I am privileged in a way most are not, and I shall spend part of today praying for those who are not so blessed and reflecting on how the Church must meet the needs of its members.

I think that is one reason why Sundays are so important. It’s not just a question of liturgical significance, nor is it anything to do with the human need to rest, or not exactly. Sundays provide a moment of sabbath calm for reflection on all that has gone before. When God rested on the sabbath day and viewed all he had created, he found it not merely good but very good. Sometimes we need to pause to register the good in a situation or person. Otherwise we just go chuntering on, missing the moment and missing the blessing, too. It is no accident that St Benedict saw the pursuit of peace as a key element in monastic life. His peace wasn’t the mere absence of activity or conflict; it was much more like the sabbath calm in which God’s creativity takes full effect. May your Sunday be blessed with sabbath calm, too.



15 thoughts on “Sabbath Calm and Chuntering On”

  1. For us today, the Sabbath, will involve me taking my spouse for an appointment at a clinic in a district hospital, which may be able to address the issues caused to her respiratory system by two bouts of double pneumonia is the past four years. She had symptoms of the same event two days ago, and ended up in A&E at the hospital for six hours for triage, tests and scans before being released with a promise of an early followup. Much to our surprise, we received a call on Friday, saying that they wanted to review her on Sunday? Who knew that such clinics operated seven days a week? We certainly didn’t.

    So, today I will miss our streamed communion service, but will catch up later with the video recording, my priority is my spouse and her health and well being. But it also highlights the changes in the NHS that they are now operating 7 days a week, where before it would have been a wait.

    My spouse is considered to be extremely clinically vulnerable, registered by the NHS, but without any of the support offered by the government because like many others, her name was missed of the lists shared with local authorities and retailers.

    I am hoping and praying for release from the symptoms with treatment, medication and self help, which apparently is the purpose of today’s appointment. We both live in hope for how it will go.

    Prayers of course, continue for you here and your particular situation.

  2. Agreed. And it’s the inconsistency that from HMG that’s so exasperating. Oh for a chance to go to concert by The 16 – I can forgo the pub.

    And today, the Sabbath, we’re in search of peace and plan a 20km walk in the glorious Kent countryside which means I shan’t be watching (doesn’t feel like participating) in Mass on the cracked screen phone….

  3. Very – Beautiful. Thank you. Peace… calm … just a bit of chuntering … and Prayer. Please remember us all… especially when you are in the presence of the Holy Sacrament….God created us all with His Love. Amen, Amen.

  4. Today I volunteered to work the weekend shift. But I asked to not be rostered between 10am and 12.00pm so I could attend church service and I was also rostered to do the reading at church.I personally need to take this time to attend a service as I know I work such better in my work from attending. I also am I better person work wise if I attend, look and listen to art, music, plays. Both of the above are important to my wellbeing. Blessings a Healthcare employee.

  5. Sadly, the arts were dropped long ago by HMG. I recall a music teacher being worried about his job as a music teacher because it was being dropped as a subject. In September, primary schools are being asked to concentrate on numeracy, literacy and science and drop everything else. PE had already been stopped. The arts and sport will eventually become available only to those who can afford to pay for after school activities.

  6. Thank you for this post – and for the wisdom of the thoughts on the Sabbath (It was a fellow-religious who dubbed the “Day of Rest and Gladness” as a “Day of Rush and Madness” Of course.) And for your prayers for those of us who haven’t yet had a Eucharisit (though at least we have the Chapel and the Office) And! for your concern for those in the Arts/Entertainment industries who have had precious little to give thanks for yet from HMG! We, too, are praying, and thank you for yours!

  7. Yes so important to have a day of calm. When I was a boy in the 1950s Sunday was so very different. So less busy. During my stays in more recent years in France and Italy, the areas I was in very quiet compared to the UK. St. Benedicts pursuit of peace a lovely message to us all. Peace/pax to you all.

  8. Let it not be said that this blog is without influence.* On the very day I lament (in passing) the indifference of H.M. Government to the Arts, we hear that £1.5 billion is to be made available to the Arts and Heritage. We don’t yet know how it will be allocated, nor what the application process will be, but it offers a financial lifeline that will be widely welcomed. Thanks be to God. *another joke

  9. Not sure of influence on government, unless your name is “Cummings” nothing seems to influence them apart from Public Opinion and their disapproval ratings and pressure from the right wing media.

    But, we can still say Thanks be to God for your writing, which continues to influence your readers.

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