The Lord rubbed my eyes: I went away and washed;
then I could see, and I believe in God.
Today the choir of Lincoln College, Oxford, led us in our music for the mass. The introit, Miserere Mei by Byrd, drew us into a reflective frame of mind as we sang "Thou whose eternal word..." and at the end of each verse we sang, "Let there be light!" We were reminded in the homily of how the lections for Lent are shaped by the original purpose of the season: to prepare catechumens for entrance into the church through baptism at Easter. The dialogue between the man, who had been healed of blindness, and the Pharisees drew some very poignant thoughts as we considered the dialogue between the church and the unbelieving world. The catechumens far from having their 'blindness' healed through catechesis and the sacraments are considered by the world as sinking further into darkness, blindness and obscurity. But for those coming to the faith the opposite is apparent. There is not greater obscurity but greater clarity. From the comments made during my group's catechesis it seems that those of us journeying to the Ordinariate are experiencing increased clarity and light, although at the same time experiencing a certain amount of conflict with those who find this unsettling. The Pharisees were unsettled by the healing of the blind man on the sabbath, perhaps most of all by the blind man's simple witness, "...I only know that I was blind and now I can see." Perhaps this simple reply is the most powerful witness that any convert (and everyone of faith is a convert of one sort or another!) can make, and it is, I think, what we who are journeying to the Ordinariate also say.
The readers of this blog, concerned about the tadpoles, will be pleased to hear that the tadpole numbers have increased thanks to fresh deposits of spawn hatching in the last week. Oh the fecundity of God's creation! There are now tadpoles large and small, but none with legs. However my eldest son intercepted my short journey to the hall for coffee (which is incidently very good coffee) to tell me that there were lizards in the pond. I about-turned and made a bee-line to the pond. I tried to explain they were not lizards but newts; he was having none of it, "No, they are lizards." Nature lessons this week at homeschool will have to be on amphibians.
Ian Hellyer, Pastor of the Buckfast Ordinariate Group