Thursday, 17 December 2009

Somebody else's words this time. On a train journey with a new fangled Blackberry I can get the day's readings on Universalis (now bookmarked) and from here this daily reflection from St John's Abbey - which, through the miracle of technology, prompts me each day via an e-mail to read the update. I share this because I found the message frankly inspiring and worth passing on to others who may have stumbled across this blog.

After years of looking for someone else to blame for all our deficiencies there seems to be more appreciation today of accountability and responsibility. In fact the former word may be in danger of taking its place with other overexposed words like diversity and codependency. This new trend could encourage us to see the value of our life, our words, our example for our family, our friends, our neighborhood, our world. What we do or do not voluntarily do in the way of worship, love, honesty does strengthen or weaken the character, the tone, the texture of the community of which we are part. For our little part of the world and for many people around us we are irreplaceable; without the things we do or say they are diminished. Our lives, words and actions can build up or tear down. Our encouraging words or gestures help someone else through the day -- or the night. Our sympathy and listening tell others they are not alone, have worth. The respectfulness or dignity we bring to what we do helps others believe in the worth of living. What we do in response to our conscience is vital to the world around us and is our way of responding to the call of the Lord in the here and now.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

This Week's Good Cause

Christmas is traditionally seen as a time of goodwill, when we reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves through acts of charity.

Here's a truly worthy cause: one which I am sure no-one could disagree is both heart-warming and certainly in need of our money.

How fitting that the Christmas season is used to make this appeal.

In fact I am more confused than ever. On the one hand we have the foundation which like many of those cult movements which Richard Dawkins denounces, looks to its followers to empty their pockets to promote the fundamentalist anti-theist cause on a wider stage. So it could be a sort of quasi-religious movement.

Or is it simply a clever piece of marketing a la Disney with prospective consumers of the Richard Dawkins "experience" lured into the many books and DVD's via the medium of his website and the Foundation. It looks like it could be just a money-spinner right up there with Snow White and Cinderella. Fantastic!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Saturday, Saturday....

...used to be my favourite day of the week and in some ways it still is. Saturday for the most part is football day. Last night peace descended in our home after the draw for the 2010 World Cup was completed and the conflict of loyalties that my half-English, half-French children have to undergo every time the two countries meet was avoided. The draw itself with its system of seeding backed up by secondary measures to prevent regional imbalance in any particular group is a masterpiece of stage management. Even so we were one ball away from the following group:

Algeria and..........


The considerable baggage of politics as well as football might have left us with not so much a "Group of Death" as a "Group of Shock and Awe". Fortunately the real drama is likely to be played out by Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea. And if North Korea repeat their heroics of 1966 we will have a story on our hands.

Today Charlton face Southend United at home. This ought to be a straightforward 3-points, Southend are trying to compete with a wafer-thin squad and will be visiting on the back of a heavy home defeat by Norwich. Charlton, unbeaten at home, 2nd and riding high after a 2 -0 away win in midweek. What could be easier to predict? Except we Charlton fans are a fatalistic lot so I'm going for a draw.

I ought to keep up a pretty consistent record of attendance at the Valley this year except my daughter wishes to join today's Climate Change protest and there is all round agreement that maybe a little discreet adult presence - just in case - would be in order. So the Red and White apparel of match days may need to give way to something blue should I have to go green.

Option A then Charlton, Option B somewhere in London......... and if both fail then it may be Christmas Shopping at Bluewater................. On second thoughts, say no to CO2.