Sunday, March 13, 2005

A triple blessing - and Susanna day.

The Triple Blessing
This being what used to be called Passion Sunday I was in St Peter's for the Penitental Station procession and vespers. As is usual, vespers was followed by the traditional benediction of the faithful with two of the great relics of the basilica - the Veil of Veronica and a large fragment of the True Cross. However, on my way into St Peter's Square I received a benediction of a third kind - for the second year in a row, one of the pigeons has decided to bestow on me his particular favour - something that is said to portend good luck. I'm just worried about the Biblica precedent.
On the same night I returned from burying him, and because I was defiled I slept by the wall of the courtyard, and my face was uncovered. I did not know that there were sparrows on the wall and their fresh droppings fell into my open eyes and white films formed on my eyes. I went to physicians, but they did not help me. Ahikar, however, took care of me until he went to Elymais. Tobit 2:9-10
Susanna DayTomorrow the lectionary presents us with one of those thumping great stories from the Old Testament starring one of my heros, the Prophet Daniel. Daniel's wit in securing the acquital of the innocent Susanna and the condemnation of the creepy old peeping-Toms is a wonderful example of God's justice and a funny story to boot. However, its subject matter has been known to cause concern in some circles - there is a story (possibly apocryphal) that the Monday of the 5th week of Lent was celebrated as 'Susanna Day' in a particulary exclusive and 'correct' girls' boarding school run by a very posh congregation of teaching sisters. It was said that the students were allowed sleep in on Susanna Day and dispensed from hearing Mass so that the sordid tale of Susanna bathing in the garden not corrupt them.
Little or no original contentI have a very busy few weeks ahead - expect very little in the way of posting, etc... until after Easter week.

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