Monday, 31 March 2008


Sometimes an image is just too perfect and too me not to share. From one of my favourite websites - with a bullfighting image to soothe any ruffled feathers 'white boy' may have.

Sunday, 30 March 2008


I know, I know. There are at least TWO blog entries that are weeks behind. One is almost finished, but the more emotional one is still in the middle of the creative process - and processing in a deeper sense. I'll try to get them out this week.

Meanwhile, please read this article by one of my favourite authors, Rachel Remen, and feel free to start a discussion on it here. It's a wonderfully articulate exposition on how she - and I - feel about prayer. It will explain to those of you with whom I've started this discussion, better than I ever could, why I regard petitionary prayer with such distaste.

And it will also explain why I've never believed that the mandate 'pray without ceasing' is the sole province of those who take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, any more than a holy - and whole(y) - life is.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Questions arising and conversations overheard on Holy Saturday

No question, when my friend Ruth and I get together, we're theologically very naughty. Not only has she been making faces at me from the choir, so that I giggle in inappropriate places (it was her fault during your sermon, Simon, I swear!), but most priests would also have nightmares about answering questions that arise from our conversations.

Por ejemplo: today, we were at Tenebrae, the morning office for the Triduum. One of the responsories was "Lament like a virgin" (that also came up on Radio 3 whilst we were fighting our way out of Sainsbury's). I turned to Ruth and asked:

"Lament like a virgin - what does that mean? Are they lamenting *because* they are virgins?"

"Probably. You know, you could ask one of the good Catholic boys that and then say, 'Can I help you with that?'"

"Great pickup line."

This conversation happened as we were pushing a trolley around Sainsbury's. Later, in the checkout line, the people around us overheard the following:

Me: Who gets Jesus? (she has the qewlest, tackiest Jesus/Mary shopping bag)
Ruth: *I* get Jesus.
Me: But *I* WANT Jesus.
Ruth: Jesus is mine. I get to have Jesus.
Me: Fine. I didn't want him anyway. Jesus can go to hell.
Ruth, not missing a beat: Well, in fact, he did.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

A light bulb goes off...

I'm watching that wonderful programme, "CSI" (the original). There's a rodeo story on (I can imagine that 'white boy', who has just discovered the pleasures of CSI, would prefer a bullfight story), and a female bull-owner is discussing the finer points of sperm collection:

"First, you get a teaser - a steer. Bulls go homosexual in captivity."

Suddenly, Oxford and the Catholic priesthood make complete sense.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Don't lie, you know you love it...

This song is short, sweet, and to the point. Cheesy as hell, but catchy in the way that such tunes are. I can really relate to it at the moment. And here's a hint, boys - if you want to catch Atalanta, one of the most enticing golden apples can be found in these lyrics: "So if you want to talk the night through, guess who will be there." And yeah, it had damned well better be you.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


I checked my overly full desk today.

My Bible IS holding up my fondue set...

Monday, 3 March 2008

How NOT to excuse yourself from daily Scripture reading and how religious conservatives admit they're gay...

Phew, the title is almost a blog entry in itself!

I love dinner with Martin. We may warm up slowly, but by the main course, we're giggling away - and when the bill arrives, the tables around us have given up any pretence of ignoring our discussion, so I wickedly save the best or most shocking for when my debit card is in the machine.

First, though, the scripture discussion. Martin and I were discussing my lack of faith rather intently, and he said, "You read scripture daily, right?"

I whistled and looked at the ceiling.

Martin laughed and imitated me, saying, "I LOVE this."

"Well, Martin, you have to understand. I WOULD read Scripture daily, but my Bible is holding up a stack of books, and more importantly, my fondue set."

Martin fell out laughing. "It's holding up the unit, is it?"


"Look, honey, just give me the measurements, and I'll cut a block of wood that are the exact dimensions of your Bible. Then, without anaesthetic, we'll whip it out (by now, *I'M* helpless with laughter) and we'll stick the wooden one in."

I gave in. We continued our animated dinner conversation, with the table next to us paying more and more attention...then whilst I was paying, I pulled out the doozy.

"Oh my God, Martin, I have to share this conversation with you."

"Go on, then."

"This guy was starting off a conversation with that tired old phrase, 'no one is 100% straight or 100% gay.' We know what that usually means, right?"

"So the other guy agrees. Guy #1 asks, 'Have you ever found yourself having occasional sex with other guys?'

"Guy #2: 'Erm, no. What do you mean by 'occasional'?'
Guy #1: Four times this term."

By now, Martin was practically on the floor, the two guys weren't even pretending conversation, and our Indian waitress was so rapt, she nearly forgot to finish the transaction.

I couldn't resist, so I added some commentary:

"Cleopatra, Queen of Denial, you're GAY. God, only a religious conservative could have gay sex every fortnight and be convinced he's straight."

I may be going to Hell, but I'm going Emirates first class - screw the handbasket.