Tenth Sunday Ordinary Time 2013 Widow of Nain

Scripture readings for this Sunday's Mass are here.

Click here for various reflections on the readings from St Louis Centre for Liturgy.

James Tissot The Resurrection of The Widow's Son at Nain  Image Source

This week I cycled past the local cemetery and saw a funeral in progress and as always, alongside the family and friends of the deceased there were passers by. Some had simply stopped out of curiosity, maybe to show some respect and hopefully even some empathy for the grief and loss of such an occasion. 

On the subject of funerals, I am fond of the book, The Undertaking by Thomas Lynch, from which this quotation below is taken.

They weep here
For how the world goes, 
and our life that passes 
touches their hearts.
 Virgil 90-17 BC

If you have the time (!) click here to listen to this BBC Radio 4 programme from the excellent Something Understood Series, which examines the place of empathy in politics, religion, medicine, popular culture and the arts. 

Presenter Mark Tully tries to establish the difference between empathy, pity and compassion and consults the works of thinkers and writers - ranging from Jain Mystic Shrimad Rajchandra to T.S. Eliot and comic poet Shel Silverstein.
Sadly, there are only 4 days left to get it in the archives .

Song - Give Me Your Eyes.


 The Thing Is

To love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs'
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think how can a body withstand this ?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

 Ellen Bass

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                                              We Cannot Measure How You Heal

                                 sung by the Girl's Choir of St Alban's Cathedral in 2002.

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