The Papal Nuncio
Sunday 22nd May
Today in the Catholic Church we celebrate the Trinity. This is the belief that God, though one, takes the form of three persons. In essence the Trinity is about relationship and particularly about love. The complex theology isn't important, but it makes sense to me that relationship and love is at the centre of our being. I think we all know that it is here that we find real joy and inner peace.
It was a very special occasion for the church in Monze because the Papal Nuncio was visiting – something that people could not previously remember. The nuncios are bishops who represents the pope throughout the world. This particular nuncio covers Zambia and Malawi.
We had just a single mass for Monze covering both the Sacred Heart Cathedral and Our Lady of the Wayside. Naturally with such a large gathering the mass was held outside.
Fr. Clement had told me on Saturday that I should arrive early so I decided to aim to be at the cathedral by 9.30 for the 10 hrs mass. At 9.15 I heard loud music coming from nearby. In fact I suspect most of Monze heard it! So I headed off in case the crowds were already growing. The music was indeed hymns booming out from a serious set of speakers!! I was impressed and a bit surprised that the church had such a system. It turned out that Radio Chikuni had come with their kit for the occasion.
It was a wonderful mass! The fact that much was in English helped me, but the joy was evident – and the fun. Men danced wielding spears and ladies waved branches as the choir, with beautiful harmonies led the congregation.
The Nuncio in his address referred to Pope Francis extolling people not to wear faces of mourning, but to wear “sunny” faces. There were many very sunny faces at the mass on Sunday.
At 2 ½ hours the mass was long enough, but for such an occasion here in Monze not excessive. I enjoyed it immensely and felt spiritually uplifted. We were challenged at the end of mass not to keep our faith for the occasional celebration, but to show it also in our daily lives. Here it is easier to be Christian. In the UK we are often dismissed as somehow out of touch, but more difficult is the constant ridicule that our faith is subjected to, particularly by the media. My faith is very important to me and without the support I believe I get from God, I couldn't live the life I do.
I promised myself a bit of relaxation and particularly I wanted to revisit the dam, which regular readers will know is my favourite place to relax around Monze.
I pass Diven's shop on the way, so I said a brief hallo. When I reached the dam I was surprised that the water level was so high. I had expected it to be low after the poor rains, though I had been told that very heavy rain during the final week had made a difference. There were a few people around the lake and a couple of girls braved the cool water and waded in beyond their waists.
I noticed some water lilies – something I have not seen here before. I settled with my binoculars on the far side of the lake. A few piglets were strolling around the water's edge – I assume that they would make their way home when they were ready. (obviously free-range pigs!). There is a strange dragonfly like insect which I only see at the lake which has patches of black on transparent wings which gives the impression of rotor blades hardly attached to the body. There were few birds today. An African Jacanda browsed on a far bank and eventually a wide billed stork came in to land. A small flock of crowned lapwing disturbed the peace with their raucous calls and just before I started back a pied kingfisher flew in. He hovered in typical fashion with his head down and long beak vertical, ready to pounce on any unsuspecting fish. The kingfishers are reasonably common at the lake – though still a joy to see – it's a pity my camera is not good enough to get a good photo. However, I have yet to see one make a successful catch. I compare this with the few occasions when I spotted kingfishers at Slimbridge – there they are very successful fishers! As I left a group of four wide billed storks flew over the lake. These are unmistakable and I have remarked before that they look almost prehistoric.
Diven had prepared me a meal while I was relaxing, so I joined him before continuing my journey back home.
I decide to finish reading my Agatha Christie novel – one I can't remember reading previously.
Raymond came to have a chat. He has the ambition of coming to England next year with his fiancée. When I told him the costs he recognised what a challenge it would be – not to mention to difficulty in obtaining a visa!!
My Bathroom Spider
My Bathroom Spider
Before turning in, I thrashed the computer at backgammon! There seem to be certain situations where it cannot cope! In the end it lost the plot and allowed me to pick up a maximum 192 points!
I must confess a few human players also find my unorthodox tactics difficult to deal with!
With much love and prayers,