The Month of Virgin Mary is ended, it always fills me with a bit of sadness. During one of our May processions in the garden, our cat Joseph, which has found a home here, thought it was so cosy that he decided to take a nap at Virgin Mary’s feet. Animals never stop surprising me with their initiatives.
We had just said hello, and were beginning to present ourselves when her voice broke. Everything about her looked like a dream. She was beautiful, she was young, studying to become an art teacher. Sitting there in the airy room with the ivy climbing up along the window, she looked like to have a lovely life, fresh like a summer morning.
I saw her pain when she tried to explain, divorce, just the beginning while she made an attempt to cover her face with her hand to hide her tears. My heart became heavy to see her pain. I wanted to cry with her, but my words were clumbsy, “how terrible, poor you”. I could suddenly see her loss, both life, love and future, dreams, crushed, rejected, but I could not do anything to help her.
It wasn’t meant to be like that from the beginning.
“To love is when the loved one’s good is willed”
It is so fascinating to ponder about the birth of Christ, such a mystery. After this miracle he never left us. Through the millenia he has remained here on earth, but in this tiny host, always as a victim.
While sitting there gazing at the host admist all the lit candles, I can in a way sense this presence even if it surpasses my intellectual ability, nevertheless completely rational. He is there and will never leave as long as, as my father told me, we let him stay.
Being catholic with a strong love for France it is impossible to not feel a great sorrow and loss when hearing about the fire. At the same time it was so beautiful to read about the praying people around the church, the courageous firefighters and the priest father Fournier who risked his life to save the crown of thorns and the holy sacrament. That is what I call a true priest.
I live on a farm where I have God as neighbour. Strange as it may sound, he is there just 50 meters from my doorstep. He has been there since I was born. My parents moved to this farm 1982 and immediately wanted to have, since they had it on their previous farm, the holy eucharist present. To be a catholic in Sweden today is, as my brother Clemens coined, “to be a stranger”. Almost all catholic churches was seized by the protestant state around 1540s. So today, if you want to have a church, you must build it yourself. My parents started building a chapel as soon as they arrived. Later it became a consecrated church, a very little church, the smallest in the diocese and consequently the smallest of all catholic churches in Sweden. Nevertheless Jesus Christ is present there in the tabernacle, completely. He is my neighbour. To live with God as neighbour creates a presence that is discovered in silence in front of the tabernacle. I love to sit there with just candles lighting the church. This little church is the heart of the farm. The church bell tells about it, the red oil lamp indicates the place and the prayers witness about it. He waits there in darkness. I think it has made a mark on my life, because you always relate to him hiding in this little church wherever you are on the farm or if you are walking in the forests and fields in the vicinity, a reference point as well as a refuge. And maybe it is not he that is my neighbour, but I his? It must be so, but in secret.