This month sees excitement as school holidays approach and families find the time and wherewithal to get away for a few days. It is also a time when the wedding season gets underway and many couples will be making their life-long vows to each other.
Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, writing in his book 'Being Human', suggests that "if we are to think and act in a way that helps to make the world more rather than less human-and humane- we do need more clarity than our culture usually gives us as to what we think is 'more' human".
It is a particularly helpful book which underlines that being human involves relationships, it involves story and it involves a shared language - and that is just the first chapter! Our lives are sustained by a variety of relationships, and those relationships are, in turn, sustained by our involvement and care of the other. Unfortunately our Western culture is depriving us of precious moments, as we seem to believe what the world of advertising and consumerism encourages us to believe.
Perhaps, in an effort to offer a moment of reflection in your life, stop for a moment and consider these two questions from Rowan's book:
1. What are the most significant people in your life at present, and how do you imagine they see you in relation to them?
2. Can you identify some key moments or episodes in your life story that have shaped your consciousness of your-self and the way you view the world around you?
I think they are good questions to share with others too. I wonder if there is another to add as the holidays approach. What difference will your reflection on your answers to these questions make in your day to day life?
Enjoy a pause in the sunshine,
Your Parish priest,