05 February 2022
One recent morning, I took an early morning train from Venice to Padua, which is said to be one of the oldest cities in northern Italy. Padua is listed by Unesco, and has one of the oldest universities in Europe.
My monthly column in this month’s edition of the Church Review (February 2022), is a two-page, illustrated feature, on Padua. The i>Church Review is the monthly magazine of the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. It is edited by the Revd Nigel Waugh, Rector of Delgany, Co Wicklow, and this month’s edition is available in churches throughout the diocese tomorrow morning (6 February 2022).
Padua is a picturesque city, less than an hour from Venice, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze or squares, once surrounded by the city’s ancient walls.
I was in Padua primarily to see Giotto’s decoration of the Scrovegni Chapel, which is undoubtedly his masterpiece. But I also visited the university, one of the oldest in Western Europe, learned about Dante’s links with the city, and visited the last surviving synagogue in the old ghetto of Padua.
But more about Padua, and my visit to the city, on this blog tomorrow afternoon.
I am back to Askeaton after a few days in Dublin and I have a lot to catch up on, including putting the finishing touches to Sunday’s services and sermons in Askeaton and Tarbert. But, before this busy day begins, I am taking some time early this morning for prayer, reflection and reading.
The Feast of the Presentation, or Candlemas on Wednesday (2 February) marked the last of the great festivals of the season of Christmas. The Church Calendar is now in Ordinary Time for a month until Ash Wednesday, 2 March 2022.
During this month in Ordinary Time, I hope to continue this Prayer Diary on my blog each morning, reflecting in these ways:
1, Short reflections drawing on the writings of a great saint or spiritual writer;
2, the day’s Gospel reading;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
At present, I am exploring the writings of the great Carmelite mystic, Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), so my quotations over these few days are from her writings:
Nada Te Turbe by Saint Teresa of Avila:
Nada te turbe,
nada te espante
todo se pasa,
Dios no se muda,
la paciencia todo lo alcanza,
quien a Dios tiene
nada le falta
solo Dios basta.
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God
God alone suffices.
Mark 6: 30-34 (NRSVA):
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (5 February 2022) invites us to pray:
We give thanks for the development of agricultural tools which have minimal impact on the environment. May we care for creation whilst protecting livelihoods.
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org