Not dead…just not here!

I’ve noticed that there’s been quite a bit of traffic passing through the blog in the last couple of months so I just wanted to remind visitors that I no longer actively blog on this site. If you’d like to see what I’m writing these days, you might want to check out RestlessPilgrim.net:

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I’m not here any more

Just a reminder, I’m not blogging here any more. I now blog over at RestlessPilgrim.net!

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Just a reminder…

Hey guys…

David Bates here…just to make sure you know that I’ve moved my blog over to http://RestlessPilgrim.net.

I’ve been writing pretty regularly since I moved to my own domain. On Tuesdays I usually publish my Lectionary Notes for the Mass Readings the following Sunday. Every week I post an inspiration quotation as part of Wise Words on Wednesdays. And, naturally, I’m still continuing to post funny stuff on Fridays as part of Friday Frivolity.

In the intervening days you’ll find posts in which I review books, ponder issues such as celibacy, as well as have the occasional rant.

So! Please update your RSS readers and email subscriptions and I’ll see you over at RestlessPilgrim.net!

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Checking here? Still?!

Are you still really checking this website? We’ve moved! Please update your RSS Reader and bookmark to RestlessPilgrim.net. Look at all the great posts (even if I do say so myself) you’ve been missing out on:

Seriously! Unsubscribe from here and go subscribe over at RestlessPilgrim.net!
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What are you doing?!

What are you doing checking this blog any more? The Restless Pilgrim has moved to http://restlesspilgrim.net !

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The Restless Pilgrim Has Moved!

Dear All,

In rather ironic news, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the Restless Pilgrim blog has moved!

Up until now, my blog has hosted for free but it has now moved to its own domain:

http://RestlessPilgrim.net

I have been blogging since June last year and accumulated over a hundred posts so I decided it was time to commit to this blogging malarkey!

Life has been rather busy the last few months, what with having a vacation back in England, but I have been working hard and a large collection of posts should soon be seeing the light of day…

So, please, head on over to http://RestlessPilgrim.net and update your email subscriptions, Google Reader and RSS Readers. See you there!

Thanks for reading,

David.

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Humbling Prayer

I recently told this story to a friend of mine.  As I was driving home afterwards, I thought that it might be worth sharing here too…

When I was living back in England, my parish had a Hospital Visiting Ministry with which I was involved, run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Every Saturday we would hand out free newspapers, identify the patients who would like to receive Holy Communion the following day and spend some time speaking with them. This would be done by two different people every week, each covering half of the hospital.

Out of all the wards we visited, the one I hated visiting the most was the ASU, where stroke victims were treated. I think I disliked visiting this ward more than any other because it was often a very frustrating experience.

I’ve always placed a very high premium on communication, and those in the ASU usually had difficulty with speaking, a common consequence of suffering a stroke. It frustrated them not being able to make themselves easily and fully understood and it frustrated me in not always being able to understand them.

Entertaining Angels

One day I came into the ASU and was directed by the nurses towards a particular gentleman. He was very old and ill. He was hard of hearing so I got quite close to him and introduced myself and asked if he would like to receive the Eucharist that weekend. With a great deal of obvious effort, he nodded that he would.

On a normal day, that would have been the end of my interaction with him and I would have gone on my way. It was obvious that it required a great amount of exertion on his part to communicate with me and it would probably be better to leave him. In our training we were encouraged to spend less, rather than more time with the patients, for fear of tiring them out, or even worse, annoying them with our continued presence.

“May my prayer be rise before you like incense…”

However, that day something made me to stay. I asked him if he would like it if I quietly prayed with him for a little while (something we generally didn’t do). He nodded again. I was expecting him to simply lay there while I sat next to his bed and prayed quietly, but what happened next caught me completely off-guard…

“…and the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice”

I saw his right hand rise up from the bed, touch his head, then move down towards his chest and then to each of his shoulders. I heard the faint words pass from his lips: “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…”

He then lead me in prayer: an “Our Father”, a “Hail Mary” and a “Glory Be”…. It was clear that this was draining for him.  It caused him physical discomfort, which was particularly evident by the time he made the sign of the cross again when we had finished. I was deeply moved.

I told him someone would visit him the next day with communion, I said my goodbye and left the ward. Outside in the hall,  I found a chair and slumped down upon it. Now that had been a prayer! I had just witnessed a true sacrifice of praise to the Lord. That gentleman didn’t have much to offer the Almighty, but offered it anyway.

It made me wonder. How many times had I entered a church or started to pray and made a quick, almost flippant, sign of the cross without thinking? How many times had I rattled through the ancient prayers of the Church without giving any real attentiveness to their words? Never again, I told myself.

He is risen!

During the last few days of Holy Week, as the Church proclaimed Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection, I thought many times about that Saturday afternoon in the hospital. I have recalled the image of that elderly gentleman making a slow, painful sign of the cross over his weak, failing body.

What rich symbolism there is in a simple sign of the cross! And what a powerful declaration of faith! It declares faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ, trusting that, one day, our own fragile bodies will also be raised up by God and that we will find them renewed, transformed and brought to wholeness in Him.

“Now if we die with Christ, we will also live with Him” – Romans 6:8

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