Thursday, 18 February 2016
Sunday, 14 February 2016
I don't remember too much about High School. I survived it relatively unscathed, though I have to say the casual, not-even-cruel neglect of we 'working class' girls ensures that I will be a socialist until my dying day, but I have something to be profoundly thankful for. Spiritual awakening.
Nothing at all to do with Religious Education Class, or the daily act of worship, which were rigorously adhered to in State Schools in the 1960's: no, this potted God made little impression on me. Three times a year, at the beginning of each term the truly dreadful headteacher, Hilda Mortimer, would read aloud from the Bible. "Though I may speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity then I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal ... " which, I have to say, sums Mort up. BOING .. BOING ..
I can't remember when Paul's letter to the pretty-screwed -up community in Corinth finally began to make an impression, maybe not even at the time, but one day I got it. I just got it. Love is all that matters, and it's all that remains when everything else has faded away.
Today I have roses and a dinner with wine, for romance is amazing and good and fun, but to my mind, it's not 'true' love.
You won't know this until you've lived a bit. The teenage me that snuck out at lunch time to sneak a few kisses with William, still smiles, but this sexagenarian knows better. True love is what is present when two aging people can look back on a life of giving out to one another, to their children, to their community, and say, "It wasn't always easy, but it was worth it!"
The very best talk I have ever heard on that profoundly beautiful segment on love in the letter of St Paul to the Corinthians can be found here:
(Warning! It's not sentimental!)