This morning I went to Mass a little farther afield, in the chapel of a Nazareth House care home. A 1960s building, by the look of things; I wasn’t expecting great architectural or aesthetic merit, but that didn’t matter so much, because it’s the Mass that matters. To my surprise, however, the interior of the chapel was lovely. In that very mid-20th century space the sisters had installed a dignified marble altar; the Tabernacle had pride of place at the centre of the rear wall; there was a fine large crucifix, and a very nice set of Stations of the Cross, quite modern but simple and moving.
The hymns were not quite to my taste: they made me think of the sort of tunes that seemed popular in Anglican services during the radio broadcasts I used to hear occasionally in the 1950s. But perfectly liveable-with, and I dare say many people like them very much.
But what really struck me was the homily, delivered by an elderly resident priest; I think he said he was a Carmelite. Isn’t it inspiring when you hear something thoroughly edifying in a homily? When just a few words stick in your mind and warm your heart? In that environment he incorporated in his homily, understandably, references to frailty, and to the suffering - sometimes very great - which we all have to endure at some time in our lives. He spoke of the suffering of Christ on the Cross, and His Resurrection; and then he said: “With all suffering, there is always the Third Day”.
I think I will add these words to my collection of pithy sayings which it can be so very strengthening to call upon in difficult times. Thank you, Father.