Part of our History: What makes me tick now I am 85?

While celebrating  my 85th birthday this February 2012, I remembered  what a friend shared with me after her first flight to Montana in Switzerland.

She compared it to a mystical experience: irresistible acceleration, proportions changing in the twinkle of an eye, a sense of a change of gravity, seeing little black dots instead of buildings and cars, and above all the exhilarating feeling of flying upward, piercing the clouds and coming up into the sunlight.

Our chapel in HackneyOur chapel in Hackney

Well, I am not a specialist in the mystical life, but I feel that there is a lot of truth in this description as one approaches ‘the departure line.’

Everything seems to go faster and faster and changes rapidly. What looked so ominous now appears so little. It reminds me of what our Parish Priest said of an elderly lady at her burial recently. She used to pray at the chapel of our Lady every Sunday before the 9 o’clock Mass, even though she had a long way to walk and even when she became rather confused and forgetful. It was as if she had an “interior radar” and he added: “almost all religions believe in a life after death, but only as Christians do we wait for a personal encounter with our risen Lord.

 Another image of a journey comes to my mind.  During the war, my Mum was going to the South of France to collect my young nephews who would spend the summer holidays with us in the country. The night journey was very uncomfortable and one of the boys who was about  5 whispered in her ear:  “Grandma, I hope you do not mind if I lean on you, because you are the only thing that is not made of wood in this carriage!” How wonderful that our God is not made of wood, the one who became flesh and blood as one of us and who is waiting for us saying: “lean on me”.