The war in Syria continues with no end in sight. For six years, Syrians have lived under a black cloud of misery and death. The number of refugees produced by this conflict is staggering: over 4.8 million people have managed to escape the horror and violence of the civil war.
For a thousand years, choirs have sung the praise of God − the vaulted walls of cathedrals and churches filled with echoing melodies older than the buildings themselves. The Delphic hymns of Ancient Greece date from 128 BCE, and are the earliest evidence of compositions for choirs − though perhaps, not for a choir we would immediately think of today.
There is a story that St Augustine was walking on the beach contemplating the mystery of the Trinity. Then he saw a boy in front of him who had dug a hole in the sand and was going out to the sea again and again and bringing some water to pour into the hole. St. Augustine asked him, “What are you doing?” “I’m going to pour the entire ocean into this hole.” “That is impossible, the whole ocean will not fit in the hole you have made” said St. Augustine. The boy replied, “And you cannot fit the Trinity in your tiny little brain.” The story concludes by saying that the boy vanished because St Augustine had been talking to an angel. (Volume 5 The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine).
A Royal Commission is an inquiry directed by the Queen into any matter which relates to the “peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth (of Australia) or any public purpose or any power of the Commonwealth”. The factsheet produced by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse describes a Royal Commission more simply as “a special investigation into a matter of great importance”.
Yes, I’m in pursuit of it. Happiness. I’m on the lookout for notable examples of the phenomenon, to see if I can make any sense of where it happens and where it doesn’t. I might record them in a book, too, as something to turn to on rough days, to lift the spirits a bit by the recollection of being caught up in the infectiousness of an unaffectedly happy person. Hey, it’s no sillier than collecting spoons or snow domes, is it? Little reminders.
I scribe this message from the Gold Coast on this October long weekend. I have spent the past week assisting my daughter, her newborn and her family. Last week, Tracey Edstein filled you in on the celebration of Religious in our diocese over the past 150 years.