Dear Parishioner, – Ealingabbeyparish

Dear Parishioner,


Dear Parishioner,

The fish (remember them?) are displaying a curious new behaviour. When they think that food is on the way, and I will leave it to the behaviourists among you to decide whether the food provider or the food consumers are controlling this process, they tend to gather in one corner of the pond, but if food is dropped there, they seem to be unable to find it. Instead the food has to be thrown into the middle of the pond, whereupon they all rush to gobble it up (self restraint not being one of their strong points). So why don’t they loiter in the middle?

As you know, I have long seen the pond as a mirror of our human world, albeit a rather dark and silty one, and by looking into it we can see not just fish and frogs and lilies, but even a reflection of ourselves. How often do we say we want or need something, but persist in looking in the wrong place? I can say I want peace and quiet, but avoiding the problems that disturb me leaves them still lurking. Or we say we are always distracted in prayer, and seem to think it the fault or innate difficulty of prayer that leads to this, while we rarely look into ourselves, what we have been doing, how we have been living, what we are bringing, what we are wanting, and what on earth we actually think we are doing now.

We all have an entelechy (my new word and one I’m very pleased with), a perfection of all that is and is possible within us, but instead we live our lives in fragments, pleasure here, a problem there. The fish, perhaps, have it easy, and are confident that there is an answer to their need, and by turning around they find it. We could turn, look around, or look within and perhaps ask why we want what we want, and then we might find it too.

Happy Middle of the Year,

Abbot Martin