SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Diary
May 27, 2022
I spend my first flight in years adding tabs into my new bible. Somewhere over China, I manage to stick Zachariah to Matthew which results in very unbiblical language. I recall the Browning quotation in Stalky about a text in the Galatians offering 29 distinct damnations. I count my sins as we fly through the
March 30, 2022
‘Have a good trip”, says the faded tourism leaflet taped to the window of the Ukrainian border guard post with Hungary at Beregsurány. I was entering as part of the Order of Malta’s Hungarian humanitarian mission. This was possible as the Order is – still, thankfully – recognised as an independent sovereign state and my
February 28, 2022
There can’t have been many clergy filled with unrestrained enthusiasm and Christian joy when told of the requirement to hold a “synodal process” in our parishes. Weren’t the Vatican and bishops aware of the anxieties and additional pressures caused by the pandemic, just as another variant seemed poised to break over us? The deadlines for
January 27, 2022
I had never lived in New York City before I moved to Manhattan in 2018. It was daunting to come as a fully formed adult with a 14-year-old child in tow. We came for one reason: my French son had won a scholarship to a prestigious, old-world boys’ school founded by a Rockefeller in 1888. 
November 29, 2021
A walk along the Franciscan Way from La Verna to Assisi conjures up thoughts of the wolf of Gubbio and the paradox of il Poverello’s ornate and vast tomb
October 21, 2021
Two years ago at the age of 52 I had a minor heart attack. I know it was minor, because I’m still here to tell the tale. It happened just as lockdown began, so I was alone during surgery, and was not permitted visitors in the hospital ward. In several respects, I preferred being alone.
October 13, 2021
Anna Somers Cocks on the plight of those left behind in Afghanistan, the apps offering a window on that country, and the challenges of her Italian garden
July 29, 2021
Unusually for me, I had a weekend of sport. The heights of a victory at Lord’s followed by the defeat at Wembley were enough to test the faith. It will be a while before going to Rome is seen more positively than at the time of Cromwell.  The weekend also demonstrated the simplistic fallacy of
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