Well I did manage the somewhat-delayed retreat this week – and have been paying for it in the unequal struggle with the Inbox ever since. It was great to be with the Benedictines in Rostrevor again. So much to learn.

Some ‘on the surface’ things. Those who go into church with me will know that I come back wanting to incline before the altar – 45 degrees from the waist and no nodding. I think it’s the French thing. On the ‘nice bit of chalice work there, Ted’ front, they do wonderful things with a thurible. It’s all very spare …

But here’s a thing. My life is to some extent driven by my chosen priorities. But often it’s driven by a mixture of urgent/must do and things which other people want me to do. And no harm in that. But in the monastery, a bell rings. You stop what you are doing and move to something else. No ‘I’ll be there in a minute’ or ‘maybe I’ll give it a miss today.’ All things may not be equally important. But they all need their time in a balanced life.

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