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Visitor Block (or Charity over Lenten Rules!)

2014 April 1
by Gordon Reid

The more numerate among you may have noticed that my Lenten resolution to post something every day has fallen far behind. This has been caused by my having had a visitor in the Rectory for the last ten days. Now I know I could have found a short time  every day to post something, while still looking after my visitor and making sure he had a pleasant visit, but somehow there was always something else to do. And I am glad I did all these other things, rather than stick to my  good intentions about this blog. It was more important to go on  visits to  the countryside around Philadelphia, to visit friends in distant suburbs, even to see for the umpteenth time that little gem, Philadelphia’s Maritime Museum, and especially to spend lots of time eating together and with friends, rather than to take myself off once a day to post something here.

It reminds me of the time in Edinburgh that a priest friend and I decided to give up all alcohol for Lent. Nothing wrong with that, you may say. But we did it so publicly and with the equivalent of Pharisaical trumpet blasts. We still went out to dinner at Vito’s or the Doric and to friends’ parties, but when offered wine or gin or even beer, we would make loud protestations of righteous smugness and demand some  weird soda-based drink or just water, thus making others feel very uncomfortable and inhospitable. So, half-way through Lent, we took a principled decision to return to our normal ways in public and to to give up something else in private. Charity triumphed over resolutions!

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