Friday, February 18, 2011

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland
Friday, February 18th, 2011

The old adage in Montreal is that a pothole is large enough to warrant fixing when you can put a chicken in it.

London, apparently, has a “pothole gardener” – who runs around potting up potholes with pansies and Johnny Jump-Ups to highlight the need for council workers to get that municipal chicken climbing down into potholes more regularly to see just how big they've become.

Best bets are that the pothole gardener is a cyclist who has ruined at least one wheel rim in a pothole and wants everybody to know that it’s not okay.

Scotland is facing a two billion pound bill for repair of potholes – all at a go - because we’ve not taken the chicken out on more regular rounds.

All sorts of things decay and degrade. I can think of at least two of Jesus’ sayings designed to relay a sense of urgency to those who’ve let their relationships with their neighbours decay and who are bringing their gift to the altar as if everything was fine. Or who are taking the reckoning they must make some day with their Creator too lightly - who haven’t trimmed their lamps so they’ll have light when the darkness comes.

Decay and degradation need to be checked out in a timely manner – decay in a marriage, decay in a congregation, decay in a workplace – even personal decay in terms of our own human connections or our spiritual progress. When did we stop communicating frankly with our families or our spouses? When did we stop talking to God in the way we used to do? Do we imagine that rectifying this is something that we can do at some later and undefined time?

Bad news, given early enough, is never really that bad.

The chicken test, applied in a timely manner, indicates a needed repair rather than a major catastrophe.

An audio link appears HERE for a limited time. TFTD begins at 1:21.17 - about halfway along the audio bar.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Y'all may have celebrated him yesterday
but we've still got him here today

Or at least bits of him.

While St Valentine's skull is in a pretty glass casket in Rome (not my photo, btw) , the other bits are in a reliquary at the Church of Blessed Duns Scotus in the Gorbals district of Glasgow.
The story has it that the entire reliquary was stored in a large cardboard box in the back of the vestments cupboard for rather a long time.

Not a very dignified sojourn for the long bones of somebody who just might possibly be one of the three contenders for the historical Saint Valentine.

St Valentine is not only the patron saint of husbands running around Marks & Spencers on their way home from each 14th of February....
The patronage of Saint Valentine also extends to epilepsy (from which he is believed to have suffered), bee-keepers, plague, greetings, travellers and young people. His representations include: birds, roses, a bishop with a crippled or epileptic child at his feet; a bishop with a rooster nearby; a bishop refusing to adore an idol; a bishop being beheaded; a priest bearing a sword; a priest holding a sun; and a priest bestowing sight upon a blind girl.
The Canadian connection (without which no blog post is worth putting on the internet) would be the town of St-Valentin, Quebec, population 478. The town's post-office has a heart-shaped postmark used to cancel stamps on letters sent from the town. Each February they receive letters from around the world to process and send out.