Introduction to Theology, Serial No. 01128

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Did we get all that sentence on? In chapters 4 and 5 of book 2, Augustine passes on to the written characters of language, which being conventional signs, are of course not the same for all languages, if they don't happen to use the more widespread forms we most fish use with ease in the West. Yesterday we were talking for a moment about Hebrew, where you've got only consonants with little signs giving indications of vowels, then of course you've got Arabic and Chinese and Japanese and so on. So these conventional signs for words are going to be vastly different, but gradually the Arabic signs which we use, modified Arabic signs, are well-known in most European languages,


though of course sometimes, for some of the European languages, they were modified with accents over the vowel sounds, or in the Scandinavian languages, where they find need to have some extra vowels, I mean, as you're well aware, yesterday we wrote out the name of consonants, which tells you that this name is going to be a sound, and there's an accent, which will tell you that you want to separate out, for instance, the German umlaut, and then of course the Norwegian, things of that kind, but mostly we are working with an alphabet which people, taken by and large, understand.


This naturally brings Augustine to speak of the problems of translation, and to note in passing the sheer delight of language, which I hope at least some of you share with him. When I was reading this through this morning, I suddenly thought of a delightful memory from my school days. I had a very silent Indian friend called Yusef Ali, Yusef Ali and I used to walk in silence through the rain, in the days of fall and winter, and I remember Yusef Ali once giving a little talk in the school debating society, on the English language, saying he couldn't imagine how you would say wistful in any other language, quite so beautifully. I don't know quite either, and there are very real things here, of course, which are difficult to translate, for somebody who likes, I've been faced with this problem fairly recently


because it so happened that the French writer Julianne Greene sent me a rather wonderful new book on St Francis, which has just come out, and one of my French friends said to me, why don't you translate into English, and I said to him, the real reason is that some bits of it are much too French, and they say I can translate the words, but they won't really come across in the way that it feels in French. And I think this is an honest thing to say about any language, anybody who loves their own language at all, and of course, I've no doubt that in various parts of the country there are still farmers in America who do talk a language which is very, very distinctive, which is very hard to convey the feeling of, and certainly, which of you is it who comes here, Laura, who comes from Louisiana, you've certainly got a whole lot of words floating around amongst the elderly people in Louisiana, which are pretty untranslatable I should think.


I don't just mean that they're not really comprehensible in any way at all, but I mean that they very often carry a weight of illusion and usage which is hard to convey. So one should never underestimate either one's own language or the worthwhileness of trying to understand just what somebody else means when they say a word. I write Augustine Watt to point out that we learn these words from our mothers and fathers, and so they come to us full of colour and feeling, which they never altogether lose. And so Augustine recognises that some things are virtually untranslatable from one language to another. And God sometimes allows, this is Augustine's very sensible kind of point, God sometimes allows things to be obscure, to humble us, while normally we say something somewhere


else quite clearly, explaining what he intended, if it's important for everybody to know it. Of course, not everything do we have to know anyway. I don't see why we shouldn't have some things as mysterious even in language. But Augustine thinks, at any rate, that when something very important in scripture occurs, it may go obscurely in one place and be said more directly in another. Many waters cannot quench love, all those kinds of things, though of course I suppose many waters cannot quench what love, although it's very difficult to explain, this is a very poetic way of speaking. It's so memorable in itself, it's perhaps easy to say, and if it's really love, then


you can't get rid of it. Coming down to what is absolutely fundamental, I'd have thought, Augustine says in chapter 8, paragraph 12, the intelligent student of Holy Scripture would be the one who has first read them as a whole and got acquainted with them, even if he's not yet understood them. At least he would have read those which are called canonical. In the canonical scriptures he should follow the authority of the greater number of Catholic churches, and in paragraph 13, as I've said, he goes on to give a list which was later that substantially approved by the Council of Trent. In all these books, those who fear God and are loyally humble seek the will of God. The first care of this work and labour is, as I've said, to know these books, even if they're not understood, for by reading them we commit them to memory and they will not


be quite unknown to us. How important this is as a piece of advice for monks. As you know, in fact, it was normal medieval practice for novices to learn the Psalter by heart, as one of their first jobs. And I remember one of my teachers, a doctor, once saying to me, of course no one reads the whole Bible nowadays, but although I didn't say so at that moment, I had in fact done just that thing from cover to cover for each of the first four years of my religious life. I think it's quite a useful thing to do, without worrying about the commentary, just to have the text, you know, just to get to know it. I think Justin's making a very valid point here, because don't do it mechanically, of course this is where you have to learn to read slowly, as I was saying yesterday, I think. Don't do it mechanically, but let the things go in, let the images be there, let the language


be there, even if you don't always understand what it's about. It gives one, I think, at least a start in these matters. And since I would maintain, as a psychiatrist I once knew, used to, I think, very properly say, the Bible is a book about one man, one misses a lot by knowing less than the whole. I think, of course, what he really meant was that in some ways, as we live, we have to go through the whole experience of the Bible, you know. Some of us are only just about the book of Exodus at the moment, I suppose. We'll move on, get to the book of Job in our middle age, if we get there, and so on. But anyway, somehow or other, the extraordinary important thing about the Bible is that it's all there, as you know.


At one time, I don't know what people do about it now, but the Bible used to be rather heavily censored in public reading, even in monasteries. There were some things that were not regarded as quite suitable, but God thought them suitable, so I don't think we should really quite censor them like that. And there are things about life which we can't cut out, and which are part of life, and they're all in the Bible. That's why the Bible is such a very shocking book. It's sad, I think, that often pagans who discover these unknown and unused riches in the Bible. But it's the business of the professor of scripture to awaken you to this kind of thing, I think. Augustine Evatt would mention the value of knowing languages to help one through, though as he wisely notes in chapter 11, paragraph 16, there are indeed some words in certain


languages, which cannot be made to go across correctly in another language. Certainly, my own conviction is that the more languages one knows, and the better one knows them, the truer this observation seems to be. We must simply do our best. We ought always to be aware that we are using a translation. We are, and as Augustine advises, going to be simple enough to learn from those who can read the languages, we should otherwise. Things about the Bible which we should otherwise miss. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there still aren't an awful lot of people who think the Bible is written in English. One does nearly always, in every country, meet some people who think it must have been written in their own language, and forget they are reading a translation. In fact, of course, this is why Augustine goes on to sketch the usefulness of complete


education, designed to help one to make the most of the holy books. Some of it would seem a little bit fanciful to us nowadays, I think, but the principle he invokes is not, I think, in the least fanciful. And it applies just as much to the study of theology as it does to the study of holy scripture. Namely, that we can hardly have too much sound secular learning in our heads. Just ordinary, straightforward gumption, you know, about learning. I don't mean information, I mean things that are alive for us, things that are real, things that we know about. In chapter 40 of book 2, this conviction is expressed in the image of the Israelites taking spoils out of Egypt, on their desert journey. And as Augustine correctly says, the people did not do this on their own authority, but


by the command of God. While the Egyptians themselves were unknowingly providing things that they were not using, well. The image I hope you can see, you remember just before they left Egypt, Moses told the Egyptians to accept gifts of vessels and other kinds of things out of Egypt. And this is Augustine's symbol for using one's ordinary secular learning in the service of scripture. Now there's still no universal agreement about how much we, Augustine, may have known. It seems at least probable that in this he had to accept the limitations that most of us have to. Yet it's difficult to read the passage I've just quoted and not think that he had before him what Sinai and Irenaeus had written, to exactly the same effect in his great work against


heresies book 4.30. If you don't know how to spell this then I'd better just write it down. Even then we shall come back to a little part of it later on. Writing at the end of the 2nd century, I'm sorry, Irenaeus, against the heresies book 4.30 where he's also using the symbol of taking the spoils out of Egypt. Using the learning that you get. That's why I think I've always encouraged people to read good novels and things like this. Read good novels and poetry because this will, in the long run, help you to respond to scripture. All the time. I think it's been rather striking on a few occasions I've been to choir since I've been


here, how many echoes there have been in the little tiny chapters we've had, haven't they? Sometimes only two or three verses but very often there are all kinds of echoes which get going in one's mind almost at once. And they make it tell. So these, in one way, the echoes are often, the more echoes you get, is sometimes going to determine by how many spoils you've stolen out of Egypt. Of course, Augustine could have read Irenaeus in Latin translation since all of the original Greek has never yet been completely recovered, though we do have Greek versions for this section. Gradually more and more bits are coming to light and the addition of the Greek version which is coming out at enormous expense in the French series, is usually putting the


Greek in the margin at the bottom where we have it. So that sometimes we can look and see how close the Latin is. Sometimes the Latin is very, very close to the Greek. Anyway, it's a very good translation. In any case, I think we ought not to fail to note how these two great theologians, two centuries apart, share the conviction that sound study in ordinary fields of knowledge is likely to be an aid to a man who is concerned for the things of God, an aid which he can't really afford to neglect. Have I really talked as long as that? Now to adjust a moment or two and then we'll have a break. But now to return to the other aspect of this work of Guston, for which some of you will have perhaps been waiting. I confess that it's not altogether easy to talk about the parallel distinction between


real things and signs, which Guston makes throughout this work, and others by the use of two Latin words, which literally translated, I think, can be misleading. He wants to talk about love, which is, of course, amour, and he uses the words uti and frui. Uti is a Latin word which means to, frui means to use, and frui means, of course, to enjoy. Fruit, it means to enjoy. I think we should have to say, if you like, that every kind of love for anything or anyone other than God is necessarily a relative love. This is really what Guston wants to say. If you like, you can't make an absolute out of anything except God. So in a certain way, you're always passing on from the kinds of things that there are


in this world. In other words, what Guston is saying here is that when we're reading scripture, beside making a mental or intellectual distinction between things which are being talked about and things which are functioning symbolically, we must bear in mind, when studying scriptural theology, to a moral distinction. In making this distinction, he uses, as I say, the Latin verb to use, and delight in or relish. Now he applies this distinction right across the board to intimate things and to people, and would certainly be to misunderstand him, I think, to imagine that he believes that we should, in the modern sense of the word, use people. As, for instance, a con man does, or anyone who merely takes physical pleasure in somebody else's body without any regard for them as a person.


As he says in chapter 25, paragraph 26 of book 1, a human being has to be given a way of loving. Taught how to love, if you like. He is, of course, leading us on to see that all our studies should be directed towards helping us to fulfil the two great commands. As he says at the beginning of chapter 27, anyone lives a just and holy love who values things with integrity. For such a one has an ordered love, neither loving what should not be loved or failing to love what should be loved. And as chapter 36 goes on, anyone who seems to himself to have understood a holy scripture or some part of it in such a way that it does not build up the two-fold love of God and our neighbour has not yet understood it. But of course, when we've said this, an important proviso has to be added.


We may have found a motive of charity and yet not understood the text correctly. To this, Augustine says in paragraph 41, anyone who understands in the scripture something other than he who wrote them intended is deceived by something that doesn't lie. Yet, as I was about to say, if he is deceived by a view which builds up love, which is the aim of what we are commanded, he is misled as someone is who leaves the track to go across a field in the direction where the track also leads. Still, he is to be corrected and shown how much wiser it is not to leave the right road in case, through habit, he is drawn into taking wandering and even wrong paths. And then with chapter 39, Augustine's thought comes, as it were, full circle back to what we might all prefer to do if we really were better people than we are. And so he says, anyone who is given over to faith and hope and love and holds fast to


them, come what will, does not need the scriptures to teach others. And so many, with the help of these three, even live in solitude without books. I suppose there's hardly a great theologian of the early centuries who doesn't live with this dream of something that is given only very few to achieve without danger. Antony, who is credited, as we've seen, with having committed the entire scriptures to memory, is, as it were, the great ideal that an early Greek theologian, Athanasius, in a biography of sheer genius, had made of him. Yet we shall not, I trust, forget that when Cassian comes to speak of him in his second conference, it was for his discretion that Antony was distinguished above all others in the desert. Nor shall I need to remind my Cistercian brothers that that most penetrating student of St. Augustine, the great blessed William of Santeri, begins one of his works with the words,


to love is the art of arts, ars artsum imansum, and one that is not, in fact, learned in a single day. And most of us will need to do as William did, and as Augustine himself had done before him, make the service of a little labour with our minds part of our training of true loving. For an untrained mind is a very dangerous servant, and if we trust it without reference to those who know better, we may easily be misled, and still more easily mislead others. I'm sorry I've taken so long, but Augustine, as I warned you, is rather a temptation to me, and that's how I got led astray, I think, without looking at my watch. I hope it is today I've persuaded you that the work of Augustine... You mentioned that when you were speaking at the beginning about how exciting the scriptures can be, I don't know if you have it here, but I listened to those stories about David


that we've been listening to on a tape by Alexander Scurvy, who's read the whole of the RSV, and he does it extremely well, it was just a thought that maybe as a change of pace for taking in the scriptures, one might listen to them instead of reading them once in a while. Yes, indeed. I do think the public reading was one of the sad things it seems to me about the liturgical change we've had, is that one often finds people, while public reading is going on, holding a book, which of course is not the intention, one ought to be listening to the reader, provided he's audible. And of course, you see, we must remember that some early Christians, Tertullian for instance, seriously thought the devil learnt about the Incarnation from hearing it read about in church. Only one is really meant to hear the reading, they are declaimed. And I suppose again, this does affect the transmission of tradition.


I was fascinated actually, on one occasion just before I left England in 1969, the last time I was living in England, I happened to turn on my radio and a quite young announcer suddenly had to make an improvisation, obviously something he hadn't written down on his text, he had to make some kind of spontaneous announcement. And just by way of amusement, I counted the number of allusions to the King James Version of the Bible, which I'm sure he wouldn't have been able to do himself, but he had six in two sentences. And I think the amount that kind of thing carries across from public reading is enormous really when it's done with sufficient frequency. And I suppose it definitely is part of our tradition at Exodovinia that we should have these texts in our head and really listen to them, so that we can listen to them internally.


Yesterday, I don't recall the context, but we were talking about the liturgy and how it would be a little archaic, we were just doing something historical in church, meaning that it's something that's really lived, and something that comes from our faith. And I was just wondering, maybe some of the problems in the liturgy, or that we face with the liturgy, in terms of that sense you were talking about, is our understanding of signs and symbols. You're absolutely right. One common thing I hear when I read, probably because I'm in that situation, I don't understand unless somebody's telling me, is that today modern man has lost the values in signs and Yes, I think the most troublesome thing is that one should never get up and explain what fire means. If you can't see what fire means, if you can't see these things, if they don't speak to you


themselves, there's nothing you can do about it, is there? And that's the whole point of having a sign at all. It shouldn't be something to first of all say, now this means, now we're all going to do this, and it means so and so. I would say also too, in the liturgy, since, well, like you say, you come into a dark room with these candles, that's more effective than if the lights were on. Oh, so what's behind some of this too, is I'm wondering, because I find myself on both sides of the track, is in terms of belief. Since we're talking about faith, what's the role of belief? Say, in our practice, in our expression of our faith, it seems to me that there are some things that, I'm not sure what the question is, but I don't mind, but say like the Eucharistic


practice, say piety. Now on one hand I can say, if you want to stand on your head, or some sort of devotion, I won't go to that extreme of standing on your head, but just, if you have some devotion, well that's great, you know, but you can have it, I don't want to have to do your devotion. No, I entirely agree with you, because I think this is, I'll give you the most terrible example that I know of, not because I have any strong German feelings, but it's very typical of what should have happened in a German church, I know a little tiny parish church, where even since the council, the entire congregation has been taught to step into the aisle, before approaching the altar for Holy Communion, kneel, make a genuflection, say, my Jesus, I love you, all together. This is an example of the sort of thing that I mean, but there's this kind of spontaneous which somebody might want to say, but ought not to be imposed on everybody to say, that's very true.


But on the other extreme, I find that, and I'm thinking like right now, say at communion time, Calvin, the priest of his communion, he says the Body of Christ, and it seems to me, or at least we're told, the proper liturgical response would be Amen, and I find that with myself, that's what I would propose, but then you get people nodding their head, or nothing, or they're saying yes, and I'm saying well, so I don't know if that's a personal problem, or where is the, I guess you just have to find where you feel comfortable with. Yes, I suppose it is, I think it's largely something we're going through at the moment, because nearly all conventions are broken down really, in societies where I'm going to say, when I was younger, if you went to a room, doesn't matter whether it was a formal occasion or not, people would at least be introduced to you, now you've been shown into a vast room of 50 people all calling each other Paul, and Jill, and Jack, and so on, you don't know one from another, nobody ever tells you who they are, so you have to venture to guess, or find out afterwards what's


happened. Now I think we're a bit at that sort of stage still in it, in one way the, perhaps we all have had too many ceremonial things happening in most religious houses all day long. I must say most benedictine houses now, the only ones I know how to behave in are the saloon houses, where they haven't made so many changes, because you can know that at a certain point certain things will happen, and you will have to do those things, and that's rather a help, I think conventions are not necessarily hindrances are they? One doesn't want spontaneity all the time. I remember my brother and I were saying to each other at one time how certain situations, especially those where you don't know somebody, there were at one time conventional things you said and did and so on, and that got it over, and then you could decide whether you wanted to go


further or not, it could be a mutual decision, and you would know this. Now we're just at the deep end, it's difficult to know. I was wondering too, because one thing that keeps coming up is, I hear more and more people saying this, and the way I see it is like, I think the changes that the Order has made in liturgy in some respect, in terms of the divine office, I think basically it was overloaded, and they had to respond, but I think they reacted and gone too far, because I think in terms of what you're talking about, a sense, it seems to me there are some elements, and especially with the lower cadre, I think that's a historical thing that really has radically changed the office and the reciting of the songs and the structure, and that's what I've come into, and that's what I accept, but I still have to ask in terms of


the sense, at least the sense I got, maybe there are some elements that we should be preserving, and in terms of how we go about the office. I think on the whole there's a slight swing everywhere to the recognition of the point you're making. Some people are reluctant to admit it's true, but eventually I think things themselves will begin to speak again, sufficiently clearly to make it. It seems to me, certainly my impression of you here, I'm rather surprised to find how many things do remain, which I remember from earlier Cistercian days, in the way you're doing things here, and certainly you were at one time saying much to many things, I think, in the day. The Office of the Dead, on all fear-filled days,


a little of us are dead as well. It was, I think, maybe not too much for us to do. Yes, I think this is something that some, obviously that you're right to think this is connected with the development of sense of things, because there's no doubt that the way you perform it, it does help us to attend, doesn't it? It helps the way you listen, there's no doubt about that. I think this is why very many people who come, lay people who come to Worcester nowadays, are enormously relieved, because I've had several who've said to me, in my parish church at home there are almost 20 people doing a dozen things in the sanctuary all at the same time, and this is a total whirling that makes my head go round. Certainly the few experiences I've had of having to go to a parish church, since I've been in America, are very depressing indeed.


I was thinking, sort of on the same line, that reading the St Bernard and the St Leo last night, I was reflecting on the first time I ever heard the St Leo in an English translation, in the olden days when it was read on the vigil of Christmas Day, and the beautiful response rates that accompanied it, which have met with a very unfortunate death all the way around. But I was thinking that you can waddle through Lent and never bat an eyelash at Psalm 90, so that wipes out St Bernard for all of those kinds of resonances that you just don't get, and so we're very, Brother Mark and I were talking about it earlier, there's a kind of immobility in Christian life today, where, you know, going into your room with all those people,


and nobody really quite has the convention to know how to introduce somebody into the group. Well, there's a similar sort of thing in the rehash of the introductory rites into religious life, it's very much up for flux, in a state of flux, and the rites of Christian initiation are in a state of flux. There's a general kind of paralysis, and we can get through all of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and never utter Psalm 50, which I find extraordinary. Yes, it is. How to become sensed, you know, to develop that sense when so many of the things that our fathers had aren't available to us, at least at the moment. Well, this is in relation to the thing we've been talking about today, the scripture thing. One of the things that hasn't really worked out, which is obviously intended by the Revised Lection is, namely, a revision of what the fathers did, what Augustine could do,


saying, look, I'm going to talk to you for the next month on St. John's Gospel. And he went on day after and saying, you know, sometimes the homily will end by saying, we haven't got time to deal with that point. As I found, when I looked at my watch, he hadn't got his watch, of course, but he presumably knew roughly how to do it. We'll go on with that tomorrow. And in fact, of course, nobody's getting that at all. So in a certain sense, the idea of having lexicontinua, which was, it should have gone with a revival of preaching. That's precisely what we haven't really had, isn't it? Not the kind of expository preaching, which was really very alive and going on from day to day. I suppose it happens to have come, and I'm afraid nearly all the political changes came, perhaps about 60, 70 years too late, because already society itself was in a state of dissolution


and communities were not any longer, local communities were. I must say that since I've been ordained this year, I should have been ordained 32 years. And I would say that since the liturgical reforms, I've only had one prolonged experience of liturgy that really worked. And that was when I was a hermit in the in Belgium, with a small group of country farmers around me. And precisely because I worked in my garden and they worked in their fields, I went and said to the vigils in the church when they went to their cowshed. So that made a very strong bond between us. And our liturgy together, whether we, especially the Great Feast, it was our life, it was an expression of a common life. And this of course is something that doesn't really exist in the town anymore.


Cleverest parish priests can't make people feel together when they aren't a social unit. It worked absolutely wonderfully to have a community around me that really was a community, if you see what I mean. And then of course everything was possible, nothing seemed too long. People were quite prepared to sing the chant, we had a mixture of chant and polyphonic music. It was perfectly possible to do that because, as I say, this was simply an expression of the life, of the common life that we had. My people never had holiday. In fact I had to say to my, I was officially of course, since I couldn't be a water parish priest, I had to be officially somebody else's curate. And he came and complained to me after one holy week we'd


spent together, in which we'd done the full liturgy, like a cathedral, he complained that we weren't saying the rosary, rather like a sort of, all day long, the three days after Easter. And I said, look Father, I live in this village and my people never have a holiday. And we have really given ourselves to the holy week liturgy. And now they must have a rest. That's what Easter's about. It's time to holiday. He took it. It was strange that he, who was the son of a farmer, had no sense of this at all. It seems to be very strange. I don't know, how far do you think this I'm sure that the point you raised for instance about the responses coming after the lessons is


that there of course very often you've got, as it were, a second chance to hear a particular theme, didn't you? That's really what they very often did, the best responses. Yes, some of the plays that you're speaking about, the delight in the language, they did the way they were. Yes, exactly. And which do make them very memorable. And in fact of course I can't even read them without hearing the melodies very often, that one was used to hearing. Where of course the sign element came out very strongly indeed, the symbolism of the language. It was greatly enriched. I don't think we have to lament too much but just, you know, to do what we can to make it come alive again. That the people who do read should really read to somebody. And that people should really listen to them.


But I suppose on the whole there's less of a problem there, whilst there isn't anywhere else. So I'm sure the point of the pieces making is a valid one. There still is a slight undervaluation, to put it very mildly, of the possibility of having more conventional syllables which don't need explanation and don't need justification and don't need abolishing. Because in a certain way we have a desperate need that literature should be a kind of sacred dance, don't we? It should be that sort of a thing, it should move spontaneously. One of the reasons why the first time you would use that word, actually we were talking a moment or two ago, Brother Mark, you were an intellectual and when I was in charge of ceremonies in Oxford


I always used to try to get farm boys, if I possibly could, because they would look at you and ceremonies were easier to do with them because they didn't mind moving about. You could say, don't worry about what you have to do until it comes and then it was all right. If you got students, they'd stand there as stiff as ramrods and nobody would ever look at you at all. Unable to move spontaneously. They thought too much. Are there any other special problems that occur? I do hope I haven't put my foot in it with the press of scripture in talking about the translations of the scriptures yesterday, but are there any


special problems that you find regularly popping up that you can't cope with? It looks as though the library is well enough equipped with commentaries for one to be able to look up the pieces that really are puzzling, where you just realise you've got to know either the physical setting or something like that. Lots of things in the Gospel of John and so on. You do need help from a commentary very often if you want to make the most of it. And yet at the same time I always want to go back and let the thing speak of itself, which is why I've kept to this rule, which I had since I was quite a small boy, of really reading the full Gospels by themselves without a commentary. Consciously just reading them and letting them make their own impact. It doesn't mean to say that I don't when I'm having to prepare a homily or something like


that, then I will look at the commentaries, especially about things which I think I ought to know. Very often that will lead to my not saying certain things rather than anything else. Because I think a homily shouldn't really be like a class on a text of scripture. But at the same time, basically one ought to allow the scripture itself to come through to one's own. So... Well, you asked about any problems. One problem that I experienced and I was facing it when you were talking, I, well, simply it's just the time. Especially with the scripture.


You know, and doing, you know, we're somewhat students in doing other studies. Often it's, if I have an afternoon or a period to do some reading, it's often either, well I do reading that's consistent with my course, the course of study, or I read scripture. And I guess it's just, I'm feeling a difference now when I was a novice. I think I had more time and I would have been able to read a lot more. Yes, I still look back to my first edition. And now it's, you know, I had four or five years. It seems to me like oceans of time. I read the whole of John Cassian. I read, I read the doctrine at that time. Other big books I never had time to, just to sit down and read the whole book like that. They are today. I suppose the only thing one, I've tried to fight for is time to pray and time for scripture. I mean


the only suggestion I can make is that you fight, you choose some time of the day when you normally can give yourself 20 minutes or so. I don't think you need a very big chunk, do you? I personally find little chunks. In fact, one of the things I've gone on using, some years ago, before the council lecture, myself and my car in France, asked me to produce a kind of breviary for the use of lay people. And with that they included a scheme for reading the New Testament, which I've since stuck to because it enables you to read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the course of a year, with a break at the beginning of the end, so that you begin an appropriate sort of passage. It's not logical, but it works out. And you can work out such a scheme for yourselves. But I don't think one needs, I suppose, I think I


fall this habit really. I imagine it. I imagine it. I imagine it. But I don't think one needs,