Feast of St Barnabus, born in Cyprus. He was one of the early converts in Jerusalem and vouched for St Paul when he appeared before the elders there. He accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey and later went to Cyprus with his cousin John Mark (Mark the evangelist) to preach the gospel there. Probably martyred in Cyprus before 61CE.
Dazzing sunshine, snow on the mountains, work going too slowly. Echoes of the Veni Spiritus Sanctus in my mind, thinking of invisible tongues of flame shining but hardly discernible in the sunlit chapel at Temenos, so many years ago.
Reading RS Thomas, an old favourite, what Rowan Williams called an ‘articulator of uneasy faith’. How we are drawn to pray even without conscious faith, even when faith seems impossible.
In a Country Church
To one kneeling down no word came,
Only the wind’s song, saddening the lips
Of the grave saints, rigid in glass;
Or the dry whisper of unseen wings,
Bats not angels, in the high roof.
Was he balked by silence? He kneeled long
And saw love in a dark crown
Of thorns blazing, and a winter tree
Golden with fruit of a man’s body.
R. S. Thomas (1955)