On what is supposed to be a quiet night in reading Archbishop David announces we have an invitation be in the reception for 5 to journey together to The Church of San Gregorio Magno al Celio, Pope Gregory. We arrived and was meet by Fr. Robet McMCullock Procrator General of the Missioanry Society of St Columban. A lovely warm hospitable and entertaining man. So here's the rub. It is the feast of St Augustian today and the Archbishop has been invited to say prayers and liturgy with Father Robert in an ecumenical action of a shared understanding of our past. There are 5 of us 3 from New Zealand an Australian and 1 Englishman. The rub continues, this is the site from which Pope Gregory sent St Augustine to the pagans in England. So here I discover some wonderful things. 1. Augustine gets halfway to my land and the pagans he gets frightened and goes back to the Pope. Like me St Augustine was frightened of the Unknown. The Pope having non of this makes him a Bishop and sends him back on his way. (Might try that one) 2. St Augustine returns to his band of brothers. I have always understood him as a a lone figure but no his team was with him.
More rub. So once again I'm reminded of the turning away from mystery the unknown andback to the known and trusted ways. I am also slapped on the forehead by God saying on your own? NO. With others Nigel.
Then I am finally reminded of the poignancy of the moment, here on the celebration of St Augustine I am the Enlishman returned to say thanks for coming, thanks for overcoming your fear. Thanks to know I am part of a much much bigger story.