From the Archbishop's desk: October 2020

By Archbishop Malcolm McMahon

One of my recent bad habits has been to fall asleep when reading a book. I thought it was maybe a sign of getting old, but now I believe it has more to do with a lack of concentration brought on by having too many things to do.

During the last few months, although in many respects my life has been 'business as usual', I am not spending time travelling to meetings while parish visits have been drastically reduced in case I unwittingy spread infection. This has enabled me to be more focused, and a welcome side-effect has been to stay awake when reading.

One book I have returned to frequently in recent months is The Joy of God by Sister Mary David OSB. This remarkable nun, who was novice mistress in her convent for much of her religious life, had an untimely death but left behind the notes of her talks to novices. They are full of learning, practical advice and a deep spirituality. She pulls this off without being arrogant or showing off her developed understanding of the Rule of Saint Benedict and theology in general.

I think she achieved this because she gave so much of herself in her writing that you feel that you know her and she is your friend. She gives herself to you just as she gave her life to God when she left behind a brilliant academic career to become a nun a long way from her native country. So, if you are looking for something fresh and interesting to read, Sister Mary David might be the answer.

I guarantee that you won't fall asleep with Sister Mary David's book in your hand.