1. Do you hate happy clappy church music?
In Mass? Yes*. In other settings? Nope. I usually prefer the worship songs to the praise ones but I’ll join a good praise and worship sesh anytime. For Mass music though this website is the best. My favourites are the Marian hymns Let Us Sing to You O Mary and Cause of our Delight. Actually I could go on and on about my favourites so go visit the website instead of reading my rambling! There are audio files of each song so you can really know how they’re intended to be sung. I used to sing a lot of these in a choir led by the composer Robert Loretz and I miss those times of good music, good liturgy and good friendship.
*I know intellectually that it’s better to have good solid theological songs with traditional rhythyms, but my main aversion to happy clappy church music is that I have rarely seen it done well and that the half-hearted guitar or drum player with tinny microphone trying to get the not-singing congregation to clap is just painful. I’ve been there and not again thank you.
2. What is your priority: eating or sleeping?
A zillion percent: sleeping. No question. It would be food but the expense and the effort involved with food never leave me feeling satisfied. Sleeping is free and so simple that it’s a total winner.
3. What type of milk do you drink in your house?
Reduced fat pasteurised cow’s milk from the supermarket. But none of us actually drinks it straight.
4. What is a book that changed your perspective on something?
In C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (The Last Battle – Further Up and Further In – Chapter 15). the world is ending and Emeth, the Calormene, is relating the story of what happened when he went through the stable door and met Aslan in his land. Aslan is the figure of Jesus in these books and his replies to Emeth as they talk are profound: Emeth says,
“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc [emperor] of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, ‘Son, thou art welcome.’ But I said, ‘Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.’ He answered, ‘Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.’ Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, ‘Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one?’ The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, ‘It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites – I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore, if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child?’ I said, ‘Lord, thou knowest how much I understand.’ But I said also (for the truth constrained me), ‘Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days.’ ‘Beloved,’ said the Glorious One, ‘unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.’ Then he breathed upon me and took away the trembling from my limbs and caused me to stand upon my feet. And after that, he said not much, but that we should meet again, and I must go further up and further in. Then he turned him about in a story and a flurry of gold and was gone suddenly. And since then, O Kings and Ladies, I have been wandering to find him and my happiness is so great that it even weakens me like a wound. And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me Beloved.”
This made so much sense to me and answered the question of what happens to people who don’t meet Christ, or who don’t recognise him. I couldn’t reconcile the idea that they would go to Hell just because they didn’t see properly who Jesus was and I really like the way C. S. Lewis has explained it in these books.
5. Who is your favourite saint?
What a tough question! I’d say Mary. There are many others who are most wonderful (St Thérèse of Lisieux, St Joseph, SAINT John Paul II, St Padre Pio, St Frances of Rome, St Maximilian Kolbe.. I could go on), but Mary is … well, Mary! The mother of Christ and our mother. What more could we ask for than to have the Queen of Heaven as our mother?
6. Introvert or extrovert?
Extroverted introvert. I love spending time with people and go stir crazy if I’m by myself all the time, but I absolutely need to be by myself to relax and recharge. I often find that I stay up ridiculously late at night (like 11 or 12 o’clock) even though I’m 100% a morning person, and I only recently realised that it is because of some core need to have alone time to wind down. It often takes me a while to get Adoomi to sleep, then I’ll stay up and watch a show or two with Harry, and then it’s only after Harry heads to bed that I feel like I can start to process the day.