Monthly Archives: March 2013


So, the remarkable virgin of Christ Christina was born to honourable parents in the town of Sint-Truiden in Haspengouw. The death of her parents left her with two older sisters. Wanting to live their lives in the manner of religious, the sisters  arranged it so that the middle sister took care of the housework and the youngest, Christina, looked after the flock as it went to pasture, so that the oldest sister was left free to devote herself to prayer. In no time at all, Christina had Christ to comfort her for the poor and lowly task she had been assigned, for he gave her the grace of inner sweetness and very often sent her secret revelations from heaven.  Yet she remained unrecognised by everyone – and the more hidden she was the more known to God. This is why Isaiah [24:16] boasts: My secret to myself, my secret to myself. For [God] himself is a bashful lover.*

*Cf. Bernard of Clairvaux in Cantica 57.4: Visitabitur profecto frequenter, nec unquam ignorabit tempus visitationis suae, quantumlibet is qui in spiritu visitat, clandestinus veniat et furtivus, uptote verecundus amator [Immediately she shall receive frequent visitations, nor shall she ever be unaware of the time of his visitation, because he who visits in the spirit shall come in secret and stealthily, like a bashful lover.]



Auckland Theology & Religious Studies

This, I’m afraid, is ecclesiastical ephemera at its most ephemeral (i.e. proof that a lot of the time the only good reason for studying church history is that one day it will help you win a pub quiz). However, I was moved to write this piece by one of Wayne Brittenden’s consistently engaging Counterpoint pieces on National Radio’s Sunday Morning programme (you can download it here).

Noting shrinking congregations and the financial burden imposed by post-Christchurch earthquake safety provisions, he suggested that denominations might put more thought into sharing church buildings – maybe dividing them up in much the same way as the grand old cinemas of the 20th century received a new lease of life after being divided into multiplexes (As a devotee of Mark Kermode, I’m aware that not everyone will accept the the claim that multiplexes represent a “new lease of life” for cinema).

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