News from Britain and Ireland

Glimpses of Eden Free

14 November 2013 | by Jonathan Tulloch | Comments: 7

When the sun suddenly came out, I realised that one of the winter thrushes feeding in the field had a large red patch under its wing. Medium vermilion, an artist might call it. Something frightened the flock and they lifted. Now I saw that a good half of them had the distinctive colouration. They were redwings recently arrived from Scandinavia. More and more of the winter thrushes flew up until the sky was full of flap and whirr, chirrup and cheep. The rest of the flock were fieldfares, also from across the North Sea, here too for our unfrozen fields.

Both species of winter thrush often mix when they reach our warmer climes, but even if you couldn’t see them, you might still separate them by ear alone. The larger fieldfare has the far larger voice, a chuckling, almost hectoring ­chatter; the redwing’s call by contrast is a ­soulful piping.

It’s this wistful note that must have led to redwings being called swine pipe, an old name rising from the similarity of their call to the sounds of the herder’s pipe calling in their pigs from their forage. Connoisseurs of the great symphony of birds, listen out at night for redwing flocks overhead, a music heard even deep in the city. The windle thrush is another old name for the species, which may have come from their habit of arriving among us on the easterly winds.

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User Comments (7)

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Comment by: David
Posted: 25/11/2015 09:07:50

My enduring prayer is that the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist may become a symbol of inclusion rather than exclusion.

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Comment by: Denis
Posted: 24/11/2015 18:28:40

"I believe in the Real Presence, and as far as "Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity" go, while it's not my language, I have no objection to it."
JCF may I ask, if you believe these things why are you not a Catholic?

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Comment by: Tigre
Posted: 24/11/2015 02:27:26

Our pastor recently said before eucharist during a funeral mass that "anyone who believes the bread and wine to be the actual body and blood of Jesus would be welcome to partake".

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Comment by: Christropher McElhinney. Melbourne. Australia.
Posted: 23/11/2015 22:16:55

Yes, we have the same Baptism which is enough to enable us to share in Communion/Eucharist at the same table.

As the Pope says here: ‘We believe that the Lord is present there, he is present’ – you believe that the Lord is present.

And what's the difference?

There are explanations, interpretations, but life is bigger than explanations and interpretations.” So too is God bigger than human explanations, interpretations: beyond human imagining we say.

Therefore all persons, baptised or not, who seek a deeper relationship with God through Christ, should be welcome at Christ’s table.

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Comment by: JCF
Posted: 23/11/2015 11:59:07

I'm a non-Roman Catholic Christian who's received RC communion on more than one occasion, and MY conscience is clear! [I believe in the Real Presence, and as far as "Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity" go, while it's not my language, I have no objection to it.]

Most importantly, it's CHRIST's table, not any particular bishop's! (inc the Bishop of Rome)

Lucky for me, I wasn't "on the verge of becoming Prime Minister". and thus created no visible "scandal"...

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Comment by: Ed
Posted: 21/11/2015 15:28:24

Orientalium Ecclesiarum in fact allows non-Catholic Eastern Christians to receive the Eucharist:

27. Without prejudice to the principles noted earlier, Eastern Christians who are in fact separated in good faith from the Catholic Church, if they ask of their own accord and have the right dispositions, may be admitted to the sacraments of Penance, the Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick. Further, Catholics may ask for these same sacraments from those non-Catholic ministers whose churches possess valid sacraments, as often as necessity or a genuine spiritual benefit recommends such a course and access to a Catholic priest is physically or morally impossible.

28. Further, given the same principles, common participation by Catholics with their Eastern separated brethren in sacred functions, things and places is allowed for a just cause.

29. This conciliatory policy with regard to communicatio in sacris (participation in things sacred) with the brethren of the separated Eastern Churches is put into the care and control of the local hierarchs, in order that, by combined counsel among themselves and, if need be, after consultation also with the hierarchs of the separated churches, they may by timely and effective regulations and norms direct the relations among Christians.


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Comment by: Jim McCrea
Posted: 19/11/2015 22:27:20

I venture a guess that many Catholics would not pass an orthodoxy test if they were questioned about communion/the Eucharist in order to continue to be able to receive it.

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