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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, June 22, 2004
    You are holy
     
    Spent much of today on a mini-retreat dwelling on a chapter of Gerard Hughes' God in All Things. The one in which he asks you to consider this statement - YOU ARE HOLY.

    That's a tough line to swallow. Even though it carries echoes of that awesome Wilde quote which opened yesterday's blog; even though I like it when I hear it in Alan Ginsberg's Footnote to Howl (... Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an angel! The bum's as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy! ...)

    I didn't feel holy, sat in the gardens of that retreat house wincing in the sunshine, head dulled by alcoholic excess brought on by late-night Euro football viewing, stomach shape indicating mid-age spread seeping in, head full of straw, knackered after lunch. But Hughes insists; builds the story; tells an ancient tale about Jesus, in hell, saying to Adam, "Arise, let us go hence, for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person."

    You are holy. The true mystery of the world is the visible not the invisible: the physical not the ethereal; the flesh not the spirit. Ok then: after a full day I'll sit down now, break open another beer, and before settling down to a tape of Denmark - Sweden, even though I'm still in awe of the thought, I'll raise my glass to that.