My Dad would have been 102 years old on Monday, always an excuse to raise a glass to him!
He was born in Lanarkshire, the son of a coal miner, one of 11 children living in two rooms with no bathroom and outside, shared, toilet. The family was much loved but poor. The 1930s recession hit the mines hard and war was rapidly approaching. My Grandmother had to make do as best she could.
He went to university in Glasgow and qualified as a teacher moving to Bromborough in 1954 to take on the new St John’s Secondary Modern School in New Ferry as Headteacher.
Being the son of a Headteacher and one with standards and principles engrained in him in such a hard but loving family environment, didn’t make life easy. He felt the responsibility of his position and made sure that we children followed suit!
And yet, while appearing to be inflexible, my Dad was open to change.
While others struggled with the liturgical reforms of the 2nd Vatican Council, my Dad took it all in his stride. 8.30am Sunday Mass with no hymns was his type of church, that fed his faith right to the end.
In his latter days, over a pint with his son on a day off, he would reflect on the importance of making liturgy accessible, never putting obstacles in the way of people finding their God, and making honesty, kindness and generosity the foundation of a good life, a life he lived so well. A wise sage who lived out the adage that “God would never try us more than we can take!”.
Being open to the “signs of the times” lets God in and helps us to bring God to others.
Just a thought!