Shepton Beauchamp

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church:vicars_letters:jul2013mag

The Rectors Page

In his novel 'The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne', Brian Moore tells of Judith Hearne a gifted woman, healthy, attractive, competent, comfortable financially, in good relationships with her family and friends. She is loved and respected but there is one problem. She is approaching midlife, is unmarried and without children. She is conscious that her biological clock is running down and everything in her life, health, job, family, friends begin to count for nothing when what she really wants, a husband and children, is denied her.

She becomes restless and desperate; meets someone; falls in love. One night, after a date, Judith takes the initiative. She proposes marriage. But he rejects her, telling her he is not interested in her romantically and is only pursuing her because he thinks she has money. That rejection is the final straw. Judith hits the bottle, has a nervous breakdown and ends up in a church cursing God and becoming hysterical. She is taken away to a hospital where she receives good care and eventually recovers.

Shortly before she is to be discharged from hospital, she receives a visit from the man who had previously rejected her. He arrives with a dozen roses, telling her he has been wrong and proposing marriage. She hands back the roses with words to this effect: 'Thanks, but no thanks. I am not interested in marrying you, and this is why.

When you are a little girl you imagine the perfect life you will have. You will grow up to have a beautiful body, meet the perfect man, marry him, have wonderful children, live in a wonderful neighbourhood, and have wonderful friends. But as you get older and that dream remains a dream you begin to revise it. You scale down your expectations and begin to look for someone to marry who doesn't have to be so perfect, until you get to be like I was, unconsciously so desperate you would marry anyone. Well, I learned something by losing myself and finding myself again. I learned that if I receive God’s Spirit, it doesn't matter whether I am married or unmarried, I can be happy either way. My happiness doesn't depend upon somebody outside of me, but upon being at peace with what's inside of me.'

As her cab drives away from the hospital Judith makes an ‘aeroplane’ out of the card that came with the roses, and floats it out of the car window.

Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a particular way for our own unique situation. The gift of the Spirit is a general outpouring given to everyone in exactly the same way; it is deeply personal for each of us. For Judith Hearne this meant receiving the Spirit when approaching midlife without a husband and children; a different Spirit from that given to those who have a spouse and children.

God's Spirit is given to us in one way when we are lonely, rejected by a loved one, dissatisfied with our bodies, ashamed of some failure, inadequate before some task, dissatisfied with our marriage, or single and unable to find the right partner; just as it is given in another way when we are young, healthy, satisfied with our bodies, happy with our marriages and friendships, and successful in our projects.

In receiving the Spirit for the life we are actually living, our peace and happiness do not depend on always getting what we want or getting rid of what can't be got rid of, but on that personal gift from God.
(written by Fr. Peter Knott, SJ)

From the Church Registers:

24th May “Fred” Knight, 89 yrs ashes interred at Barrington.
28th May Stewart Kennedy and Denise Kennedyjoined in Holy Matrimony at Shepton Beauchamp.
28th May Derek Prangnell ashes interred at Chillington cemetry.
1st June Arabelle Linten Holy Baptism at Shepton Beauchamp.
8th June Grace, Iris and Joseph Willy Holy Baptism at Shepton Beauchamp
15th June James Mason & Natasha Clarkjoined in Holy Matrimony at Dowlish Wake.
church/vicars_letters/jul2013mag.txt · Last modified: d/m/Y H:M (external edit)