SANDWICH LUNCH with a long-time friend and colleague today. Clerics plough some of their fields, much of the time, in rather solitary ways. Lunch and catch-up every now and then with other “plough-folk” functions, I think, a bit like the pie and a pint at a farmers’ market. Time for (albeit unconscious) reflection, taking stock, gratitude for abiding friendship and guidance over the years.

And the reflection, rather like prayer, brings again before our eyes the choices we have made, the lessons we have learned, the gladnesses we have revelled in, the sadnesses we have trembled in, the growing we have done, and the growing we still need to do. Human persons are engaged in walking the pathways of life; priests know a particular joy in companying and in learning with others in and along those paths, and in recognising the Divine presence Who walks with us. I love a prayer of Brother Roger of Taizé –

Risen Christ,
by your Holy Spirit
you live in us
and to each one you say:
“Come, follow me,
I have opened for you
a way of life.

And I thank God for my companions along life’s ways.