A huge thankyou to the unfailingly wonderful Lonely Pilgrim for awarding me such a kind award.
I’m delighted to accept, sir! Yours is one of the few blogs I read every single post as soon as I see it. And then sometimes I go back and read it again. Anyone who can be charmingly gracious, touchingly real and throw in some old-fashioned Jacobite trivia must be pretty special.
The Lonely Pilgrim has all the details (and a bit of sleuthing) about this award so I jump straight in.
I’d like to give this award to Daniel Nour. What? I gave my last award to him too? That’s because he’s the best and itwould be a travesty not to and he is pretty much the only other blog where I read every single post as soon as I see it. Plus, he is a great encouragement and makes me feel like I’m not a total idiot (no easy thing, that!)
And now a few questions…
1. A book that changed your life: Oh, so tough but it would probably be A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was my favourite when I was younger, made me fall in love with everything princessy, English and 19th Century and taught me more than anything else could that real dignity came from doing what was right, regardless of the consequences.
“It’s true,” she said. “Sometimes I do pretend I am a princess. I pretend I am a princess, so that I can try and behave like one.”
“Never did she find anything so difficult as to keep herself from losing her temper when she was suddenly disturbed while absorbed in a book. People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment. The temptation to be unreasonable and snappish is one not easy to manage.”
2. Your favourite author/writer: A tie between the 19th century “lady novelists”: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell (but not Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights was no fun); and the early 20th century Christian geniuses: C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, R. A. Knox, R. H. Benson etc. (The poor dears wrote well but apparently they could never quite get the hang of spelling their first names).
3. Pet and its name: We have a dog, a Border Collie with a touch of Dalmatian (we think) and his name is Murphy. His full name is Murphydopolis James Syprios. (My dad thinks he’s secretly Greek.)
4. Craziest thing you have done: Become Catholic. No, really.
5. My best friend: Ah, Jesus? (Really, I think this is a silly question; either you already know we are best friends, you’d be offended that we’re not (ha!) or far more likely, you couldn’t care less.)
6. A childhood prank: I don’t think I ever played a prank… Suddenly, my childhood feels impoverished.
7. Favourite music artist: my dad.
8. A place you would love to visit: Il Gesù in Rome, the restricted section at Hogwarts, the Queen’s private drawing room, Lothlorien, and The Moon Under Water.
9. If you had just 5 minutes left to live what is the one thing I would do?: Oh now I feel bad. The Lonely Pilgrim wrote “I’d fall on my knees and pray and confess whatever sin might be on my heart and throw myself upon the mercy of God.” Me? My first thought was EAT ALL THE CHOCOLATE I CAN GET MY HANDS ON!!!
10. Favourite sport: Cricket, the game of gentlemen, the sport of sportsmen (“it’s just not cricket!”), and the noblest pursuit of knights in shining whites (and unfortunately, Warnie). I played back in the day but I wasn’t very good; I didn’t have the physical or emotional stamina. But it’s my summer soundtrack and the sound of a clean hit is one of the sweetest you can imagine. Besides, how could anyone dislike a game where you stop for lunch and tea?
11. How do you define love?: I don’t. It isn’t something I’m allowed to define. It’s the essence of God, the greatest good and the highest law. But when I do try to define love, it’s (at least in part) what my parents are teaching me Love is.
12. Who’s your favourite saint? I call them my trinity of Theresa’s: St Teresa of Jesus, St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face and St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. All Carmelite nuns who were also profoundly holy and intelligent women.
“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.” – St Teresa of Jesus
“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.” – St Therese of the Child Jesus
“Perfect love of God and of neighbor is a subject worthy of an entire lifetime of meditation” – St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
13. Which is your favourite word, verse, passage, chapter and book of the Bible?
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
Verse: Psalm 42:5
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Passage: Ephesians 3:14-21
…how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…
Chapter: Isaiah 61
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”