Since posting on Friday's Extreme Pilgrim the traffic on this blog has doubled. A little widget tells me how people found the blog, and it looks like the vast majority were searching, not for Extreme Pilgrim, or Peter Owen Jones, but Father Lazarus. This mirrors what happened after 'The Monastery' a couple of years ago - so many people were struck not only by the stories of the men taking part, but by the life of Worth Abbey itself, that they had a massive rise in enquiries about the monastic and spiritual life, and the Abbot was prompted to write the superb Finding Sanctuary in response. This ties in with what I blogged about research a few days ago - though people are less interested in the pre-packaged meals of institutional religion, there is a spiritual hunger our there. Gandhi is reported to have said that he would have become a Christian if he'd actually met one - the inference being that the Christians he did meet weren't living lives which reflected the life of their Lord. Father Lazarus reminds us that to be better Christians we don't need more information, or the latest book, or the latest worship CD, we just need a relentless and unquenchable desire for God, and to overcome our fear of letting God have mastery over us.
If you're interested 'Ulrich''s comment below posted me this link to 'monasterion' a web group for those interested in monasticism, with links to various other resouce sites.
Meanwhile, a couple of other links:
The latest Sheffield Centre bulletin on ministry with older people is out. 5 pages, easy to read, worth a look if you have an average demographic in your church!!
The Passion, a new BBC production on the last week of the life of Jesus, is being screened on the Beeb during Holy Week, and there's a new website to go with it. It will be good to have an account of the life of Jesus that's not unwatchable because of the levels of graphic violence (Mel Gibson) or flaky theology (Robert Beckford on Channel 4)