I am just reading CHRIST a British Museum Book written by Rowena Loverance. It caught my attention after my recent wonderful visit to the Treasures of Heaven exhibition. A wonderful exhibition of relics and their lavish reliquaries.
You need to give yourself a minimum of 2/3 hours to absorb the beautiful craftmanship and Loving care and devotion that has gone into every minute attention to detail of every carved figure and scene which tangibly tell the journey of the saints, the martyrs and of Christianity, including a relic of the True cross, and a relic of thorns from Christs crown of thorns. Whether or not all of these are the True relics, they have been cared for, preserved and revered some for almost two thousand years.
The vehicular power of such relics tangibly aims the prayers of ones soul towards heaven in the most poignant of ways. This exhibition made me look at my own personal treasures that act as a vehicle in similar ways. I have three precious precious ‘relics’ that are worth far more to me than any other possessions in the world. Once held by the people I Love the most. One is a ring that my late father brought me on my 13th birthday, which never comes off. One is a little golden engraved cross which I gave to my father as a token of my love for him, on my wedding day, which he had soldered on to his special bracelet, (which came back to me after he died). And one is a simple basic wooden rosary in monetary value probably not worth more than a couple of pounds. But in spiritual value it is The Treasure from which I will never part. These 3 pieces are imbued with deeper meaning for me. They act as a tangible presence, evoking Love of the Highest Order and act as a vehicle which accompanies my deepest prayers in spiritual flight to God.
I never had a religious upbringing, but one gem I suddenly remembered from my childhood (as a result of reading the above book) was my Dad’s silver St Christopher. An old man carrying a child upon his back. I don’t ever remember Dad wearing it, it just was around. Its in my possession now, as a child I remember endlessly looking deeply into the magical little trinket and feeling that same fatherly protection and Love from my father, that the old man gave to the child as he carried Him on his back through the water. At the time I had no idea it was the Christ child. My Dad told me, so I knew it was St Christopher, but in my mind he was God holding me, along with my Dad. I guess many children in their simplicity think the same in their childhood too. So you can imagine my shock when in my little book I read this passage “St Christopher became the patron saint of travellers from the 5th century, he is now thought not to have been a historical character who carried the Christ child across a river, and was demoted from sainthood by the Catholic Church in 1969.”
Any prayers I had as a child were all directed toward the kind old God-man who carried the child. Who I felt watching me in all things.
Night night loving prayers to all travellers passing through this realm, and to those whom I Love, prayers for you forever. Sleep sweetly x God Bless x
Below is a short clip on the relics with Archbishop Vincent Nichols.