Le flambeau de Rouen

In the modern church of Saint Joan of Arc in Rouen – next to place where she was burnt at the stake – there is a votive candle pricket which resembles the flames enlulfing her at her martyrdom.

I had intended to ride to Chartres today, but the flames of a project I have been involved in with other Catholics on the Internet seemed about engulf us, and action was needed.  I stayed an extra day, thanks to the kindness of my hosts, Jean-Noël and Line in Rouen who let me monopolise their home office and its computer all day today.

It has been a high pressure day, from late yesterday evening until the end of this afternoon, but we have turned the flames that might have engulfed us into a torch to carry forward again in our joint work.  I continue tomorrow on my velocipede to Chartres.

Out of the chaos of this event we have produced order, and furthermore, while trying to appeal to some people who seemed determined to wreck our group’s work, I let people know how much I was suffering hardship at the present time – by way of indicating my commitment to the group even though I was trying get across a long distance on the last of my money in the bank. Kind help hads been offered, so that problem is also eased now.

At some point I will write about the cross I have been carrying all these recent months, which has seemed like one disaster after another.  I had thought, nay believed, that God never lets us suffer more than we can bear. And yet I began to doubt that recently.  It was more than I could bear, and I was about to break.  But it is true.  A taste of the Cross is something He allows us to share, but we are not expected to bear the full weight: only our Redeemer can do that.

Sola Dei gloria

And to the road tomorrow, to Notre Dame de Chartres.  Frere Rabit continues the piligriminage in better heart.  I shall carry the flambeau with me: the flaming torch from this skirmish here on the Internet.  A group of people doing a good work on the Internet have triumphed over the bullying demands of a powerful ego, and together we have come through it all with flying colours.

(If you are reading this blog, Margi, thank you.  It has been a very high-pressure time as you see, but I am not pushing myself too hard.  This was the last thing I needed after what I have been through, but I will try and enjoy the remaining journey.  I have had some great help now and the pressure is off. The prescribed rest will happen now  – on the road and also when I get to Poitiers: I promise!)


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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One Response to Le flambeau de Rouen

  1. omvendt says:

    May I wish you many blessings on your pilgrimage, rabit.

    You are in my prayers.

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