Wednesday, September 12, 2012
An 'Oatie' at last
Tonight I received a call I had been half hoping for, half dreading, to tell me I had been accepted into the Quakers, or to give 'us' (notice the 'us 'now!) our correct title The Religious Society of Friends. My initial feeling is one of delight and peace, happiness and contentment.
I am proud to be numbered in a Group that has a reputation for honesty and integrity, humility and welcome, simple living and pacifism, sobriety and good naturedness, hard work and concern for nature. I may even pick up some of these virtues myself en route.
It is true that many people of other religions and none share these virtues. My admiration for the work of Catholic Orders grows by the day. Some of the most admirable people I have met are agnostics or atheists. But I feel at home in the Quaker world.
There is no real need to become a Quaker or indeed any pressure either. The only two immediate advantages I can immediately think of, are that I can now sit on certain committees (please God, if there is a God), I won't be invited and I can be buried in a Quaker Graveyard and my current plan is for my ashes to end up in a jar in a Catholic cemetry overlooking the sea in Santiago del Teide in Tenerife.
I suppose the real reason is to show commitment to a Group of wonderful people. 'Is ar scath a cheile a mhaireann na daoine' - if my Irish does not fail me, 'we get through life with the help of others'.
I am now going to descend from my freezing office in the attic where my knees have seized up and celebrate with a glass of tea and a cup of wine.
The better half refers to Quakers as 'Oaties' and I guess she will be happy she now has an Oatie in the family.
I am not sure what the dogs will make of it.