The Line to Heaven by Christ was made.
With Heavenly Truth the Rails are laid.
From Earth to Heaven the Line extends,
To Life Eternal where it ends.
Repentance is the Station then
Where Passengers are taken in.
No Fee is there for them to pay
For Jesus is Himself the Way.
God’s Word is the first Engineer,
It points the Way to heaven so dear;
Through tunnels dark and dreary here
It does the way to Glory steer
God’s Love the Fire, His Truth the Steam
Which drives the Engine and the Train.
Come then poor Sinners, now’s the time
At any Station on the Line
If you’ll repent and turn from sin
The Train will stop and take you in.
These lines are from a tombstone in Ely Cathedral
Stations on my Journey
I believe I have been gently guided along my railway track by an unseen force and, although I am gradually reaching the buffers at the end of the line, it is clear from the stations I have passed through, and sometimes stopped at, that my spiritual journey has increased in significance – perhaps sometimes the stations I have passed through have been swathed in steam from the train, but gradually they have become clearer as I have travelled further along the line…
I was posted to Israel in 1962 as a member of Her Majesty’s Foreign Service. At that time, pre-1967 War, Jerusalem was divided but, being a member of the British Embassy, the youngest at just 20, I was permitted to cross over to the ‘other side’ (Jordan) once a month, to visit the Holy Places.
I had been brought up in the Anglican tradition, perhaps we could have been classified as Anglo-Catholic, (there was more holy water and incense in our church in East Anglia than I have seen since becoming a Roman Catholic in 1972!).
My time in Israel was truly memorable, not just because of the unique opportunity I had been given to view the places of biblical fame but also because I was to meet my husband. We married in the Catholic Church in Jaffa and, before we returned home, our first child was born.
My husband, son and I returned to UK in May 1965 and our daughter was born the following year. We chuffed along the railway line happily for the next ten years, perhaps gathering too much steam along the way and rather dashing through the stations on the line. However, there was cause to apply the emergency brakes in the heat of the summer of 1976 when my husband suddenly died. The train ground to a halt and I took stock of my life. The past had been good, we had enjoyed, thoroughly, our time together, but it was now time to pick myself up, dust myself down, and continue along the track to ensure that life could be as normal as possible for our two children who were about to embark on their secondary education.
The teenage years passed without any of the awful traumas we had heard about from friends and relatives and, in due course, both children obtained honourable degrees and now in ‘middle age’ are as settled as they ever will be.
I retired from paid employment at the turn of the century and the train of life is gradually chuffing towards the buffers … I have endeavoured to spend more time at each of the stations life has passed through and I feel that my faith and commitment have been greatly enhanced/strengthened from the friendship and common bond I have experienced since becoming an Oblate.
When I was first asked if I would like to become an Oblate, in the early 90s, I was a little anxious for at that time I was in a most demanding job. However, with a lot of gentle encouragement from my second husband (and I am sure many prayers, too) I began saying, with him, the Evening Office each day during the week, and the Morning and Evening Offices each weekend and during holiday periods.
Being widowed again in 2004, I began to feel the need for ‘a little more’ – it was then that I obtained the full Breviary and now I feel more ‘at ease’ as I say the full Daily Office. Since then I have learnt to value, even more, each new daybreak and all that my waking hours involve.
Being a Benedictine Oblate has been, and still is, a wonderful blessing and I appreciate greatly our monthly meetings where we listen to a talk by one of the Community and are able to exchange thoughts, comments and ideas.
I thank the Great Station Master for enabling me to stop along the railway line when I approached the junction of St Benedict and draw steam from his Little Rule.
Pam Morey, Obl St B, Prinknash