Cranmer returns to once again warmly embrace his readers and communicants. But he finds that the world has descended into chaos. There are not only wars and rumours of wars, but the United Kingdom is presently a very respectable third in the Olympics medals table, and David Cameron has become a world class statesman. Some things have remained constant – the Prince of Wales has prophesied a genetically-modified apocalypse, and the Archbishop of Canterbury has been vilified for saying that homosexual partnerships are ‘comparable to marriage’. Well, of course they are. Dr Williams is comparable to a fruit fly, sharing with it, as he does, 95 per cent of his DNA. And Cranmer is comparable to The Ashes, for he even plays in opposite hemispheres. One can compare any two entities - and even nonentities (let us not forget the Prime Minister) - and the process of comparing and contrasting will yield a myriad of similarities and differences. And yet the poor Archbishop is not able to say anything at all these days without it being warped by the media or misrepresented by those vultures which are salivating at the thought of picking over the bones of the Church of England (even as they are doing over those of poor Cardinal Newman). Yet still there is no carcase, and the decidedly un-political Dr Williams may yet be shown to have pulled off a distinctly diplomatic if not political triumph, and no-one really cares any longer for the theology.
Cranmer could talk much of his repose, but he shall not. Except to say that so many English travellers today seem to keep busy by doing as much as possible, but they enjoy and understand so little. The point of travel is to observe and experience foreign sensations which both nourish and refresh: they are to be enjoyed in and of themselves. And as the repose is celebrated in a way that is impossible in busy, frantic England, it is possible that one might even say High Mass for a third bottle of burgundy.
Jet-lag permitting, Cranmer looks forward to bringing once again his daily devotions, and he thanks his readers and communicants for playing so nicely while he was away.