My brother John and I shared bedroom until I left home to go off to University. As little boys we slept end to end and in that unusual context he taught me my prayers!

As a teenager I was the one whose bed was lodged against the bedroom window that used to freeze up in the winter. All good character building stuff I hear you say! Amongst the many posters and pictures that were on the walls of our bedroom (providing, as they did a double purpose of concealing damp as well as attractive images) was a copy of the Desiderata. It was written by a man called Max Ehrmann and the Latin is simply translated as Desire.

As a teenage Christian I found some sections of his poem deeply compelling and also very comforting; I still do. In the difficult and trying times that surround us we may wish to think on them. I was always particularly struck by these:

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,.
Do not be blind you to what virtue there is; Everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be not cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

With every prayerful blessing
The Vicar