On being rescued: part 2.

(For “On being rescued: part 1”, follow this link )

6/7/89, a date, and a series of consecutive digits, of enormous significance to me. Was it a message from God? I bought books on numerology, astrology, divination, demonology and many others to help me discern. I became an instant “expert” on these arcana, and started to show it off. Some of the sillier nurses at work began to see me as “very wise”. I loved any attention.

Meanwhile, the child was dead, the Coroner pronounced her death was by misadventure. I could still continue as a doctor, but I had been confronted by reality in a violent fashion, and not by the will of man. My understanding of life was about to change drastically.

At that time, I was far from the Church. I had lapsed shortly after leaving home for university. Too much girlfriend/parties/drunken nights/possessions etc. Rolling around, like a pig in the brownstuff. I was co-habiting with my “fiancée”, but had been getting steadily more unhappy with our relationship. We saw the world too differently. We parted company after, one morning, I picked up a newspaper, headlined: “Man kills family, then himself, with knife”. I had a sudden thought that if we carried on together, that would be our fate too. Madness was coming over me.

A new job, (promotion), in London was in the offing. I packed all my belongings and moved out. We parted amicably. She had had her doubts too. I moved in to a hospital flat at my new workplace. I bought a new car, and cleansed myself of old possessions. I bundled my old clothes up, and took them into central London to give to the tramps in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. I was going to make a new start! I plunged in to studying my new books, looking for further wisdom.

On my first day in the new job, I met a remarkable young woman, who was a junior doctor, working in my department. She was great fun to talk to, very intelligent, well read (far more than I), very attractive to my eyes. She had no “airs and graces”, she was very natural. I met her many friends, who were all of similar qualities. She was also unattached, she told me. We dated, and for the first time in my life, I truly fell in love. Sorry to bore you, but you know, 24/7 obsession, composing poetry, my only desire to be in her company etc. I had met my first goddess.

We started discussing deep matters. Like the fraud I was, I drew on my Catholic school knowledge for answers to her strongly held opinions on life and the living of it. Very quickly, I was out of my depth. I was proven a complete fool in many of these discussions. I had never before met such powerful arguments, so well put. I was also in love, and so, at her mercy. I became very confused. My infatuation with her continued, only to grow.

She had a mercurial quality which scared me. Most of the time, she was charming and gentle, but without warning or provocation, she could become blithe, vicious or mocking towards me. I was too naive to understand her inner processes. I carried on regardless, like the lovesick fool that I was. Two or three months, this lasted.

Then, one evening, when I knocked at her door, she introduced me to her new boyfriend. She had met him at a party, the night before. She wasn’t interested in me anymore.

Suddenly, I had nothing left, at all. (to be continued)


I must pause there. We’ve all been foolish in our youth. Some foolishness can have tragic and permanent consequences, while some can provide opportunities for Grace. Any comments?

Continue to part 3

About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
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12 Responses to On being rescued: part 2.

  1. joyfulpapist says:

    Others, wiser than I, have written eloquently of meeting the ultimate Other in the eyes of the one we love. In this sense, every encounter that lifts us to be better than we were is an encounter with God. And yet there is the danger that we will mistake the seeming for the substance. No-one – not the first ‘true’ love, not the the intimate friend, not the companion of our life and our heart – can be God to us. St Augustine said:

    Almighty God,
    you have made us for yourself,
    and our hearts are restless
    till they find their rest in you;
    so lead us by your Spirit
    that in this life we may live to your glory
    and in the life to come enjoy you for ever


  2. Brother Burrito says:

    That is a very perspicacious comment, JP.

    Before I met this woman, I had been living a shallow and unexamined life. I truly fell in love with her, a phenomenon I had no idea existed, despite so much love poetry and song all around me. One hears of mind altering drugs, but less of mind altering relationships. Both can raise consciousness to unsuspected higher levels. In her, I was introduced, for the first time, to beauty, goodness and truth. Qualities that, I now know, belong to God.

    Alas, such things can not sustain or grow, down here, without supernatural assistance. Neither of us were in a state to receive such. Our fallen-ness broke us apart.


  3. toadspittle says:

    As you are inviting comments, Burro, the words of Sherman, the Civil War general, seem apposite. Someone asked him if he knew the secret of life. ”Life is just one damned thing after another,” he said. Wise words, I think.


  4. omvendt says:

    ”Life is just one damned thing after another,” he said. Wise words, I think.”

    Can’t see the wisdom myself, but the nihilism is on full display.

    This stuff isn’t actually liveable.


  5. toadspittle says:

    I’m beginning to think you take things a wee bit too seriously at times. But…in a roundabout way, the reason I wrote that was because I am somewhat puzzled as to the motives of Burro.
    I don’t have the slightest problem reading his autobiography in installments. Indeed, it is fascinating. Full of angst. So unlike my own humdrum existence. Yet a lot more wholesome than bickering about crucifixes. No doubt, all will, as they say, be revealed. Seems to have a happy ending. Goody.

    Wisdom, as you rightly say, is in the eye of the beholder.


  6. joyfulpapist says:

    Burro, looking back over a somewhat longer life than yours (or so I deduce), I have come to the conclusion that all encounters are an opportunity for Grace, but the Grace is sometimes accessed by turning away from the encounter!

    A dear friend who was a Dominican priest once talked about falling in love (with a woman). As he reports it, he told himself, ‘Well, you’ve fallen in love. You can just fall out of love again.’ When we knew him, he was marvellously happy in his priesthood and in his celibacy.


  7. mmvc says:

    …I am somewhat puzzled as to the motives of Burro.

    Maybe, just maybe, Burro’s motive is none other than to share with us from his own experience how God’s saving Grace can break through and mysteriously transform the most painful and apparently hopeless situations into abundant blessings…and to give glory to the Almighty for the marvels He has worked in his life.


  8. toadspittle says:

    Just what I was thinking, MMVE. Couldn’t possibly have put it better!


  9. omvendt says:

    toad: “Wisdom, as you rightly say, is in the eye of the beholder.”

    I’ve never said that.

    Nor do I believe such an absurd proposition.

    We had an ‘exchange’ over the topic of objective morality.

    I won’t call it an argument since you didn’t offer any arguments.

    A sneer isn’t an argument.

    Just so we’re clear.


  10. omvendt says:


    St Ephraim advised us that we should be kind to everyone we meet as everyone is fighting a great battle.

    That’s advice I could benefit from following.

    And I should know about battles. I mean, for the longest time I’ve been trying my utmost not to be perfect – and I still haven’t managed it!


  11. toadspittle says:


    I suspect you mean your last post here in a kindly way. So I thank you for your forbearance. I do try to argue sincerely, but it can get so wordy in print I get concerned about boring everyone.


  12. omvendt says:


    The last thing you are is boring.


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