Yes, it's true! Due to your generosity before Christmas OCICBW... now possesses the technology to actually talk to you. Isn't it exciting?!

You can either stream the audio files or you can download them to your computer to be listened to later. Why not, transfer them to your iPod and curl up in bed with MadPriest?

Seriously, though, I am an old man getting used to new technology. I think on this first effort I have spoken far too slowly and I expect there will be some editing mistakes. Hopefully, I will get more proficient as time goes by.

MP3 File

The written version of this sermon can be read at FOOTNOTES.



  1. Bravo!! Bravo!! Excellent sermon as always – I admire your open honesty about depression. Too many (myself included) who should know better, hide from what is inside.

    I relate to what you were talking about when in a place where you can’t relate to God – you can’t open to him or be reached by him. I’ve lived some of that.

    And hearing it in your own voice! Lovely!!


  2. wow, not what I expected you to sound like at all. Glad to finally hear your voice.

    And brave of you. I’m trying to do the same – last week I bit the bullet and talked about my fights with anxiety and depression with a therapy group that I lead. It’s scary stepping away from being the “expert” in the room to admit you are just one of the rest of the crowd.

    Thanks for the good example you set. And thanks for being brave enough to let us finally hear you!

  3. really nice voice MP – it’s a good voice for radio, y’know. Also, I think you sound thoughtful and deliberate, rather than slow. Lovely sermon too, with much to think about. I’m so pleased we paid for this recorder thingy… since it means we have lots more sermons to look forward to. Hurrah!

  4. A gift, for which I thank you and those who contributed to the purchase o the recording equipment.

    Please don’t tell Mrs. MadPriest, but you and I cuddled up in my recliner for the homily. i wouldn’t want her to withhold any extra servings of Yorkshire pudding.

  5. No, I do not think you spoke too slowly. I thought it about right. And it is a good sermon too. Thanks for it!


  6. A beautiful sermon, from a person with a beautiful, intelligent mind and a beautiful voice. Thank you for letting us hear that voice and thank you for being forthright about your depression. That is something I have experienced from time to time.
    It amazes me the number of so called intelligent and educated people who have such uninformed notions (to be kind) about mental illness. The day I actually became the most angry was when the local mental health clinic sent me a letter in a plain, unmarked envelope. I felt that until we could get statements with proper return addresses from the mental health clinic the same as from our primary care physicians, they were helping those who would stigmatize us.

  7. We are offered the joy and peace of believing, and we can appropriate these things by faith. This is because Christ redeemed us from the curse by bearing our sickness and carrying our pain on the cross. We can, as a practical matter, accept these things by faith before we have them in our experience. We can practice thanking Him that they have been received and we then find over time that God is faithful and the overhead cloud begin to scatter. This works, when practiced perseveringly. The Kingdom is within us right now, and it is made up of the great and valuable promises.

  8. Well done MP. Only two problems:
    1. It was 45 seconds too long
    2. You sound like a Pom.
    I was thinking, ‘where have I heard that voice before’?

    And then it hit me. The narrator in, In Search of The Lost Cord! The Moody Blues.

    “This garden universe vibrates complete. Some may get a sound so sweet…”

    I’ll keep listening. When do we get the visuals?

  9. Dennis and Susan S: just curious here – if MP’s voice isn’t what you expected, what did you expect? …

    I had myself vaguely imagined there would be more of a Northern accent, but that’s only the Newcastle connection, and I had twigged MP wasn’t originally from Newcastle, so I knew that this was irrational.

    MP, you do sound a little posher than I thought you would. Not in a bad way though.

  10. Yes. I have no idea where the posh voice comes from. It’s not as if I went to posh schools or anything. Mind you, they used to beat local accents out of us at my school when I was a nipper. Having reasonably good BBC English was the only way you stood any chance of not ending up in the local boot and shoe factory. Nowadays you have broad Geordies introducing programmes on the TV. This is the sort of thing the reactionary wing of our church should be fighting against, not gay people.

    Of course, you have to remember that Americans believe we all talk like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. You get cringeworthy situations on America TV like in Fraser, where Daphne speaks with the world’s most phoney, Liverpudlian accent, and when her brother turns up from England, he’s speaking with the world’s most phoney cockney accent.

    My wife says I quickly revert to a broad East Midland accent when I’m relaxed in company I know well.

  11. God allows our difficulties so as to give us the opportunity to be drawn into deeper relationship with Him and an extension of His rule within us. The Kingdom is within. Faith in Him is faith in His promises which, in the midst of the difficulty, brings us into a new experience of His power. It’s an upward spiral into freedom. The new experience of power is succeeded by a new difficulty, and so on. He wants to turn all you’ve suffered into blessings for those to whom you’ve been called to minister. — JBD

  12. Perverse as it may sound at the theoretical level, we can prove its validity at the level of experience. From a theoretical viewpoint, it sounds perverse to me that a loving God permitted your experiences to occur at all. But if you discipline your mind to affirm and then act in accordance with the belief that there’s a purposeful pattern, you will find not at once but over time that you’re experiencing a progressive and cumulative liberation that produces joy. This is what has happened to me. I still have difficulties but I transpose them into deeper trust and that works. As for the theoretical part, I tend to think of poet Emily Dickinson’s stanza, where she says “Christ will explain each separate anguish / In the fair schoolroom of the sky.” — JBD

  13. I accept that God redeems bad stuff but not that he allows it to happen. I think he just can’t stop it from happening. Any other explanation makes him into a monster.

  14. MP – I agree with you on Frasier – sadly I fear the brother was played by an Australian, which may have something to do with the dreadfulness of the attempt at a cockney accent. It was really disappointing given that Frasier was so brilliantly precise and nuanced on so much else.

    I do know someone else from the Midlands who strategically lost the twang when he left school and became a journalist, but he was from Birmingham, which regularly seems to top polls for having the most disliked accent in the UK.

  15. Either He allows it to happen or He doesn’t exist, but in any case, He doesn’t owe us any more explanation than the one He gave Job, which wasn’t an explanation at all. Even Milton, despite his stated purpose in writing the greatest epic of our language, wasn’t able to “justify the ways of God to men.” But this consideration shouldn’t stand in your way of moving onward and upward by thanking Him for the permitted difficulty of the moment, whatever that is, so that new power may move into your mind and your circumstances. Forgive my presumption in communicating to you in this way, but please try this.

  16. And thank you for reading anonymous/jbd for I cannot and will not. Excellent sermon, MP, but then I have come to expect nothing less. (I love St. Seraphim, by the way. I have a little book about him from the SLG press.)

  17. Having lived in the UK twice I wasn’t looking for the fake cockney one finds on US television.

    I think that I was expecting a bit more pronounced northern English. I won’t say Yorkshire because I know better than that, but something along those lines. Not full on Geordie because you’ve told us in the past (2007?) that you don’t speak like your parishioners.

    I didn’t expect you to sound as if you were from the Midlands.

  18. No time to read all the comments carefully for the moment. Very nice to listen to your sermon – I find reading sermons (anyone’s) a challenge. Now that I’ve heard your voice I want to hear more. In particular I want to hear you read from Winnie The Pooh – I can just hear your fine elocution speaking the names of Christopher Robin and the 100 Acre Wood. Oh, as for Americans and Brit accents, I for one tend towards Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, et al as my examples.

  19. Either He allows it to happen or He doesn’t exist

    That is the way with these folks. An idea different from what they already believe and their whole world goes out the window. It is my way or there is no God!

  20. First the serious comment:
         Well thought out sermon so necessary, especially in the wake of so-called Christians who would blame the victims for their own trouble in Haiti.

    Now, the stupid comment:
         I was surprised by the accent. Why? I don’t know. Isn’t that silly? The only thing I can figure is I’ve internalized what I thought was your voice from reading your blog over the years. The only other explanation is I thought I had a pretty good idea how the English pronounced things (like Daphne on Frasier), but I was caught off guard by a number of words, including Haiti.

  21. If God is almighty, I think there are a few million Haitians who would probably want to have a word with him about his commitment to his job.