News Archive

Wednesday 21 July 2021

As confident as is the falcon's flight

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We often hear the cries of the peregrine falcons who live atop the west towers of the Minster. Sometimes the leftovers of their meals also drop from the sky. This neat pile of feathers indicates that an epic aerial battle has taken place above the Oratory garden, with a resounding defeat of one particular pigeon.

Falcons are seen in the Bible as renowned for their extraordinary eyesight, and so Job describes God's knowledge and insight as infinitely greater: "No bird of prey knows that hidden path, no falcon's eye has seen it." (Job 28:7)

St Francis de Sales in his 'Introduction to the Devout Life' recalls St Francis Borgia saying, “I used to ponder how the falcon returns to one’s wrist, and lets one hood its eyes or chain it to the perch, and yet men are so perverse in refusing to turn at God’s call.”