Tuesday, 3 July 2012

My Saint - The Doubter

Today is the Feast of St. Thomas, the doubting twin. I've always identified with him. He has some sense. He was not there when Jesus appeared after the resurrection. And, sensibly to my mind, when he heard his friends and companions stating that they had seen the Risen Jesus, he thought them to be talking nonsense. For this reason Jesus had to appear once again, and invite Thomas to touch his hands, his feet and his side. A very sensible man. I think that St. Thomas disbelieved to help us to believe. He doubted and tested, giving us the courage to do the same. A faith untested, after all, is no faith at all.

St Gregory the Great has some excellent comments around this theme: 

...the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ's wounds. becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection. Touching Christ, he cried out: My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Paul said, 'Faith is the guarantee of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen'. It is clear, then, that faith is the proof of what cannot be seen. What is seen gives knowledge not faith. When Thomas saw and touched, why was he told, you have believed because you have seen me? Because what he saw and what he believed were different things. God cannot be seen by mortal man. Thomas saw a human being, whom he acknowledged to be God, and said 'My Lord and my God'. Seeing, he believed; looking at the one who was true man, he cried out that this was God, the God he could not see......
Sometimes I think that people try to make faith into something it is not, some sort of certain knowledge or complete certainty. I reckon that's all wrong and a bit dangerous. That is making things up. I have complete knowledge of nothing, and I do not like to say things which would make it appear as if I knew anything for certain. However, I have complete faith in many things, most of all in a God I have never seen. I have always been taken by the fact that, in the rite of Mass in Ireland, at least when I was younger, one of the options for a Memorial Acclamation was St. Thomas', 'My Lord and my God'. I only ever heard it once, in Dublin, but it left an impression. I often still greet the Eucharist that way.

I had better put some food in this post. I have been neglecting my cooking recently - too much dashing about camping, exploring Warwick Castle and day-tripping to France with students. It's a hard life. 

I reckon that all you hardened meat eaters out there need to have a little faith in veggie food, so I am going to suggest little triangles of goodness in the form of samosas for this evening. Have a little faith and you will discover a whole world of tasty deliciousness. Trust me.

1tsp sunflower oil
1/2 onion, peeled and finely diced
1/2 clove of garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
100g mushrooms
100g chick peas, slightly crushed
1 red pepper, finely diced
100g peas
100g rice
soy sauce, to taste
16 tortillas
1 egg

Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and the garlic until softened. Stir in the turmeric and chilli flakes and fry for another 2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms, chickpeas, pepper and peas and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the rice. Add about 250ml of hot water, bring to the boil and cover the pan. Simmer until the rice is cooked. Splash on soy sauce to taste. 

Cut the tortillas in half, then cut each half into long strips the width of four fat fingers. Put the smaller side of the tortilla next to you and place you finger in the middle of the bottom side. Keeping your finger in place, diagonally fold over the bottom right side to the top to make a kite shape. Do the same with the other side. Brush egg onto the folds of the tortilla to help stick the sides together. Life up the tortilla and make a cone shape, then add some filling.

Lay the tortilla down, brush the flap at the top with beaten egg and fold it over to make a triangle. Turn it flap side down onto the work surface and gently press to seal. Pinch the points of the tortilla to make sure the filling does not come out. Continue filling the tortillas until all the filling is used up.

Heat some oil in a large pan. Fry the samosas for a couple of minutes until they are golden brown on each  side. Only cook 3 - 4 at a time, they do not like to be squashed. Eat and enjoy!

(PS: You have to see this recipe work to believe it).

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