That Neo should be going is a cause of great sadness, but not surprise. I have been out of action here, other things have had a greater call on my time, and I have appreciated the way Neo, and others have kept the flame burning. But we live in dark times. There is a passage in Lord of the Rings where Frodo regrets living in parlous times, but Gandalf simply responds by saying that so do all who live through such times.
Commenting upon Catholic matters is a parlous affair. Given that my own position is not adequately safeguarded by my pseudonymity, I have preferred silence to comments which would be bound to get those without the courage to comment openly, writing to my employer with whining complaints. We are where we are, and my one comment is that those who want an Anglican future for the Catholic Church should take that route for themselves and let the rest of us get on with the Faith once received by the Apostles.
But this is a post about Neo, who is the polar opposite of such people. He first came across my line of vision when I worked with the founder of this blog. I noted then what all his posts show. Firm principle, warm heart, and a loyalty beyond compare. That he and I were not of the same Church mattered not one whit. We were of the same timber. And through many years here, I never once saw him flinch, never once saw him waver, and never once saw him fail in the duty of a Christian gentleman. Kipling knew the value of a man by whether he was the sort of fellow you would go tiger-shooting with. Well, now that would get one ostracised in no time at all. But Neo is the sort of man with whom one would go on a tiger shoot, or any other activity which required a strong and loyal backer.
His words have stirred my out of my, well I won’t call it a reverie, but I will call it a reluctance to venture out. Neo, like Jess, is right, there is much in the blogging world which is touching pitch, but it is there whatever one does, and a small light in the darkness means that the darkness has not won.
Neo has kept the light burning. If, as has happened before, it passes now again to me, I shall do my best to keep it lit. Neo is in my prayers, as he has always been. Pray for him, and for all who in these dark times, do what they can to keep the flame alight. He fought the good fight, he ran the race. He encouraged others, and set an example of how those from different backgrounds and traditions can find an agreement. If he does go, we shall not see his like again.
I would thank him, from the bottom of my heart.