In a Monastery of the Heart we are called to listen to nature as well as to one another, to hear its groans & till its gardens, to nurture its young & maintain the purity of its air, until we ourselves become the voices for life in everything everywhere. To do that we must become part of the liturgy of life, treating as holy everything we touch, regarding as sacred every being alive, intent on preserving the best of what is – while we use our science & technology to protect, defend, & enhance them all. To pursue the path of Benedictine spirituality means that we will leave whatever part of the world we inhabit – its neighbourhoods & nations, its oceans & preserves, its forests & its soil - in better condition than they were before we came. Benedictines over the centuries, following the life the Rule prescribes, laid the foundation of the towns to which they brought order & organisation, hospices, learning, scripture, & art, the tools of civilisation, & the sustenance of the soul. They used every human form of education & skill to bring order out of chaos, equality to the masses, & healing to the globe. They tilled arid land & made it green. They dried the swamps & made them flower. They hired the peasants & taught them new skills. They seeded Europe with crops that sustained entire populations, they raised the cattle that fed & clothed, they ploughed the land, they distilled liquors & brewed beer that brought joy to the heart & health to the body, & they did all of that despite the plundering & pillaging that went on around them as the forces of war & domination overran & burned down one defenceless region after another. It is not possible to live life in a Monastery of the Heart & fail to nurture the seeds of life for every living creature, every way, everywhere. It is on the altar of creation that we celebrate our Benedictine spirituality, as our ancestors have done before us for over 1,500 years.
The Monastery of the Heart by Joan Chittister OSB.
St Benedict’s RC Primary School are holding their Christmas Fair in our Parish Hall this Sunday from 11am to 3pm. The Parents have done a splendid job in preparing for the day, & I hope as many of you as possible will call in at some stage to offer support & gratitude. Their efforts bring invaluable additional funding into the School to help the development of our children.
Our Advent Charity is again to focus on the Apostleship of the Sea Shoe Box Appeal, in which we source a shoe box which we fill with small essentials & gifts. The Port Chaplain for AoS in Hull, Anne McLaren arranges for our shoe boxes to be delivered to ships which will be at sea on Christmas Day, allowing a seafarer distant from home to feel remembered by our Village. Please return your shoe box to Church or St Benedict’s House by Sunday 17th December 2017.
Following Louisa Seymour’s introduction to our beginning an initiative to help those with Dementia & their carers at Mass 2 weekends ago, there will be a meeting of those who have already expressed a willingness to help on Sun 10th Dec at 11.15am in the Parish Hall. Anyone else would like to get involved is welcome to come. There will be a further meeting in the New Year to explain to the Parish as a whole how we propose to move forward in this important outreach.
Our Government is about to make a critical decision on whether to overturn the admissions cap which prevents Catholic Schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend. They acknowledge the policy discriminates against Catholics & have promised to abandon it. Visit http://catholicnews.org.uk/education-cap & send an email to the Secretary of State asking him to stand firm in removing the cap & the current anti-Catholic policy.
With love & prayers, Fr Bede.