How can mercy be taught to Children?
By getting them used to the stories of the Gospel & to the parables. By talking with them, & above all by having them experience mercy. By helping them understand that in life we sometimes make mistakes & fall but that the important thing is to always get back up. When speaking of family, I have said that it is the hospital closest to us: when someone is sick, they are cared for there, when that is possible. The family is the first school children attend, it is the unwavering reference point for the young, it is the best home for the elderly. I would add that it is also the first school of mercy, because it is there that we have been loved & learned to love, we have been forgiven & learned to forgive.
I think of the weary eyes of a mother exhausting herself with work to bring food home to her drug-addicted son. She loves him, in spite of his mistakes. (The Name of God is Mercy; Pope Francis)
Thank you to those of you who came to St Hilda’s last Tuesday evening to represent us at the Village Harvest Festival. It gave us the opportunity to warmly welcome Rev Catherine Reid & her family to the Village & Benefice. Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for the birth of her second child at the end of this month.
This coming Friday is CAFOD Family Fast Day. We are encouraged to have one less main meal that day, & to offer the cost of the saved meal to CAFOD. Please take home a CAFOD envelope & prayer card today & return the envelope next week with your contribution. This year they are focusing on helping the poorest of the poor in South America, particularly those who have fallen victim to buying seeds from unscrupulous merchants where growth is dependent on particular (expensive) fertilisers & whose seeds tragically do not re-germinate for future seasons, making the growers totally enslaved to the merchants.
Our second collection Charity for this month is Rachel’s Vineyard, who try to provide a safe place to renew & rebuild life after the trauma of abortion. “The thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds & to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness & proximity. I see the Church as a field hospital after battle.” (Pope Francis 19th Sept 2013)
This coincides with Baby Loss Awareness Week 9th to 15th Oct 2017. Please keep the victims & their families in prayer.
I would strongly encourage as many of you as possible to consider a Study Day at All Saints in York on Sat 28th Oct 2017 entitled “Pope Francis & his Vision for Parish Life” it will be led by Bill Huebsch, a renowned speaker & author who has led the Bishop’s Study Day for Schools at which I have heard him speak. I fully expect it to be a day of celebration, engagement & challenge. The cost of £12 per person will be covered by the Parish. Please sign on the list at the back of Church.
With my love & prayers. Fr Bede.