“we are focusing here, during these long warm days of our summer retreat, on finding harmony within ourselves by falling in tune & time with the pulse of nature, of the sky & of the sea. This, we feel sure, is where the regaining of balance, of healing & of peace begins. It is the way of creation & incarnation. It is the way of sacrament. It is the way of mystics, it is the way of God. Including, but transcending all hands-on remedies, therapies & medication for restoring our peace of mind, for mitigating the damage caused by pressure & stress, the basic rhythm of our lives holds the key to our overall well-being. Only connect.. otherwise there is no groundedness, rootedness or inner freedom. To place oneself in the middle of what Rabindranath Tagore calls the Stream of Life is to feel a new power & perspective, a healthy confidence & balance in the current of one’s destiny, even with all its shadowy nooks & crannies, its alarming twists & turns, its many cul-de-sacs & its roads less travelled. The same stream of life runs through my veins night & day, runs through the world & dances in rhythmic measures.. It is your same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth & of death, in ebb & flow. Here in Owenahincha, whether feeling the spray of the ocean during the day or hearing its unique & muted murmur at night, we all felt an affinity with mystery. The sea & the soul are spiritual sisters. They call to each other. They need each other. The soul needs form & context. The sea needs to be named & experienced. That is why the spiritual is also the physical.. it spreads along the arteries of the embodied soul, through the seasons & turnings of the universe. Moving to the tempo of the tides each morning, it was easy to visualise God’s healing power touching our minds & caressing our troubled hearts. From our innermost centre where the Blessed Trinity lives, & from the mysterious love pressing on us from all around, all we had to do was surrender to the truth of reality, to the embrace of the present moment, to the way things are. With practice it comes easier, this experience of our essence, this sensing of the heartbeat of God in the silent pulse of our attentive presence.. the rhythm of our breathing, the rhythm of our being, the rhythm of God. Leaving aside what Eckhart Tolle calls the 85% of our thinking that contributes only to our fears, we discover another place of tranquillity inside us. Open to this overwhelming, but shy & subtle presence, this God-being, an extraordinary sense of peace & confidence fills our soul. [Already Within; Fr Donal O’Leary]
This weekend we celebrate Sea Sunday, remembering especially the work of the Apostleship of the Sea in their practical & spiritual care of all seafarers & their families.
Please could I remind you of Fr Abbot’s letter of 25 June 2021, inviting each of us to join him in the Abbey Church on Sun 25 July 2021 for Mass at 330pm followed by tea & then a parish meeting/discussion. It is clearly to be an important meeting & I would encourage as many of you as possible to take up the invitation as Fr Abbot “will try to listen & discern what the way forward might be.” Please let Julia Brooke know if you are attending; email@example.com or 01439 766700. There will be Mass at OL&SB on Sat 24 July at 6pm & on Sun 25 July at 10am for those of you who are elderly & might feel the Mass & long parish meeting at the Abbey too much. There will be no 4pm Mass at Gilling that day.
The Bishop has written to us to alert us to a DSJ webinar in collaboration with Living & Dying Well & the National Board of Catholic Women on Mon 12 July 2021 7.30pm to 9pm on zoom. Bishop John Sherrington witll open the evening, Baroness Ilora Finlay & Robert Preston will present from their book “Death by Appointment; a rational guide to the Assisted Suicide Debate” all linked to the Meacher Bill on “Assisted Dying” currently awaiting its 2nd reading in the House of Lords. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/e/death-by-appointment-a-rational-guide-to-the-assisted-suicide-debate-/ The Department of Social Justice of the Bishops Conference with allied organisations, is working to defeat the Bill. Please keep this vital issue in your prayers.
On Sat 24 July 2021 three members of the teaching staff at St Benedict’s RC PS are to compete in a triathlon at Castle Howard starting at 8.45am. Sophie Smith is do the swimming leg of 750m [ she used to be a competitive swimmer ], Ryan Jacobs is to cycle 23km, & Clare Lally is to run the final leg of 5km. They are well into an impressive training programme. As well as witnessing to our children the importance of healthy living, they are also raising money for two good causes; WaterAid to help provide & sustain clean water in poorer countries, & to help our sustainable woodland project in the School grounds. They hope to raise £1,000. If you would like to help with the funding please donate through the following Crowdfunding Page ; https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/st-benedicts-beauties?utm_id=1&utm_term=qX6y3RPwp
Our Parish continues to provide food through the Food Initiative at a cost of £200 a month. [£3,800 since the pandemic began, a vital, appreciated & willing contribution in spite of our current significant Parish financial deficit]. I hope those in our own Village who may be struggling to provide food for their children in this ongoing & increasing crisis in health & in the economy, will be warmly encouraged to benefit from our Food Initiative, where it is possible to approach Ray & Deb in the Village Shop, & quietly ask for a bag of food essentials which will be delivered to your door. This has been working well since the lockdown began, & it could be more of us in the Village will find themselves in ever deeper need of help, & we would encourage them to ask.. it isn’t charity, it is basic good bread & butter Christian discipleship which, at such times of crisis, is asked of us in our plenty. Across the Village there is deep appreciation for the good natured & generous service given by Ray & Deb throughout the crisis, who regularly go the extra mile for us. Food donations to Middlesbrough Food Bank via cash in envelope to Parish House or direct via firstname.lastname@example.org Please remember the sterling work of our own SVP group in the Parish, who are there, willing & able to help anyone in any form of difficulty, or those who would value a phone call now & again in the midst of the lockdown. Do please Contact Mary Borrett email@example.com. With my love & prayers Fr Bede