Growth Growth is not simply about avoiding sin, whatever we know sin to be as we move from stage to stage in life. Sin, in fact , may be the very thing that brings us to enlightenment. When I am most angry I know best my need for peace. When I am most arrogant, I realise how puny is my bravado. When I am most unyielding, I know how isolating is my strength. No, growth- real growth- is about discovering that God stands by, waiting to consume us. If & when we ourselves can ever cease to consume every moment, every person, every event, every experience for ourselves, God can prevail in us. To be a contemplative it is necessary to set out every morning to grow into more than I was when I began the day by growing into the consciousness of the silent God so great within me. . “Illuminated Life” by Sr Joan Chittister OSB.
The Confirmation Group from Our Lady of Kirkstall Parish in Leeds asked me to convey their thanks to you for the warmth of welcome we gave them at Mass last Sunday morning. It is both encouraging & inspiring to share both time & story with such eager young disciples. They had a whole range of challenging questions such as “Is Heaven a state of mind or a place?” Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to prepare for their adult commitment to our faith. I spent much of this week in St Benedict’s Primary School celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation with our top four year groups, & meeting others in those classes who wanted to chat. We focused on the story of the Prodigal Son, with my questioning the lack of happiness in the obedient, dutiful & workaholic elder brother. I asked them what they thought was the secret of happiness. One boy suggested “to try to stay positive.” We are blessed to have such a thriving School, where the growth of our children in academics, relationships & faith is noticeable. Please keep everyone in the School family in your prayers. Your generous response to the request from the Methodist Asylum Project on Teesside has been much appreciated & our hope is to renew the Appeal after Easter from 9th April until 19th May. A drop in centre in Redcar has just opened, & most of our contributions will be offered from there. At our Parish Forum 3 weeks ago I made an Appeal for volunteers to take on various ministries within the Parish. There have been 4 responses so far for which I am grateful. Last Saturday evening we had no Minister of Holy Communion at Mass, the first time since I came 5 years ago. If you would like to serve either as a Minister of the Word or of Holy Communion please make contact with me, or see Kit Dollard or David Cragg-James. Those serving as Readers who are not yet commissioned are reminded that training & commissioning takes place in Scarborough on Sat 28th April. Please contact David Cragg-James for more details. Whilst many of us appreciate & benefit from our coffee after Mass on a Sunday morning, the work has fallen to a very few, & we are grateful to Rosalie Wilding & one or two others for maintaining the opportunity. There is need now for others to step forward & take on a Sunday in rota with others. Please consider signing up at the back of Church to ensure that this valuable meeting opportunity can continue. With love & prayers, Fr Bede.