Growth Contemplation has something to do with the ways in which we choose to grow. It is possible to give ourselves over totally to the satisfaction of the self. We can crave & hoard & accumulate & demand obeisance form the rest of the world until our lungs ache from screaming inside & our hearts echo our hollowness. We can cling to the worship of the self forever if we choose. We can spend our whole selves on ourselves. Western culture not only supports a concentration on the self alone; it encourages it. Getting it all & keeping it forever is the banner under which we march in this century. But there is another choice. We can choose to grow beyond the self that is a shrine to the Idols of the day. We can struggle to put down the notions that choke our souls in the name of pseudo- superiority; that women are invisible, that men are superior, that foreigners are grist for our economic mills that nature is for our satisfaction alone, that we are, as human beings, above the rest of the universe & beyond its restraints & restrictions. We can, on the other had make ourselves our own God. But if we do, we lose the very gift that life is meant to give: the gift of growth. The contemplative lives to grow in unity with the universe. To be a contemplative we must then live in unison with the mind of God, in tune with the rest of the human race & in touch with the weaknesses of our own souls, those places where the love of God breaks in to fill up what we ourselves do not have. “Illuminated Life” by Sr Joan Chittister OSB.
Late last Saturday evening in York District Hospital, Prema Harrison gave birth to a baby daughter for her & Tim. She weighed 7lbs 7ozs. The tradition in India is that the baby’s name is announced for the first time to the Parish & locality by the Parish Priest, & I was thrilled to be the messenger of such great news to our Parish at our 9.30am Mass last Monday morning when, almost like the Pope announcing his Easter Message Urbi et Orbi (to the City & to the World), I gave voice to her name, Willow Sarah Emily Harrison. We offer our congratulations to them all, & assure them of our love & continuing prayers. Although I had to share with you at our Parish Forum a fortnight ago the deficit between our income & expenditure on the running costs associated with the Parish, your willingness to give generously to charitable causes is well renowned. We are grateful to you for giving £380 to Lizzie Walsh’s appeal 2 weeks ago for donations towards the Perfect Day Foundation, in Zambia, where she goes to help in the Easter holidays. Our Cafod Family Fast Day collection raised £190 from15 envelopes which will give valuable support to the aid work in South Sudan & the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On this Mothering Sunday we have the opportunity to express our love & gratitude to all mothers of families, for their loving self-sacrifice within their homes, in our Parish & this locality. On reflecting on the story of the Prodigal Son with youngsters some years ago, we decided a crucial figure in the story was missing: the mother. In an attempt to describe the impossible (the role of a mother in a family) one youngster deservedly called her “the glue.” We remember specially those mothers buried in our graveyard. . With love & prayers, Fr Bede.