“The prophet is loud, clear & nonviolent. There is nothing self-serving in the actions of the prophet. On the contrary, prophets almost always suffer loss of social status & an increase of personal rejection, not to mention the legal punishment of the governments they confront. They pay the social cost imposed by societies still blind to their own violence, yet unconscious of their own social sins. & they do it to expose the systematic roots of the violence they confront. The prophet does not set out on such courses of action in the interests of self-aggrandizement. These are not publicity seekers who are looking for personal fame. They do not put themselves in such physical & social jeopardy to achieve a kind of cheap & useless fame. They are not out to make a profit from their risk of personal reputation & welfare. Most of all the prophet is not impetuous, not a rabble-rouser, not emotionally overwrought or psychologically unbalanced. Instead, the prophet is deeply immersed in the spiritual depths of the tradition. They are fuelled by the prayer that prays “Do unto others what you would have others do to you”; they give up a part of their own personal life to improve the lives of others & bring the world back to the Will of God for it. The prophet is a living example of the spiritual life with a purpose as large as the life around it. The questions for spiritual people today are simple: What message do people get from us? What sky do we light up so that others may find their way to new peace & clear justice in a violently unjust world? ”“The Time is Now” Sr Joan Chittister OSB
More steady progress on the process of amalgamating our three Churches. Our announcement of our new Parish Administrator has been delayed until her DBS clearance is received. We hope she will start work in early January 2020. Our Coordinating Group meet again later this week looking at Christmas arrangements in all three Churches, & details relating to our Parish Lunch on 5th Jan 2020, the Feast of the Epiphany. Please sign up on the list at the back of the Church if you would like to come, & if you are available to help on the day.
For some years now we have had a close connection with the Apostleship of the Sea, & their Chaplain at Hull docks, Anne McLaren. She was in St Benedict’s Primary School last week for a hat packing session, where she brings knitted woolly hats donated by volunteers, which our children fill with basic items such as sweets, shampoo, toothpaste, & each hat is given to a seafarer for them to “open” on Christmas morning. We will again have our Shoe Box Appeal, asking you to source a shoe box & to fill it with basic necessities & treats, to wrap in Christmas paper & to bring to Church next weekend please. These will be given to seafarers who will be at sea on Christmas Day as a gesture of our love & prayers.
Please keep Freddie Thompson age 3 in your prayers: sadly he died in hospital in Leeds on Tuesday. You will remember we took part in a local Appeal to gather funds to send him to the United States for specialist treatment, but he died before making the journey. Please remember his family at this time, & the medical teams locally & in Leeds for all their care.
I am sorry there will be no weekday Mass this Wednesday. Sr Lawrence Derbyshire OSB who has lived for some years at Boarbank Hall in Cumbria died last week & I am to celebrate her Requiem Mass there on Wednesday. Our Village Carol Service that evening precludes an evening Mass. With my love & prayers Fr Bede.