Community The contemplative sees the Creator in the gleam of the created. God, we come to realise, is indeed everywhere. The goodness we see in the other gives us a glimpse of the face of God. What we learn from the other we learn about ourselves. The honour with which we regard the other unmasks our own theology of creation. The way we react to the needs of the other tells us something about our own needs. The attention we give to another exposes our real sense of the breadth of the universe & stretches it beyond ourselves. We see in others the kind of commitment it takes to go on believing when our own belief falters. We look to others for the kind of vision that expands our own beyond the daily. We depend on others for the kind of wisdom that exceeds mere answers. We hold onto others to find the kind of love that makes life rich with meaning, certain proof of the everlasting love of a God for whom there is no word. Clearly, in the serious contemplation of our place in the human community lies the quality of our contemplation. To be a real contemplative we must every day take others into the narrow little confines of our lives - & listen to their call to us to be about something greater than ourselves. “Illuminated Life” by Sr Joan Chittister OSB.
We begin our preparation programme for our six candidates for First Holy Communion this weekend, with a Mass of Inscription at 10am on Sunday, when we introduce the children & their parents to the Parish, & to ask for your ongoing prayerful support alongside them at this important moment in their growth into our faith. We are to hold our Parish Forum this Sunday at 11.15am in the Parish Hall, & I hope it will be possible for many of you to come, initially to hear of all that has been in progress since our last Forum in Nov 2016, & then to give your advice on a number of important initiatives relating to our ongoing journey in faith & community. In compiling the report for you, it has been heartening to appreciate just how much goes on within the Parish & in our outreach; however, we are an aging community & our faithful stalwarts are in need of some of our younger parishioners to step forward & gradually take on some of the responsibilities of our parish life & work. I am deeply grateful to those of you who continue to give steady service to us, & many of our visitors remark on the warmth of welcome & the life of the liturgy we celebrate, not just at weekends but on a daily basis, with our various spiritual & social meetings reflecting the energy & life of the local community. We were encouraged to pray & fast last Friday (Cafod Family Fast Day). Please return your Fast Day envelope promptly, enclosing the cost of the saved meal, so that we can ensure that out contributions get to the frontline of need very quickly. Tragically the shortage of food nowadays isn’t just caused through crop failure & drought, & the atrocities in Damascus at the moment highlight our own culpability in the Syrian government’s indiscriminate bombing of innocent families & hospitals, as they attempt to starve & shell the victims into submission. “In so far as you’ve failed to prevent this happening to the least of these brothers & sisters of mine, you failed to prevent it happening to me.” Please pray hard for them at this critical moment. Sophie Tyrrell who looks after our Red Mission boxes on behalf of the Mill Hill Missionaries reports that during 2017 we collected £940.45. This is a tremendous result from those of you who hold a Mission box at home & give steadily. If anyone else would like a box please let Sophie know. With love & prayers, Fr Bede.