“It aims for the highest standards of personal behaviour & at the same time, understands & supports those for whom growth is a struggle & the social standards of life seem always to be a work in progress. Finally, Benedictine spirituality requires of us all the humility that allows no room to make gods of ourselves, to impose ourselves on the rest of the universe, to develop the hubris that leads to the oppression of others, that justifies force as the sign of our superiority, that enthrones the arrogance in us over the holiness & wholeness of others, that smothers the awareness in a person of their small & proper place in the universe. It is humility that makes us happy with what we have, willing to have less, kind to all, simple in our bearing, & serene within ourselves. It teaches us that they who have themselves for God have a very small god indeed. Benedictine spirituality is a recipe for peace & a prescription for a life lived well on every level. & now, in our Monastery of the Heart, it is ours to shape & to preserve, to share & to promote, to model & to make real in our own time. “ Pax Intrantibus (peace to those who enter here) The Monastery of the Heart by Joan Chittister OSB.
As we enter this New Year we find ourselves alongside a number of our loved ones who are in special need at this time. Margaret Firth’s family as they prepare for her Requiem on Tuesday, & our Monastic Community as we prepare for Fr Francis Dobson’s Requiem the same morning. Thoughtfully, Fr Prior has delayed Fr Francis’s Requiem until 12 Noon to allow those of us who wish to be present at both Masses to do so. Mary Gray’s niece lost her 22year old son in a car accident in France last Sunday. Tricia Walker died peacefully in St Leonard’s Hospice in York last Monday. Her funeral will be private but we will celebrate Mass with Rhoda & family in the near future. Over 300 people came to pray for Andrew Daly at his Requiem in the Abbey Church last Saturday, & his family are deeply grateful for all the support they have received in recent months during his time in hospital. It was announced last Monday that the St Lawrence’s Education Trust are proposing to close the Pre-Prep & Years 2 to 5 at St Martin’s Ampleforth with effect from September 2018, with Year 6 upwards for the next academic year & Year 7 upwards thereafter being accommodated into the College site. A period of consultation with staff to shape the provision will begin, with proposals refined in consultation with parents & children. Please keep Clare & David Moses, their academic support staff, together with parents & children in your prayers at this difficult moment of transition & change.
We are to open our Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with a Unity Service at Stanbrook Abbey this Thursday 18th January. We will gather at 7.30pm in the entrance to their Abbey Church, & will have 30 minutes of silent prayer together before the Sisters sing Compline with us at 8.15pm. Please try to join us on one of our valued & regular meetings with our fellow Christians at St Hilda’s, & indeed those of other Christian denominations who join us for prayer & fellowship. We are grateful to Mother Andrea & her Community for allowing us to join them.
An update on the Zimbabwe Education Fund. The amount donated since the beginning of December & the talk given by Mary Sturges, is £2230. This includes £150 from the “5p glass jar” which has been in the Parish Hall for the last few months. We are deeply grateful for your generosity, particularly at this time of political & economic change as a result of the new Presidency.
Our 3rd Alpha Course finished, & we are deeply grateful to the Alpha Team for their steady work & prayer which has borne rich fruit in deepening the faith of some, restoring the faith of others, & welcoming new enquirers into faith. We are to begin a day Alpha Course on Wed 17th Jan 2018 at 9.15am, (to 11.15am) to enable young parents with children at school & the elderly among us to have the opportunity to enjoy exploring some questions in life & faith in a relaxed & informal setting. Please let us know you are coming via firstname.lastname@example.org With love & prayers, Fr Bede.