..we have just prayed one of the most powerful prayers in Christendom, & so often, too often, it passes us by unnoticed..an empty statement, a mere preamble, a bad habit, a dis-grace.. & yet it verbalises/ritualises/sacramentalises all that we do that is important, be it in a small village parish church at weekday Mass when no one came, or as a profession of faith as star footballer emerges onto pitch in front of crowd of 75,000 & millions on tv ..or as I trace it onto forehead of Ettie Slingsby in 4wks time, as we baptise her & claim her for Christ.. ..as Catholic Christians, it is our track & trace..the sign of the Cross on this Trinity Sunday, the feast of the three persons in one God..
..for all our sins against the Father who gave us life.. ; Lord have mercy ..for all our sins against the Son who gave us new life & a place in his family.. ; Christ have mercy ..for all our sins against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth & authenticity.. ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..week last Monday we had the joy of welcoming back into Church after 14months of absence half the children from St Benedict’s PS; reception to Yr 2; Class 3 & 4 came for Mass later in week..for some of junior group, it was their first visit so we gently looked at & explained all that makes this Church a spiritual home for todays & tomorrows disciples; as with many of you, so with them, a place of encounter with Jesus, which encourages thought imagination & question, such as question put to me by a 7yr old girl “who made God?” an ask worthy of a university student..& how pray would you answer such a real profound question? I told it as it was “no one, because God always was..” I have a poem I will give to her & to her class, a reminder of her wise question; it is called “the real work” by Wendell Berry.. It may be when we no longer know what to do we come to our real work, & that when we no longer know which way to go we come to our real journey the mind that is not baffled is not employed the impeded stream is the one that sings.. “the mind that is not baffled is not employed” Trinity Sunday certainly baffles most of us, as we try to understand, then explain convincingly, the theology of the Trinity.. ..before becoming a monk 42yrs ago, I was a Quantity Surveyor, & building construction was my professional career & deeply enjoyable; if the MOD needed an Army Camp for a battalion of 600 soldiers, or NHS needed a Nightingale Hospital for ICU beds in covid, they would engage with three key professionals, an architect, a builder & a caretaker. Architect listens to clients’ needs/expectations, tests clients original concepts to ensure viability authenticity cost value [ my job ] & a result beyond their dreams..he thinks imagines sketches consults listens revises & gradually scheme emerges in thought word & in prayer..convincing client this is the way forward “trust me”; he then takes it to a second professional, the builder; explains project to him passionately convincingly & they form a design & build partnership, weaving respective skills & wisdom to build into life the concepts of architect..project comes
off plan & onto site, with successes, setbacks, shortage of manpower, calibre of craftsmen, weather & poor ground conditions, & gradually building emerges into life; as it approaches completion, on time & at cost [my job ], crucial third member of team arrives..the caretaker..building custodian..to be the guardian of what is now a reality, to protect & maintain, to clear up mess, repair what is broken..caring for it, loving it, as it becomes part of them, & they of it..& always with assurance of the wisdom & after-care of architect & builder to fall back on.. ..so a simple step now into understanding & believing in the Trinity; God the Father is the architect, God the Son the builder, God the Holy Spirit the caretaker..all three in unity, in dialogue, a relationship of life love & truth..& all for the honour glory growth & wellbeing of the occupier/tenant/steward not of a building, a Church, but a Church community, this part of the Body of Christ; this isn’t a sanitorium or a care home, it is an HDU, a high dependency unit, where we depend on each other, & the Trinity depends on us..a relationship where we are fulfilling our divine purpose “go, make disciples of all nations, baptise them in the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Spirit, & know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” bringing us back to the answer I gave to my 7yr old “ no one because God always was” timeless..”with you always”.. ..shared with you last weekend story of Julie & son Robert two disciples, in high dependency spiritually & relationally when Julie emailed me at 2.11am in A&E with Robert critically ill with suspected menigitis..her email of last week confirmed what she had told me in late February, when her prayers were answered & he was home again after less than a week.. “Robert is in good health, has received both his covid vaccines & it back attending Kirkham Day services twice a week. Tomorrow [ week last Monday now ] the café’s open & I can at last take Robert out for a cup of tea & his favourite, a jam scone with clotted cream! [ do remember they are Lancastrians & will never had tasted a Thomas’ yumyum! ] Julie goes on to share another episode in her faith journey.. “another good bit of news our family received was regarding my sister Jackie. She was one of the Postmasters who had their convictions for fraud & theft overturned by the High Court a few weeks ago. Jackie had always maintained her innocence but was sentenced to 18 months in prison, of which she had to serve 18 weeks. They lost their business & were declared bankrupt..but nothing as bad as her only daughter dying suddenly at the age of 18 of meningitis, just a few months after she was released. She has remained out of the spotlight & moved to America. We all rallied round for Jackie & she had visitors every weekend whilst in prison. I also took Robert & Joseph to visit her. I remind Joseph that prison is not full of bad people, just people who have supposedly broken the law. I emailed my sister every evening whilst she was in prison. She is such a strong & caring person, & like so many, she has a faith but not enough time to pray, she’s always milking the cows. I sent her a book I have on the rosary because I feel she shares such a similarity with Our Lady in the suffering of losing a child. I send you my love & thanks for the support you continue to give to my family, & your prayers are so appreciated. I hope my experiences with Robert will help others to really have trust in Our Lord when times are hard. I know that you will find the right words to inspire, just as you did to me all those years ago. God bless you Fr Bede, kindest regards.” ..an eminent disciple steward & caretaker, who, with her divine support group, keeps faith, making the impossible possible.. ..& all “in the name of the Father, & of the Son, & of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”