“Every writer must face the blank page. Paradoxically, the more economical he or she is in the filling of that page, the more powerful the writing & the greater his/her ability to speak to the human heart. John McGahern, one of Ireland’s finest writers of spare beautiful prose, said the best writing is about suggestion, not statement. The first thing about poetry is that everything doesn’t have to be said. Its discipline has to do with understanding & evocation. In “Henry James” RS Thomas poem of God’s darkness he writes of “the eloquence of the unsaid thing, the nobility of the deed not performed, the significance of an absence.” When it comes to understanding the essence of the Gracious Mystery, silent space & empty nothingness have long been at the heart of the church’s apophatic tradition..a non-negotiable reminder that all our description of God will forever be well wide of the mark. The Being called Love can never be confined to small images, in small liturgies, in small churches. We are always tempted to lock God away in windowless places with low ceilings & high security; to pinpoint the divine presence with fallible compasses & dogmatic navigational systems. The Spirit of God will always need space to blow & dance where she [she!] will. There are two such inner spaces I am learning to treasure. One has to do with the tiny but eternal space we make room for, when we hold off, even for a split second, the negative, even violent, reaction to a sudden hurt, allowing into our souls a sliver of saving light. In that tiny oasis we recover our almost-lost balance & centre, our precarious peace. It lasts the space of a breath..but hides a heaven. The other subtle space is equally soul-saving. It is the space we move to, to stop the deadly habit of judging everyone & everything..a common & destructive habit. This place of grace, rarely visited because it remains uncharted in the doctrinal maps of our salvation, is where we too, hold before us Christ’s compassionate understanding of the complexity of our lives. “out beyond right & wrong there’s a field” wrote Rumi “I’ll meet you there.” [Already Within; Fr Daniel O’Leary]
This Saturday afternoon at 2.30pm we celebrate the Baptism of Ettie Slingsby, daughter of Emily & Andy, & sister of Louis, as on your behalf “I claim her for Christ”. Covid restrictions allow us a congregation of 30 including Ettie’s three Godparents. Please pray for her, & for us as a Parish, that we may live up to our calling to be among the first of her teachers in faith.
This weekend we re-introduce our 6pm Sat Vigil Mass to help accommodate the increasing number of you who now feel safe to return to a weekend Mass. Until the lockdown is lifted next month, we will celebrate Sat 6pm Mass & Sun 10am Mass in OL&SB & Sun 4pm at OL&HA. It is still necessary to book please, for track & trace purposes.
This coming Tuesday is the feast of St Peter & St Paul, a Holyday of Obligation. Mass will be at 9.30am at OL&SB, 7.30pm at OL&HA. We are delighted to welcome back to a Parish Mass Class 3&4 from St Benedict’s RC PS to our 9.30am Mass. They will sit in their separate bubbles on the south/right benches in Church, whilst the rest of the congregation will sit on the north/left please, ensuring safe social distancing for us all.
On Sat 24 July 2021 three members of the teaching staff at St Benedict’s RC PS are to compete in a triathlon at Castle Howard starting at 8.45am. Sophie Smith is do the swimming leg of 750m [she used to be a competitive swimmer], Ryan Jacobs is to cycle 23km, & Clare Lally is to run the final leg of 5km. They are well into an impressive training programme. As well as witnessing to our children the importance of healthy living, they are also raising money for two good causes; WaterAid to help provide & sustain clean water in poorer countries, & to help our sustainable woodland project in the School grounds. Both projects are our way of responding to Pope Francis’ exhortations “Laudato Si” & “Fratelli tutti” They hope to raise £1,000. If you would like to help with the funding please donate through the following Crowdfunding Page ; https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/st-benedicts-beauties?utm_id=1&utm_term=qX6y3RPwp
On Sunday 4 July 2021 the Postgate Rally will take place at Ugthorpe with hymns from 2.30pm & Mass at 3pm celebrated by Bishop Terence Patrick. You are warmly encouraged to go, to sit in socially distanced groups of up to six, or in family bubbles. Track & trace details will be taken on arrival; take your own refreshments. Mass will be outside & there will be no provision of Mass inside in the event of rain. A moment to remember our own Peter Walker & his great devotion to Bl Nicholas Postgate & his ministry on the Moors.
The Bishop has written to us to alert us to a DSJ webinar in collaboration with Living & Dying Well & the National Board of Catholic Women on Mon 12 July 2021 7.30pm to 9pm on zoom. Bishop John Sherrington will open the evening, Baroness Ilora Finlay & Robert Preston will present from their book “Death by Appointment; a rational guide to the Assisted Suicide Debate” all linked to the Meacher Bill on “Assisted Dying” currently awaiting its 2nd reading in the House of Lords. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/e/death-by-appointment-a-rational-guide-to-the-assisted-suicide-debate-/ The Department of Social Justice of the Bishops Conference with allied organisations, is working to defeat the Bill. Please keep this vital issue in your prayers. With my love & prayers. Fr Bede