[..continued from last week..] “but imprisoned, Lord? Surely not!” the Lord paused “there are many kinds of prison. When I was imprisoned in my fears I cried out in the night; you came & lifted me from behind the bars of my cot & folded me in your arms. Years later you lifted me from behind the bars of bigger fears..fears of my own inadequacy, of my own intense emotions of the terror & beauty of the unknown life ahead. Perhaps nowhere more than in the heartfelt dynamic of married life, where the human spirit stretches itself, in its trusting & letting go, to the limits of its potential, is this expression of incarnate love more clearly sacramentalised. We discover that every ordinary human home is the unexpected place where God dwells. Even where there is suspicion & deceit, married life must remain an epiphany of mystery; a participation in God’s own challenging essence. Anytime we say “I’m trying to forgive you” or “I still believe in you” to each other, that is also the everpresent expression of God’s incarnate covenant within us, constantly healing & completing all that is imperfect. Holy Week teaches us that we can only experience the Risen Christ when we have undergone some kind of loss or disillusionment. Most of these “little deaths” & the more awful ones, are found within the world of the home. Because of its potential for creating joy, family life can also be a den of destruction. Where is the divine heart in the way we crush the life out of each other behind closed doors? & yet, is not the very hopelessness of our lives the only place for hope to happen? Where else, if not in this loveless noise, & against all the odds, can the faint music of Easter be recognised within us? There is an urgent energy within our domestic world waiting to be released into the Church. The home is a cauldron of emotions, all now charged with redemptive presence; for that reason also it is also a powerhouse of renewal within the Church. The passions & prayers, the storms & whispers, the blame & the blessing..are all part of that graced energy. Everything that happens in the unbelievably complex of family life, the light & dark of it, has God’s life-giving heartbeat within it, God’s loving signature set to it..& we go to Mass to remember & to celebrate together the extraordinary revelation that no moment is merely “human” or worldly, but rather a place of grace; every threshold a door to heaven.” [Already Within; Fr Donal O’Leary]
With covid restrictions now due to continue beyond next weekend to at least 19 July, & with numbers coming back to Mass gradually increasing, we will re-introduce our Sat evg Vigil Mass at 6pm from Sat week 26 June at OL&SB, with the 4pm Sun Mass at OL&HA continuing for the small numbers who come, until Sun 18 July, after which the Sat evg Vigil Mass will revert to pre covid practice, alternating between OL&SB & OL&HA.
Please remember especially in your prayers Kitty Greenley who celebrates her 100th birthday this coming Monday, in her Care Home in Northallerton. Thank you to all those who took up the invitation in last weekend’s Outreach to send her a card. She is fondly remembered in the Village for the care she gave over many years to the young, who were always welcomed into her home, & to the elderly & housebound, for whom she would be regularly seen in the fish shop ordering seven or eight times for the elderly residents in St Benedict’s Close.
I am grateful to those of you who have responded quickly & generously to my letter of 2 June which brought news to you of our financial crisis, & asked for your urgent help. So far 15 of you of the 79 I contacted have responded with some form of contribution; 2 have raised some questions & I would encourage others of you please to offer help & indeed wise counsel, & further questions, as we look forward to refloating the fullness of the life of the Parish & its outreach on the high tide from 19 July 2021.
Our Parish continues to provide food through the Food Initiative at a cost of £200 a month. [£3,600 since the pandemic began, a vital, appreciated & willing contribution in spite of our current significant Parish financial deficit]. I hope those in our own Village who may be struggling to provide food for their children in this ongoing & increasing crisis in health & in the economy, will be warmly encouraged to benefit from our Food Initiative, where it is possible to approach Ray & Deb in the Village Shop, & quietly ask for a bag of food essentials which will be delivered to your door. This has been working well since the lockdown began, & it could be more of us in the Village will find themselves in ever deeper need of help, & we would encourage them to ask..it isn’t charity, it is basic good bread & butter Christian discipleship which, at such times of crisis, is asked of us in our plenty. Across the Village there is deep appreciation for the good natured & generous service given by Ray & Deb throughout the crisis, who regularly go the extra mile for us.
Please remember the sterling work of our own SVP group in the Parish, who are there, willing & able to help anyone in any form of difficulty, or those who would value a phone call now & again in the midst of the lockdown. Do please Contact Mary Borrett email@example.com. With my love & prayers Fr Bede