Fr Donal O’Leary’s “be-attitudes” we have been tracking for the last few weeks in Outreach centres this weekend, appropriately as Prisoners Week begins this weekend, with “the voice of the silent”. “the poor man’s poverty at the soup kitchen is visible & extroverted; mine is invisible & introverted. So the two sympathies & compassion connect & they become one world. I think that is why Jesus said we have to recognise Christ in the least of our brothers & sisters. It was for our redemption, our liberation, our healing. When we see it over there, we become freed in here, & we also become less judgemental. I can’t hate the person on welfare because I am on God’s welfare. It all becomes one truth, & the inner & the outer reflect one another.” [ Richard Rohr ] The anawim..the dispossessed, the refugee, the migrant, the tortured, the lonely elderly & disabled, the special needs children, force us to rethink some of our certainties about ourselves & about God. They can often be a sign of contradiction, unknowing prophets of the mystery of God. “I know what you are thinking. You need a sign. What better sign could I give you than to make this little one [a seriously disabled child] whole & new? I could do it; but I will not. I gave this mite a gift I denied to all of you..eternal innocence. To you she looks imperfect, but to me she is flawless, like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest. She will never destroy..she will remind you every day that I am who I am, that my ways are not yours, & that the smallest dust-mote whirled in darkest space does not fall out of my hand..I have chosen you. You have not chosen me. This little one is my sign to you; treasure her. [Clowns of God; Morris West] “one of the most precious gifts in a community is to be found among the people who cannot assume important responsibilities. They have no ability to organise, inspire, look ahead or command, but they have very sensitive & loving hearts. They can straight away recognise people in difficulty, & with a smile, a look, a word, make these people feel they are close to them, carrying their cross with them. The poor are always prophetic, as true prophets always point out, they reveal God’s design. That is why we should take time to listen to them, & that means staying near them, because they speak quietly & infrequently..they are afraid to speak out, they lack confidence in themselves, because they have been oppressed & broken. But if we listen to them, they will bring us back to the essential. These “insignificant people” are at the heart of the community & carry its extremes as well. It is the love of the hidden people which keeps the community united. The leader brings unity through justice, but these people are creators of unity just by being who they are. In their tenderness, they are artisans of peace.”
Paul Moore’s body will be received into Our Lady & St Benedict’s Church, Ampleforth on Thursday week, 15 October at 6pm; his Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Friday 16 October in the Abbey Church at 11am, followed by burial in our graveyard at Our Lady & St Benedict’s Ampleforth. Numbers at each Church are limited to 30 mourners. Do please join us from home in loving prayer in support of Maureen & their family. Requiem Mass can be heard via the Abbey website & audio link.
Two class bubbles from St Benedict’s RC PS came to Church this last week, Class 2 on Wednesday, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, & Class 3 for Mass on Friday the feast of St John Henry Newman. It is inspiring to see them so prayerfully comfortable & at home in Church, & we are grateful for the way their faith is grown on organically among children & staff. Do let parents seeking primary education know of our outstanding “School of the Lord’s Service”
A memorable weekend for our parishioners at Our Lady & the Holy Angels as they & me celebrate Mass there for the first down since lockdown, with a regular 4pm Sunday Mass. Covid restrictions mean numbers are limited to our parishioners in Gilling & locality. Booking is essential. A word of gratitude to, & prayer for them all please, for their patient persistence in waiting expectantly for this moment.
As the economic situation worsens, & many who were being furloughed find that their work is in jeopardy, could I remind you of our Food Initiative in the Village, 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.