Ash Wednesday

ash-wednesday

Reflection

“For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life—pray always, work for others, read the Scriptures—and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again, even when I was close to despair.

Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not “How am I to find God?” but “How am I to let myself be found by him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” but “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And, finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” but “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.”

From The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri J. M. Nouwen (New York: Image Books, 1992).

Prayer

Merciful God of infinite compassion,
whose creating power called us forth
from the dust of the earth
and whose redeeming love fashioned us anew
in your divine image,
in this, the acceptable time,
lead us inward to be at peace with you,
impel us outward to be reconciled with our neighbour,
that we may embrace the sacred discipline of Lent
with broken, humbled hearts
and so come to the blessed joy of your Paschal feast
cleansed and renewed.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

From Prayers for Sundays & Seasons © 1998 Liturgy Training Publications.

Thought

Lent is not so much about what we can do for God,
rather it’s about what God can do for us.

And a little humour…

ashwednesday

 


Fr Augustine Measures OSB

fr-measures-osb

Over the weekend, we received the sad news that Fr Augustine Measures OSB has died. Fr Measures served St Benedict’s (1982 – 1986) and St Mary’s (1986 – 1997). His Funeral Mass will take place at Ampleforth Abbey this coming Friday, 17 February, at 11.30 am.

We will join the monks of Ampleforth in prayer for Fr Measures on Friday during the 12.15 pm Mass at St Benedict’s.

May he rest in peace and live in Christ.

 


Refugee Crisis

Lord Dubs Presents Refugee Children Petition To Downing Street

Last year, thanks to Lord Dubs, our Government agreed to take 3000 child refugees who are far from their homes and separated from their families.  So far, 350 have been allowed into the UK.  This week, the Government back-tracked on its commitment.

Bishop Paul McAleenan, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, has reiterated the importance of caring for the most vulnerable in our world: “The entire international community has a duty to protect refugees, especially unaccompanied children who are often most vulnerable to exploitation or trafficking. In addition to its aid and resettlement programmes in the region, I hope that our government will continue working with other European countries to identify and support unaccompanied children on their journey to safety. The Catholic community also has a role to play by praying for all those who have been forced to flee their homes and by supporting action to relieve this crisis.”


Being the light of Christ

5th-sun-a
This Sunday’s Scriptures spoke of letting the light of Christ shine through us for others.

Pope Francis, in an audience with Catholics and Lutherans from Germany last October, said: “You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian… You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25… It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help… If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”