|from the Dean of Lichfield’s Christmas Message.|
I think we were all hoping for a more definite Christmas this year. In 2020 we mumbled our way through a highly restricted Christmas hoping that things would never be quite as grim again. And now, behold! The virus mutates and sends out new waves of nervousness and self-imposed social restriction. I led a corporate moan in the Cathedral on the third Sunday of Advent, urging the congregation to voice our weariness with the plague. I have to say the community responded magnificently and we sounded a rich and resonant “Ugh!” There’s a certain sense of release and relief when we can all voice our fed-upness and irritation together: therapeutic even.
For all that, Christmas comes to shed its own light on us, the people we love, live with and share our planet with too. We have family and religious customs and ceremonies that mark it out as “the most wonderful time of the year”.
With my love, prayers and blessings
Dean of Lichfield
Category Archives: Interruptions
Our Creator, whose holy name is “I AM” (Exodus 3:14), wants to meet us in the “now” of our lives. If I am living in the past or fixated on the future, I may miss the gift of God’s grace in the present. Therefore, the Advent liturgies urge me to “stay awake” to God’s presence in every moment “praying at all times” (Luke 21:36).
If I am awake, I cannot fail to notice that the world needs the light of Christ more than ever. Gathering storms of war, terrorism, inequality, ecological crises and a pandemic threaten to overwhelm humanity in my lifetime. It is easy to become discouraged by so much bad news.
The two old guys were sitting in the sun. Where the rays had not come through the grass was still frosted, there was paper thin ice on the waterbutts.
- I’ve not seen the squirrel for a bit. Where do you think he is?
- Maybe in a hole in a tree or a nest high up. He’ll come out when the sun gets to him.
A minute later, enter the squirrel, with a whole digestive biscuit in his mouth. He’s got at least one human well trained.
- I don’t think you should bury it, Mr Squirrel!
But he did.
This story first appeared in the Will Turnstone blog.
Image from wikipedia, Eastern gray squirrel.
|General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops|
www.synod.va – firstname.lastname@example.orgView this email in your browser
#newsletter n.4 – 10/2021 – Available also in FR – PT – ES – ITShareTweet ForwardShare
To all of you who participated, in presence or from a distance, in the events of the Opening of the Synodal Process, the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops wishes a joyful and festive opening of this synodal time in your dioceses.
To the continental, national and diocesan contact persons, we wish strength for you work and assure you the support of our prayers.
Send us your videos, photos, … of the opening to at email@example.com or via whatsapp at +39 351 9348474.
And don’t forget to use the following tags
#synod #listeningchurch #walkingtogether
To the members of the commissions of the General Secretariat goes our heartfelt thanks for your hard work.
Although the path is long and hidden, it will also be full of beautiful surprises.
Thank you for your service!To remember together ….
We have just heard that Sister Elizabeth Morris has been elected Superior General of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Littlehampton. Here she is with the returning officer, Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel and Brighton.
Our Prayers and thoughts are with Elizabeth and all the sisters, who were such a radiant presence during their years in Canterbury.
Read news of the election and other deeds and doings here.
A statement from the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales regarding attending Sunday Mass.
“It is hoped that it will be possible for all Catholics in England and Wales to fulfil the Sunday Obligation, by the First Sunday in Advent 2021.”
(Pere Jacques Hamel, martyred at the altar, 2017).
We are mindful of the certain fact that the Covid-19 virus is still circulating in society. Vaccines provide genuine protection against the worst effects of the virus, yet we recognise the legitimate fear on the part of some who otherwise desire to gather for Holy Mass. It is our continuing judgement, therefore, that it is not possible at the present time for all of the faithful to attend Mass on a Sunday thus fulfilling their duty to God.
It is hoped that it will be possible for all Catholics in England and Wales to fulfil this most important Church precept, that of the Sunday Obligation, by the First Sunday in Advent 2021. In the meantime, all Catholics are asked to do their best to participate in the celebration of the weekly Sunday Mass and to reflect deeply on the centrality of Sunday worship in the life of the Church.
In April, following our Plenary Assembly, we offered a reflection on the experience of the extraordinary long months of the pandemic. It was titled The Day of the Lord. We also began to look at the way forward. We spoke about the important invitation to restore the Sunday Mass to its rightful centrality in our lives. We asked for a rekindling in our hearts of a yearning for the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, as our response to the total, sacrificial love that Jesus has for us. We said: “The Eucharist should be the cause of our deepest joy, our highest manner of offering thanks to God and for seeking his mercy and love. We need to make it the foundation stone of our lives.”
May this continue to be our striving during these coming months as we journey back to the full celebration of our Sunday Mass and our renewed observance of The Day of the Lord.
The ninth and final day of prayer and readings to provide tangible action to respond to the urgent climate change issues we all face.Go to the full posting.
God is intimately present to each being, without impinging on the autonomy of his creature, and this gives rise to the rightful autonomy of earthly affairs. His divine presence, which ensures the subsistence and growth of each being, “continues the work of creation”.
The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge: “Nature is nothing other than a certain kind of art, namely God’s art, impressed upon things, whereby those things are moved to a determinate end. It is as if a shipbuilder were able to give timbers the wherewithal to move themselves to take the form of a ship.”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’
Today is the last but one day of prayer for the environment and our place within it as users and custodians. Find the Bishops’ post here.
In his Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Not only has God given the earth to man, who must use it with respect for the original good purpose for which it was given to him, but man too is God’s gift to man. He must therefore respect the natural and moral structure with which he has been endowed (6).”
By responding to this charge, entrusted to them by the Creator, men and women can join in bringing about a world of peace. Alongside the ecology of nature, there exists what can be called a ‘human’ ecology, which in turn demands a ‘social’ ecology. All this means that humanity, if it truly desires peace, must be increasingly conscious of the links between natural ecology, or respect for nature, and human ecology.
The human person, the heart of peace with all of creation.’ Pope Benedict XVII, 1 January 2007.
This is the seventh of nine days of prayer proposed by the Bishops of England & Wales and Scotland before Pentecost, placing before our creator the environment we – and all creatures – live in. The full post can be read here.
God entrusted the whole of creation to the man and woman, and only then – as we read – could he rest “from all his work” (Genesis 2:3).
Adam and Eve’s call to share in the unfolding of God’s plan of creation brought into play those abilities and gifts which distinguish the human being from all other creatures. At the same time, their call established a fixed relationship between mankind and the rest of creation. Made in the image and likeness of God, Adam and Eve were to have exercised their dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:28) with wisdom and love.
Instead, they destroyed the existing harmony by deliberately going against the Creator’s plan, that is, by choosing to sin. This resulted not only in man’s alienation from himself, in death and fratricide, but also in the earth’s “rebellion” against him (cf. Genesis 3:17-19; 4:12).
Pope John Paul II, ‘Peace with God the Creator, Peace with all of creation.’
1 January 1990.
Today is the sixth of nine days of prayer called by the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales and Scotland to seek wisdom to know how to restore our environment. The full post can be found here.
Bless the Lord, you whales and all creatures that move in the waters, sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. Daniel 3.