Tag Archives: Lent

The End of Margaret’s Journey of Love

Canon Anthony announced today that Sister Margaret McGrath died yesterday. She had been part of the Franciscan International Study Centre for many years, including a time as principal. She supported Agnellus’ Mirror and offered us a number of reflections. This is the last post that we published. It forms the final part of her reflection on the way of penance, Franciscan style and came out in Lent last year, 2021. To begin with the first of her posts click here, the rest follow on using the arrows above the photograph.

Thank you again, Sister! The last sentence is enough to ponder on.

We, as Franciscans, have been invited to join the way of penance. At times we will fail, for it is not always easy to turn away from ourselves, or to turn away from the values of the world which are, for the most part, so different from the values of God.

When we do fail it is then, more than ever, that we need to turn to God and tell him we are sorry and carry on in our journey of penance – our journey of love, our soul’s journey into God.

Margaret FMSJ

Margaret’s journey through this life is over; may she rest in peace and rise in glory!

Tree of Life window, Franciscan International Study Centre.

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31 May: How green are your blisters?

It’s another of those social sins where we are implicated willy-nilly; it’s as if someone sins on our behalf whether we like it or not. When we can avoid the willy-nillyness of life and be conscious of what we are doing, that’s what we should do.

Some years ago I was correctly told to stop trying to recycle the blister packs from medicine tablets and capsules as they could not be processed. Well, think again Mr Turnstone!

Since February 2021, TerraCycle, an international recycling company, has been working with Superdrug and other pharmacies to recycle these complicated little packages, earning a contribution to charity.

There are other schemes that benefit chosen charities directly; the churches of Saints Dunstan, Mildred and Peter in Canterbury are collecting them for Marie Curie Cancer Care, but Superdrug is in the city centre.

No excuses now for not recycling your blisters!

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Easter in Lichfield: a message from the Dean

Easter in Lichfield will be a time of celebration in more ways than one this year, because after two years of uncertainty Lichfield Cathedral can now open back up and mark the occasion with a blend of ceremony that will involve, not only the cathedral, but everyone in the city.

This is the introduction to Dean Adrian’s Holy Week Message from Lichfield Cathedral. See the whole message here. It is a very clear account of the events and ceremonies of the Triduum.

Dear Friends,

I am writing to send you greetings and blessings at this the most important, solemn and (yet ultimately) joyful time of the Christian year.  We’re about to enter the holy three days (Triduum) of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Eve and Day. You will be welcome at any or all of the special services we hold on each of these days.  Every occasion comes with its special ceremonies and distinct focus.  Let me say a few words about each but first explain the context.

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Meat free Lent XXXII: Nut Roast

Nicky – All Saints’ Church

Very simple recipe that can be adjusted as required.

8oz/225g chopped nuts 
8oz/225g sliced mushrooms 
1 large onion 
1 large carrot 
3 skinned/chopped tomatoes (or tinned) 
1 free range egg 
2 tsp mixed herbs 
2 tsp yeast extract or Marmite 
2 tbsp vegetable oil

1.       Cook chopped onion and grated carrot in oil for a few minutes until soft. 

2.       Add mushrooms and cook for further 2-3 mins.

3.       Stir in yeast extract.  Mix together all ingredients and place in greased loaf tin.

4.       Press down firmly.

5.       Bake in medium oven for 45 mins.

 You can freeze what you don’t use and either use it later hot or mixed with tahini, tomato puree, chives etc.

Mash it up and call it pâté!

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Meat free Lent, XXXI: Chickpea Moussaka

Nicky – All Saints’ Church: An old, well-used recipe.

 4oz/110 g chickpeas 
12 oz/340g aubergines 
12oz/340g potatoes scrubbed 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 onion peeled & chopped 
2 garlic cloves 
14oz/400g can tomatoes pureed 
2 tsp oregano dried 
1 tsp fresh mint 
1-2 tbsp tomato puree 
          Topping: 
1 tsp cumin seeds 
natural yoghurt 
1 small egg beaten

1.       Drain chickpeas and bring to the boil in fresh water.   Boil fast for 10 mins, simmer 35-45 mins.

2.       Prick and trim aubergines and bake at 180 C for 20 mins, then slice.

3.       Boil potatoes until tender, slice thickly.

4.       Gently fry onion for 5-7 mins.  Add garlic and cook for 1 min.

5.       Add tomatoes, oregano, mint, tomato puree and chickpeas. Cook gently for 10 mins then season.

6.       Grease deep dish and fill in layers of aubergine, potato and chickpeas sauce.

7.       For the topping:

Roast cumin seeds, mix into yoghurt and add egg.  Spoon over moussaka.

Bake in preheated oven, Gas Mark 4 for 25-30 mins.

35

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9 April: The Tree of Life.

Tree of Life window by Dom Charles Norris at the former Franciscan Study Centre, Canterbury.

Saint Thomas’ Parish, Canterbury invites readers to ‘please share’ items from their website. As we approach Holy Week, here are reflections by Canon Anthony Charlton on the Tree of Life as found in Psalm 1 and the events we remember on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day.

There is a small stained glass window within the Church of the Good Shepherd, New Addington, created by a Buckfast Abbey monk, Dom Charles Norris. It depicts the image that is presented to us in Psalm 1. “Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord. He is like a tree that is planted beside the flowing waters, that yields its fruit in due season and whose leaves shall never fade; and all that he does shall prosper.”

Dom Charles employed a technique known as dalles-de-verre in which ‘tiles’ of coloured glass are chipped into shape and laid, mosaic-fashion, in a matrix of resin. As I sat in the presidential chair during Mass I was able to gaze on it while listening to the readings at Mass. The tree planted near running water reminded me of the only way to live my life fruitfully is to have deep roots that receive nourishment from the living water which is the Holy Spirit given to all of us.

In our life we can either trust in our own position, what others think of us, our status, our wealth, what we own or acquire in order to experience happiness or we listen to the way of Jesus. He shows us an alternative way of happiness. Yet this way will lead to a clash of values that will lead us to suffer for our commitment of bringing about God’s kingdom.

What Jesus is presenting to us is a radical choice that will put us at odds with the society in which we live. The extraordinary thing about the way of Christ is that is will lead to happiness but it will be by means of the Cross. We choose this way every time we come together to celebrate Mass and unite ourselves with the death and resurrection of Jesus. As the poor, the hungry, the sorrowing, the despised and the excluded, we embrace this way of happiness. We do this because we trust in the Lord. We are like a tree that is planted beside flowing water.

O God, 
who alone can satisfy our deepest hungers,  
protect us from the lure of wealth and power; 
move our hearts to seek first your kingdom,  
that ours may be the security and joy of those  
who place their trust in you. AMEN.

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Meat free Lent XXX: Super Raw Brownies

Judith T – All Saints’ Church

Makes approximately 20 mini brownies.

This recipe is from a very trendy imaginative vegetarian book that my younger son and his wife gave me a few years ago.  Actually the name of the recipe rather put me off to start with: I adore brownies, but ‘raw’ ones?!  Not to say that I don’t indulge in a little spoon-licking of raw mixture whilst cooking, but consuming an entire ‘raw’ brownie?!  Anyway two years ago, my desire to reverse my pre-diabetic status by seriously reducing my carbs meant that I looked beyond the name and decided to try this recipe for myself.  The result is delicious!  However, I’m still not sure that I’d want to advertise these nutty, chocolaty, date squares as ‘brownies’ – that builds a very different set of expectations.  Also, they aren’t cheap due to all those nuts – although if you’re looking for a less extravagant version, I’m sure you could substitute rolled oats for the pecans and some of the almonds.  However, they are very tasty, completely gluten-free, and very low on carbs – and can be cut into small squares.

100g almonds, skin on 
250g Medjool dates, pitted (about 12) 
2 tbsp set honey (raw honey if possible) 
75g cocoa powder (Fairtrade if possible) 
½ tsp salt 
50g pecan nuts, chopped

1.       Put the almonds into a food processor and whizz until you have a coarse powder. 

2.       Add the dates, honey, cocoa and salt and whizz again for about a minute, until the lot comes together into a dough-like ball.

3.       Turn the brownie mixture into a bowl, add the chopped pecans and knead to bring them into the dough. 

4.       Line a 20 cm square baking tin with baking paper and turn the mixture into it, pressing it down with your fingers until you have an even layer.

5.       Cover and place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes before cutting up. Top with a dusting of cocoa.

They will keep for up to a week – if it’s hot, keep them in the fridge.

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Meat free Lent XXIX: Vegetarian Chilli

Lucy – All Saints’ : Vegetarian Chilli

Delicious either served in a wrap with yoghurt or spooned over corn tortilla chips, topped with grated cheese and melted in the oven and served with guacamole and salsa.

Olive or rapeseed oil, for frying 
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 
A thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped (or 1 teaspn ground ginger) 
1 tbsp chilli powder 1 
tsp cumin (ground or bashed seeds) 
1 tbsp smoked paprika 
3 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes 
300g green lentils, soaked 
200g bulgur wheat, pearl barley or brown rice 
1 tbsp cocoa powder 
400g tin small beans (haricot, black or black eyed) or 300g home-cooked 
1-2 litres veg stock 
Salt and pepper

1.       Put your biggest pot on a medium heat. 

2.       Add a splash of oil and cook onion, garlic and ginger for 10 mins or until soft and sweet.

3.       Add the chilli powder, cumin and smoked paprika.  Stir for 1-2 mins. 

4.       Add all the other ingredients, stirring as you go – but start with 1 litre of the stock and keep the rest to add if the chilli starts to look a bit dry. 

5.       Bring down to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30-35 mins until the lentils and grains are cooked and the chilli is deep and flavoursome.

6.       Season to taste, then serve.

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6 April: Little things make a big difference.

We were thinking on exiles yesterday, and again so today. Thanks to the London Irish Chaplaincy for the following reflection. Note that the team do not take it for granted that a cup of tea is all that’s needed. They do their research and act on it, including tried and tested activities alongside innovations. See, Judge, Act, as my father used to say from his YCW days. Consciousness again!

Let us, in other words, be there for our neighbours, and let them be there for us. A widowed lady that I know, another exile, always likes to make a cup of tea when I do a few little jobs for her. She is then able to do a sharing, Christian deed, more important than having her roses pruned.

Although the term ‘innovation’ seems to be the buzzword, we’ve found that most of the time it’s the little things that make a big difference. For example, simply talking to someone, holding a Travellers’ forum in a prison to offer someone a voice, or writing a letter to a prisoner are the most effective ways to lift their spirit. We know people’s needs change over time and we’ve carried out plenty of research to be sure we’re offering the most helpful services. But the message is clear, that in most cases simply being a kind friend is powerful enough to change someone’s life. For us, these simple actions have stood the test of time.

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5 April: Strange refuge

The symbolic Gateway to Britain at Dover, where Channel swimmers’ crossings to France may begin and crossings in the opposite direction may end
So I have a new name, refugee.
Strange that a name should take away from me
My past, personality and hope.
Strange refuge then.
So many seem to share this name, refugee,
Yet we share so many differences.
I find no comfort in my new name.
I long to share my past, restore my pride,
To show I too in time will offer
More than I have borrowed.
For now the comfort that I seek
Resides in the old yet new name 
I would choose, friend.

Written by a twelve year old Afghan Refugee.

Mrs Turnstone spotted this poem in an exhibition at Canterbury Baptist Church.

During my lifetime our country has made room for different groups of refugees: to name a few, exiles from Eastern European Communism, Ugandan Asians, Vietnamese boat people, people oppressed for their sexuality or because of their opposition to dictatorships. They and their descendants are part of our society, offering more than they have borrowed.

So why are our shores so unwelcoming today? And why do people not only flee their homes but also seek to come here to Britain? Welcoming or rejecting the stranger, which is our true self?

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