I am writing this on the Feast of St. Bridget of Sweden. If you are not acquainted with her extraordinary life, then do make her acquaintance. She lived from 1303 - 1373. She was married, had large family, and after being widowed became a Franciscan Tertiary. She then founded a religious order.
One of her daughters, Catherine of Sweden, is also a saint. The nearest Bridgettine convent to here, is at Iver Heath. The Nuns there provide guests with holiday accommodation, and opportunity for prayer. I have often stayed at the guesthouse in Assisi. It is a short walk from the centre of the town. There is in normal times daily Mass. The Nuns are most welcoming.
Just as a matter of interest, the first Swedish Cardinal was appointed by Pope Francis a few years ago. He is a convert from Lutheranism. He is also a Discalced Carmelite - Cardinal Arborelius OCD.
I think many people have taken the opportunity to go on holiday. Especially with the fabulous weather. The numbers at Mass for both celebrations were well down last Sunday.
With all good wishes, and prayers in often difficult times,
Fr. Michael ocds
MEMORIALS AT MASS THIS COMING WEEK
Monday 26th. St. Joachim and St. Anne, parents of Our Lady.
Thursday 29th. Sts. Martha, Mary and Lazarus of Bethany.
Saturday 31st. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). Founder of the Society of Jesus.
This Sunday, we celebrate the anniversary of the death of Fr. Euan Henderson in 2014. He is buried in our parish at Swyncombe. As we remember him, we pray for Karin, and their family. May he rest in peace.
REFLECTING WITH A MODERN JESUIT
"In scripture, God is described as holy. The word holy is used both to describe the otherness of God, the transcendence of God, always greater, always beyond the grasp of our minds and imaginings, but also to describe God's relationship to creation, and this relationship is one of compassion, for 'God loves all that He has created.' It is because God is the God of compassion that God is so described as the God of wrath, Who utters fearsome threats against those who kill, oppress, exploit, or even fail to notice the needs of others. In human beings, the quality of holiness is manifest in their spirit of compassion, which embraces all life. " Fr. Gerard W. Hughes SJ: 'God, Where are You?'. Darton, Longman and Todd. 1997
Margaret Silf has written extensively on Ignatian spirituality. Indeed, she gave a day of recollection for us in Watlington not too long ago. Her book 'Landmarks: an Ignatian Journey.' published by DLT in 1998, is an established classic. It has been translated into a number of different languages.
Margaret writes about Ignatius himself:
Inigo Lopez, as he was born, made his journey through life, and to God, just as the world was coming, painfully and violently, out of the Middle Ages. The mere facts of his life can be summed up in a few sentences. It's content was to be infinitely more far - reaching.
He was born in 1491, the youngest of a family of thirteen, in Loyola in the Basque region of Northern Spain. When he was fourteen he was sent away to train as a royal page to the king of Spain and was introduced to the ideals of chivalry and knightly service. As he grew older he developed a more than passing interest in women, both those far away, in his daydreams, and those who were temptingly accessible. This last thing on his mind, during these years, was his spiritual journey or the inner movement of his heart.
As he ventured more and more deeply into the stories that were inspiring his new kind of daydreaming, he was also finding a new way of exercising his imagination. He began to participate in 'the plot', and find himself present in imagination to the scenes and conversations and stories of the Gospels. It was the start, for him, of an adventure into imaginative prayer, which was to become a most powerful catalyst for the growth of his personal relationship with God, and a method of prayer that is just as vividly available to us today.
There can be little doubt, that what we now call 'Ignatian Spirituality' is, perhaps, the most influential in the history of the church. It has been adopted as the guiding spirit by more Religious Orders and Societies than any other. It has also had an immense influence of the development of 'lay spirituality.'
Do explore, if you have not done so already. My cousin, Zena Carus, was a great advocate of the Jesuit retreat centre in Wales - St. Buenos.
Click here for directions to our church
St Edmund Campion Roman Catholic Church, No.2 Watcombe Rd, Watlington OX49 5QJ T: 01491 612431