We had our first 'ZOOM' deanery meeting on Wednesday. We noted a couple of 'patriarchal beards' since we last met together! There was the usual banter, especially as I was unable to 'zoom in', and had to 'zoom out' to drive to Henley and join with the Dean.
The main topic of conversation was, of course, opening our Churches for the celebration of Mass. Everyone is eagerly awaiting this. Numbers will obviously be restricted due to social distancing. As this is now one metre, masks (or face coverings) have to be worn by all.
As I have mentioned before, we are still awaiting our delivery of PPE in Watlington. We hope to open for the final Sunday in July, if not before. Please watch this space. I am very grateful to our Health and Safety Officer, Alex, for his help in this area. You can imagine all the paperwork involved!
Some of you, I know, feel the need to continue to self isolate at this time. Returning to Mass at this time is purely voluntary. The Sunday Obligation is suspended by our Conference of Bishops, at this time.
All good wishes and prayers
Fr. Michael odcs
QUOTE ON PRAYER BY METROPOLITAN ANTHONY
'Prayer is the search for God, encounter with God, and going beyond the encounter in communion. Thus it is an activity, a state, and so a situation:a situation both with respect to God and to the created world.
It arises from the awareness that the world in which we live is not simply two-dimensional, imprisoned in the categories of time and space, a flat world in which we meet only the surface of things, an opaque surface covering emptiness.
Prayer is born of the discovery that the world has depthsj; that we are also immersed in and penetrated by invisible things. And this Invisible world is both the presence of God, the supreme, sublime reality, and our own deepest truth. '
('Creative Prayer', Darton, Longman and Todd 1987)
Alan Bennett's Dramatic Monologues 'TALKING HEADS'
I don't know if you have been following these rather dark musings over the past few nights?
When I was student master of the Discalced Carmelites in the early 90's we were living in the Priory in Kensington, W8.
The series was being given live for the first time. The actors were Bennett himself, and Patricia Routledge. I took my students to see/experience them. One of the students lost it completely when the line was uttered:'.You're all right. All I got for my honeymoon was a black eye and a day trip to Fleetwood !' That particular student was from Fleetwood. I don't think anyone else had heard of it.
I had, I went to school there!
'PILGRIMS' by Matthew Kneale
I am about to finish reading this rather fine description of a fictional pilgrimage to Rome, made at the end of the Thirteenth Century. It takes Chaucer as a model, and the pilgrims - all English, and one Welshman - have many adventures together. It is not for the over pious! It is a bit bawdy in places. It would have been, wouldn't it!? It is well worth going on the journey with them. You may well need your begging bowl !! (Atlantic Books 2020)
This Sunday's Gospel
The reference to becoming 'little children' is bound to make a Carmelite think of Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897). The Eucharist connects closely with Therese's way of spiritual childhood.
Just as little children must rely on their parents for every necessity of life, so we must rely on God for every necessity of our spiritual journey. Therese considered the Eucharist to be food from heaven that strengthened those on a spiritual journey, but also brought them into intimate communion with God's Son, Jesus Christ.
This communion with Jesus places us in a new relationship to God the Father. We relate to Father through Jesus the Son, so much so that we are now called God's sons and daughters.
Therese realised that Jesus's presence in the Eucharist made this intimate relationship with the Father possible.
Click here to view the mass timetable
Click here for directions to our church
St Edmund Campion Roman Catholic Church, No.2 Watcombe Rd, Watlington OX49 5QJ T: 01491 612431