Saturday, 28 June 2008

Standing at the threshold of the great day of Peter and Paul and the beginning of the Jubilee Year of St Paul my heart is full of joy and thanksgiving. Peter and Paul set to us the example of real Christian discipleship which manifests itself in Mission. Indeed, if we study their lives and writings we have an unending source of fresh expressions of bringing about the Kingdom of love, justice, mercy and peace!

Last Thursday we kept the feast day of St Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer the founder of Opus Dei. The movement he left to the Church is one in which we can discover anew the reality in which we participate through the sacrament of baptism: Divine Filiation. This means how in the every day life we live out our vocation of being sons and daughters of God – this is a sure path of holiness. I think I was 12 when a friend of the family gave me a copy of his book called “The Way”. Since then I have never laid it aside and it kept being for me a wellspring of inspiration and a good starter and help for prayer, if ever you come across this little book hold tight to it. In my eyes it goes in the same category of “The Imitation of Christ” by Kempis.
After Mass I had a meeting with the local URC minister about matters ecumenical in Sevenoaks followed by a meeting at Bickley of Chapter 17 which is open for Anglo-Catholic priests in Rochester and Canterbury.
In the evening I had a meeting about the Christian life with an enquirer who started attending our Church after coming across our web site. At the same time Carol was printing the July-August edition of the Parish Magazine, for those of you who would like to see it; it is posted on our website.

Friday had the usual visit to our local hospital and the joy of spending some quality time with the Lord during Sacred Space. Walking to the Hospital and back is becoming as pastorally useful as the visit to the hospital itself. Apart from the usual liturgical rounds, there were pew sheets to print (also available on the web site), Marriage Banns to write and the daily response elicited by e-mails and letters. Friday is always a long day but finishes with a sense of achievement.

Lauds and Mass this morning was followed by preparation work in church for tomorrow's liturgies. Fr Mark and I prepared a place for the icon of St Paul which we hope to have in church for the duration of the Pauline Year. The icon was kindly restored by Roger, again a splendid job! Peter folded all the pew sheets as he does faithfully every Saturday. Frances and Rob were busy doing the sacristy work while the noble army of cleaners were hard at work keeping this church spotless. As regards work in the sacristy this blog raises the biretta to Roy who ably restored a Paschal Candle holder to be used for Funeral Masses and whenever we need the Paschal Candle within easy reach. Well done Roy and thanks.
Another addition to the devotional life of the church is a new candle stand placed in front of the altar of Our Lady of Walsingham. This was paid for by a member of the congregation who wishes to remain anonymous. Thanks and prayers.
Wherever you are enjoy the great feast day tomorrow!
The High Altar with the relic of the Holy Apostles, ready for tomorrow's Solemnity.

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