Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The Parents of the Baptist

Although today the universal calendar of the church keeps the memoria of S Pius of Pietralcina, here at St John’s we join the Church in the Holy Land and keep the memoria of Ss. Zechariah and Elizabeth, Parents of S John the Baptist. (We kept S Pius yesterday!) For Mass this morning I used the Holy Land Missal which gives the proper Mass of these saints celebrated especially at Ain Karem. I really do recommend this Missal which contains several proper Masses that are celebrated in the Holy Land shrines and sum up the life of Our Lord. It is a great resource for stational masses in Lent. The Missal is published by the Custody of the Holy Land.
I was invited for lunch today by Mr and Mrs Bishop who are hosting a special guest: Fr Martirii Bagin. I was looking forward to meet this priest who I heard so much about. Fr Martirii has strong links with our Parish which go back a long time. He is here to join us for the sesquicentenary events and on Sunday night he will celebrate Lesser Compline at 6pm.
I was very impressed by the calmness and spirituality of Fr Bagin, we had a wonderful conversation over a very delicious lunch in the context of very generous hospitality – thanks. I look forward to meet Fr Martirii again in the coming days, he has a very full programme. Obviously I will keep you updated. After lunch I prepared the booklets for Sunday and the booklet for All Saints day when we shall have as our preacher the Bishop of Rochester.
Apart from the regular duties of a Monday, yesterday I went to teach at our school in the morning and at Sevenoaks primary in the afternoon. These are truly enjoyable moments which give me the opportunity of exploring the faith with these young ones. I find them very perceptive. A boy asked about the powers that God has in order to create, I explained that the only power that God has is called Love. This boy, after a brief moment of silence, said: “That is beautiful!” It is wonderful to see the Holy Spirit at work, is it not?

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