Friday, 28 November 2008

During the “busyness” of the day, Sacred Space offers an oasis of peace and stillness. Now that Advent is upon us it is this stillness that we ought to instil within us. We seem to fill Advent with hectic preparations for all sorts of things, some good, others not. Those without God run after material things or ideas in order to fulfil their own lives, for many it is always about the next thing, whatever smoke and cloud that is. It seems that this has infected many Christians across denominations. Why is it that so many followers of Jesus can not be still and have to pursue illusions that can never fulfil? Why is it that only a handful come to church to sit in stillness? Why is it that some Christians who come once a week for Mass can not recollect themselves in silence and stillness before Mass? Maybe Advent is the time to take stock and ponder on stillness and seek the presence of God in the centre of our being. Today I prayed that all followers of this blog will experience a holy and exciting Advent in the stillness of the Presence of God – and this is what I really wish you.
After Lauds and Mass (Mass was of the Feria but I constantly thought of St Catherine Laboure` and a wonderful priest who has written to me this morning telling me that he celebrated Mass in the place where this holy nun received the apparition of the Miraculous Medal) Fr Mark went to do the home communions and a funeral, Carol was busy printing the splendid Parish Magazine (available here) and after a couple of Pastoral conversations I went to do the hospital round first with the usual cheerful and dedicated staff and then the patients. Every time I climb the hill back home I am always thankful for what I receive from these visits and hope that I am reciprocating at least a small fraction of what they give me.
After Sacred Space and Benediction the churchwardens came armed with a new carpet for the Walsingham Altar which looks rather splendid and will be a comfortable area for the Jolly Tots to assemble for their trips to church (photos tomorrow).
It is such a joy and blessing to serve God as a priest in His Church and to continue the action of His Son in washing feet. There is nothing better! However ministry is genuine when it comes from that inner and central stillness that flows from the Tabernacle and the Altar. This Advent, priests and people, let us be still!

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