Sunday 31 July 2011

"Keep your eyes on Me."

I have been in a bit of a bad way at times lately. Just problems, and nothing major, but out of my hands to resolve.

I have a small crucifix on the table beside my chair. I can’t remember where it came from. It might have belonged to my mother, or I might have found it in the street. Years ago, anyway. It looks as if it was once attached to a rosary.

When things were at the point of becoming too much, I picked up this crucifix, and offered a little prayer for help. And the words came into my head: “Keep your eyes on Me.” So that’s what I’m doing, and it helps a lot.

Just thought I’d share that small thing, since I have received a great deal of help in the past from other bloggers. I have them on my side-bar. In addition, most of the UK-based Catholic bloggers can be followed via the ever-useful British Catholic Blogs, together with links to their latest posts.

Picture from Google Images, with acknowledgments to The National Catholic Register.

Saturday 30 July 2011

So happy for him, and for his new parish!

Following my previous post about the loss of the Traditional Latin Mass at St Gregory's in Cheltenham - at least for the present - I have found this wonderful news on Fr Bede Rowe's blog.

Cheltenham's loss is Warminster's gain. Fr Bede, who was also an assistant priest at St Gregory's, has established an EF Mass as part of his parish's regular schedule. The appointment of Fr Tom Smith promises well for its continuation.

The parishioners of Warminster are blessed with great good fortune in the appointment of Fr Tom.

Friday 29 July 2011

The weekly Traditional Latin Mass in Cheltenham has ceased

Of your kindness, please pray for the Traditional Latin Mass congregation in Cheltenham. The weekly Mass, sine populo and entirely unpublicised other than by the Latin Mass Society, has come to an end after almost three years; at least, for the foreseeable future. The time for diocesan clergy moves is looming, though the details have not yet been announced on the diocese's website. At the last time of enquiring, the fine young priest who has provided his little EF Mass flock with such a treasure, had not heard whether or where he was to be moved. But it will be a great surprise if he is not appointed to another - very fortunate - parish.

A petition is to be handed to the parish priest, in the first instance, asking his help in securing the Mass's resumption by some means.

Friday 22 July 2011

Guidance in a time of worry

In my nightly habit of reading a passage or chapter from the Bible - usually the New Testament - I have very occasionally asked specifically for guidance and strength over this or that worry, before taking up my Bible to read that evening's chapter. I would never dream of using the Scriptures superstitiously; when I have prayed in this way, it is always a case of willingly accepting whatever is there for me to read, whether it appears to have a bearing on the matter in question, or not. However, on more than one occasion the aptness of the words has been startling, and most comforting.

My recent concerns for a loved one began to feel rather overwhelming the other day; and the impulse came to me to make my special prayer. That night I reached Chapter 2 of The Acts of the Apostles. In the newly-given power of the Holy Spirit, Peter addresses the crowd. He quotes King David, in Psalm 16. As I read, I came to these words:
You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of gladness with your presence. (1)
The words were like balm to me. But next morning, wanting to be sure of the words, I read the chapter again; and this time I re-read the following, earlier verse, which had not sunk in on first reading:
I saw the Lord always before me;
For he is at my right hand
That I may not be shaken. (2)
The vividness of these words struck home, right to my heart. I copied them onto a card; and the person for whom I had prayed took the card most happily.

We must always pray, and never lose heart! (3)

1. Acts 2:28
2. Acts 2:25
3. Luke 18:1

Wednesday 20 July 2011

A neighbour's death, and a very long wait for the funeral

Sorry for the gap in posting; and this isn't a very cheerful subject with which to resume. Life has been busy and, at times, distressing, since my last post. A neighbour who lived alone discovered that she had inoperable cancer. There was a general rallying round, most particularly by a couple nearby who were her special friends; they were absolute stars. But others helped as and when they could: in my case, accompanying her to her palliative radiotherapy sessions; ultimately, as both she and all of us knew, to no purpose.

She was inspiringly stoical, keeping on with her daily routine, and with her acts of kindness to her neighbours, in a most determined spirit. The course of her illness was one of apparently level phases, interrupted by sudden downward steps. Within a few days of the last of these, she died peacefully in hospital.

For some time after her death, both my husband and I experienced a sense of frayed and exhausted nerves; typical, in fact, of a bereavement. It was a reaction which other neighbours may also have felt after the sad suspense of witnessing her cheerful and dignified progress toward her death.

I think it was made worse - and how much more so for her family! - by the fact that the funeral did not take place until two and a half weeks after her death. I don't understand why there has to be such a long gap these days between a death and the funeral. Is this a fairly recent development? Both my parents' funerals took place within a week of their deaths, but that was over thirty years ago. Two and a half weeks seems a rather harrowing period for the loved ones.