15th May 2022

Christo e L'adultera.jpg

Christ & the Adultress (Cristo e l'adultera) by Jacopo Palma il Vecchio circa 1525-1535

In the collection of the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Italy

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READINGS:  Acts 14:21-27    Apocalypse 21:1-5            John 13:31-35

There is no reflection this week as we are welcoming Fr Royston Price CSSR, Vocations Promoter for the Redemptorist OrderLwho is coming to the Parish this weekend and who will be preaching at both the Masses. As I am sure you know, Our lady and St Alphonsus at Blackmore Park was the Second Redemptorist Foundation in this country and Fr Royston is happy to continue the link with the Order by coming this weekend.

This weekend there is also a Special Second Collection for the Church’s work with the Ukrainian Refugees who have come to this country and who are living in the area and for those who are supporting them and providing for them. I know that things are difficult financially for many people at this time but I hope we can be as generous as possible for this important work. It is quite clear that many of those who are coming have few possessions but do not want to be relying on benefits they are keen to find work and many of them are highly skilled.  May these refugees be made welcome while they are here and they live in hope of returning eventually to their homeland. We have much to pray about.

 On a personal note, I am delighted that in Rome on Sunday Pope Francis will canonise Blessed Charles de Foucauld, a  French Priest, who was killed in 1916. Blessed Charles lived his priestly life among the Tuareg nomads in Algeria where he kept a house of hospitality welcoming all-comers seeking to a brother to all whom he met.. He lived in great simplicity and his life was focused on his relationship with the Lord in the Blessed Eucharist. His motto was ‘Jesus Caritas’ and after his death this phrase became the title of religious communities of men and women and also of diocesan priests and lay men and women. For most of my priesthood I have sought to follow the spirituality of Blessed Charles as a member of the Priests’ Fraternity.

At the heart of Blessed Charles legacy is the Prayer of Abandonment which we pray each day. It is based on his meditation on the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene: 

Father, I abandon myself into your hands. Do with me what you will. Whatever You may do, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done, in me, and in all your creatures – I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you, with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord and so need to give myself, to surrender my self into Your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for You are my Father.’

St Charles de Foucauld, Pray for us.

God bless you

Fr Hugh