Letter from Fr David – 1 May 2020

1 May

Dear All,

On this St Catherine’s Day Monty and I were down by Sileby Mill, on our daily exercise, and we saw our first flock of swallows for 2020! Baby ducklings next! Spring is truly here as all the wonderful blossom and blooms declare.

So as the lovely month of May arrives with hopes of the relaxing of some of the Lockdown restrictions, God is continuing to give us signs of His love and new life, as well as opportunities to draw close to Him, the saints and Our Lady. Time to grow our faith, make it more real, rooted, genuine and authentic.

Yes, I know we can’t yet celebrate Mass together, or receive the Sacraments but as always, a bit of hardship and abstinence can be good for us. It wakes us up to what is really important and challenges our often ‘weak, comfortable and flabby’ faith. When I see how my suffering Catholic brothers and sister in Syria, Iraq, China, North Korea, and Arab North Africa (to name but a few places) keep ‘the faith’, I am ashamed of my ‘whinging’. In these tough times of ours Our Blessed Lord is reminding us that faith in Him is a daily encounter, a daily conversation, a moment by moment reality.

Just think how we are rediscovering what Mother Church has always called the ‘Domestic Church.’ Our homes, with those sacred places that Fr Paul has encouraged us to make. Of learning to pray together with our loved ones and families again, say Grace before our meals, again, kneel by our bedsides, as once we used to, praying to the Lord who is with us. He is teaching us our dependence on Him and His Grace. We are learning again that we are not in charge, in control or all powerful. Learning the lessons of the Garden of Eden and why we need a Saviour.

End of ‘Sermon’!! But isn’t it great that even with all the suffering, heart ache and grief around us, when all we seem to be able to do is encourage others and pray, that God, who is working through so many caring, healing and hardworking folk, hasn’t forgot the likes of you and me. He what the best for us too, discovering anew His Graces, presence and love.

Last week on the Feast of St Mark the Holy Father wrote a letter to the whole church, encouraging everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This is characteristic of our Catholic culture especially in May, Mary’s month. But most especially so as millions of people throughout the world are isolated in their homes, and unable to meet with their families or in church. Someone once said that in praying the Rosary, we are never truly alone for Our Lady is always there with us, praying to her Son for and alongside us. Here I attach a little gift from the Ordinariate Of Our Lady for you all, A Rosary for Vocations to pray during this Mary’s Month of May.

Catherine is always keen to know what I’ve been reading and eating. Let’s do the eating first. This week has been bread making, Seeded wholemeal and tomato. All sliced and put in the freezer then I can have a slice as and when. It’s going nicely with some cannellini bean and leek soup. A drizzle of chilli oil gives the soup a lift.

Reading wise I found ‘Made This Way. How to prepare Kids to face today’s tough moral issues.’ By Miller and Horn, particularly good, practical and enlightening. Wish I’d had it when my two were growing up!!! Always wise after the event.

Every blessing

Fr David