13th June 2021
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year B for Sundays – Cycle I for Weekdays
This week I read the following suggestion for personal reflection at the end of each day. Traditional examinations of conscience can be negative: ‘how have I sinned?’ It can also be helpful to ask ‘How have I encountered God’s grace today?’
Throughout his life Fr Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit, philosopher and palaeontologist, remained an optimist, despite the rejection he suffered from his religious order and from the official church because of his evolutionary ideas. In his prayer, instead of putting his attention on his failures and disappointments, he focused much more on praise, reverence, love and gratitude when he related to God. In recent years, psychologists have discovered a basic law of psychological and spiritual life. We might call it the first law of spiritual energy. It is simply this: Energy follows attention. In other words, wherever you focus your attention is where the energy of your body, mind and spirit goes. In terms of this first law of spiritual energy, Teilhard preferred to focus, with God’s grace, on his own resilience, his capacity to adapt and to restore his enthusiasm for his work and relationships. . . . If he was blocked from pursuing one avenue, he found another way. . . .
Teilhard’s life suggests a nightly review of your day focusing on what went right instead of what went wrong. If you focus on giving and receiving love, your thinking will change for the better. If you focus on thinking good thoughts, your heart will grow more loving. The heart and mind are always interacting in concert. This process is known as the ‘Thanksgiving Examen’:
1) Give thanks in general to God our Lord for the benefits received in your life, in others and in the world today.
2) Ask for grace to recognize all those particular things that happened to you and others that you should personally be grateful for.
3) Take account of your day from the hour that you got up to the present time, hour by hour, or period by period: first your good thoughts, ideas and intentions; then your good words spoken and heard; and then good acts, your actions and those of others, small or large, that positively touched your life or the life of someone else.
4) Praise and thank God our Lord for all the opportunities you had to make a difference in the world today and to inspire you to recognize more and more such opportunities in the future.
5) Thank God for all God has done for you, and to ask yourself: What can I envision doing that would lead me to be even more deeply grateful?
6) Close with the ‘Our Father’ [or another prayer with deep significance for you].
This week we received an official decree from Archbishop Malcolm announcing the closure of St Joseph’s Church in Willaston. This is to take effect from 28th June 2021. I know this is painful news for many St Joseph’s parishioners. St Joseph’s church is a sacred place where many significant events in your lives, both joyful and sorrowful, have taken place. I have been moved by the generosity of spirit of faithful parishioners of St Joseph’s who, while expressing their sadness, at the same time appreciate the inevitability of this development.
On the afternoon of Sunday 27th June, we will be marking the closure of St Joseph’s with a final service of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 3.00pm in St Joseph’s Church. This will provide an opportunity to celebrate how the parish of St Joseph’s, inspired by the dedicated leadership of Father Leslie Daley, enriched the life of the Catholic community on the Island. Benediction will be followed by tea and cake. Parishioners, past and present, from St Joseph’s Church, are encouraged to bring along their family photos of significant moments in the life of their parish over the years and to share memories. Although this is a St Joseph’s event, people from each of our three parishes are also welcome. Please pass on the word to those St Joseph’s parishioners who may not receive a newsletter.
On this Sunday 13th June, as we come towards the culmination of our Synod 2020 process we start a Week of Prayer. A leaflet with the prayers we will be praying each day from the 13th until the 20th of June is available to read and/or download BY CLICKING HERE We will be praying these prayers at Mass each day. Do join us at home each day if you’re able, or go to our Synod YouTube or Facebook page at 12 noon where the prayers will be shared each day from different places around the Archdiocese.
CLICK HERE to go direct to the main Synod 2020 website.
Synod members throughout the Archdiocese will be meeting for the final session of the Synod via Zoom next Saturday 19th June. They will be voting on which of the 19 published Recommendations will form the basis of Archbishop Malcolm’s Pastoral Plan for the Archdiocese. The following day Sunday 20th June, Archbishop Malcolm will preside over a special Mass for Synod members in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Synod members in the Isle of Man are gathering together to participate in this Mass by livestream. Parishioners are also encouraged to follow this Mass BY CLICKING THIS LINK TO THE CATHEDRAL
During his homily the Archbishop will be addressing all the peoples of the Archdiocese.
Father of love and compassion,
with trust in your great mercy, we place our Synod into your hands.
Be with each member of our Synod and guide them with the help of Your Holy Spirit.
Give us all the wisdom and the courage to respond in new ways to the challenges we face
and to the needs of our brothers and sisters,
so that we may become ever more closely the Church you are calling us to be.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen
To read the rest of this week’s parish news, CLICK HERE
Monsignor John Devine OBE MA VF
Saint Mary of the Isle Hill Street Douglas Isle of Man IM1 1EG
Although the Manx Government have permitted a substantial relaxation of Covid-related restrictions, we are still asked to be cautious and we remain in ‘mitigation’ mode. So, for everyone’s peace of mind and safety – please note the following :-
• The obligation to go to Mass on Sunday remains suspended. Many may feel insecure at the idea of returning to Mass.
• The requirement to sanitise hands on entering and leaving church and to maintain reasonable social distancing is still in place.
• The wearing of masks is a reasonable precaution that must be respected.
• The sign of peace will be exchanged without making contact.
• Holy Communion will continue to be distributed only in the hand and under the form of bread. Please ensure that you receive in a way that minimises the possibility of skin to skin contact with the minister.
• Socialisation within the church at the end of Mass is discouraged. There’s space to meet outside.
• Please respect any reluctance to shake hands or hug from friends you haven’t seen for a while.
Three poems on the theme of Corpus Christi by Anglican priest Malcolm Guite
This bread is light, dissolving, almost air,
A little visitation on my tongue,
A wafer-thin sensation, hardly there.
This taste of wine is brief in flavour, flung
A moment to the palate’s roof and fled,
Even its aftertaste a memory.
Yet this is how He comes. Through wine and bread
Love chooses to be emptied into me.
He does not come in unimagined light
Too bright to be denied, too absolute
For consciousness, too strong for sight,
Leaving the seer blind, the poet mute;
Chooses instead to seep into each sense,
To dye himself into experience.
Hide and Seek
Ready or not, you tell me, here I come!
And so I know I’m hiding, and I know
My hiding-place is useless. You will come
And find me. You are searching high and low.
Today I’m hiding low, down here, below,
Below the sunlit surface others see.
Oh find me quickly, quickly come to me.
And here you come and here I come to you.
I come to you because you come to me.
You know my hiding places. I know you,
I reach you through your hiding-places too;
Touching the slender thread, but now I see –
Even in darkness I can see you shine,
Risen in bread, and revelling in wine.
The centuries have settled on this table
Deepened the grain beneath a clean white cloth
Which bears afresh our changing elements.
Year after year of prayer, in hope and trouble,
Were poured out here and blessed and broken, both
In aching absence and in absent presence.
This table too the earth herself has given
And human hands have made. Where candle-flame
At corners burns and turns the air to light
The oak once held its branches up to heaven,
Blessing the elements which it became,
Rooting the dew and rain, branching the light.
Because another tree can bear, unbearable,
For us, the weight of Love, so can this table.
‘Trinity’ by Malcolm Guite
In the Beginning, not in time or space,
But in the quick before both space and time,
In Life, in Love, in co-inherent Grace,
In three in one and one in three, in rhyme,
In music, in the whole creation story,
In His own image, His imagination,
The Triune Poet makes us for His glory,
And makes us each the other’s inspiration.
He calls us out of darkness, chaos, chance,
To improvise a music of our own,
To sing the chord that calls us to the dance,
Three notes resounding from a single tone,
To sing the End in whom we all begin;
Our God beyond, beside us and within.
‘Hatley St George’ by Malcolm Guite
Stand here a while and drink the silence in.
Where clear glass lets in living light to touch
And bless your eyes. A beech tree’s tender green
Shimmers beyond the window’s lucid arch.
You look across an absent sanctuary;
No walls or roof, just holy, open space,
Leading your gaze out to the fresh-leaved beech
God planted here before you first drew breath.
Stand here awhile and drink the silence in.
You cannot stand as long and still as these;
This ancient beech and still more ancient church.
So let them stand, as they have stood, for you.
Let them disclose their gifts of time and place,
A secret kept for you through all these years.
Open your eyes. This empty church is full,
Thronging with life and light your eyes have missed.
Stand here awhile and drink the silence in.
Shields of forgotten chivalry, and rolls
Of honour for the young men gunned at Ypres,
And other monuments of our brief lives
Stand for the presence here of saints and souls
Who stood where you stand, to be blessed like you;
Clouds of witness to unclouded light
Shining this moment, in this place for you.
Stand here awhile and drink their silence in.
Annealed in glass, the twelve Apostles stand
And each of them is keeping faith for you.
This roof is held aloft, to give you space,
By graceful angels praying night and day
That you might hear some rumour of their flight
That you might feel the flicker of a wing
And let your heart fly free at last in prayer