newsletter 16th July 2017

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Newsletter 30th July 2017.

Thank you for your generous response to the Mission Appeal last Sunday. I will give you details of the amount contributed at Mass today.

No music at Masses today – the organists and the choir are taking a break until the beginning of September. An opportunity to thank them for all their work during the year – not only on Sundays but for special events such as the First Holy Communions and the Confirmations.

The First Communion forms are beginning to come back – in the first instance I have issued 28 forms as this is the maximum number for the Church on a single Sunday. If there are requests for more, we will need to arrange a second date.

You are welcome to come up to the garden on the warm summer days. Please use the garden gate and remember to keep it closed. Parents are asked to keep a careful eye on children to ensure that they are safe, particularly in the water.

Next Sunday, instead of the normal Sunday Mass, we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.

Not many things to tell you about during the month of August so I can fill up the newsletter with some useful information:

First a recipe: here is an unusual salad. Cut some pieces of fennel into thin slices and mix with some vinaigrette dressing. Shell some hard boiled eggs – remove the yolks and mix with some mayonnaise to make a stiff sauce. Fill the halved whites with this sauce. Add some thin slices of ham and place the eggs around the fennel. To finish sprinkle with some chopped herbs.

A prayer to the Holy Spirit:

Holy Spirit, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name: through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Do you know the War Song of Dinas Vawr?

The mountain sheep are sweeter,

But eh valley sheep are fatter;

We therefore deemed it meeter

To carry off the latter.

We made an expedition;

We met a host and quelled it;

We forced a strong position,

And killed the men who held it.

Some busy days at the College in Spain: Monsignor Pardo, after 15 years at the College is returning to his home Diocese of Gibraltar, and the new Rector, Father Paul Farrer is taking over. From here I am quite busy with new banking mandates and explaining the details of the finances.

Some Routemasters outside the Church the other day for wedding guests – including RM2676 – this started life at Hanwell garage in September 1967 – probably for use on route 207 between Shepherd’s Bush and Uxbridge.  This was the original no 7 tram route for London United Tramways and became the 607 trolleybus route in November 1936. The last trolleybuses operated on 8th November 1960. Today the route operates as no 607: a journey from White City to Uxbridge gives a fascinating perspective of different parts of London.

Here is Merton on Solitude Â

You should be able to untether yourself from the world and set yourself free, loosing all the fine strings and strands of tension that bind you, by sight, by sound, by thought, to the presence of others.  (I am not sure if I agree with this!)

The boy and his sister are enjoying their summer break: I hope to see him this week – it is his birthday.

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon


sermon text from last Sunday

Fourteenth Sunday of the year

My yoke is easy and my burden light – the yoke was normally a crosspiece – but across the necks of a pair of oxen a control them as they hauled a wagon or a plough – at the time of Our Lord they would be made of wood and the farmer would make them individually to fit a particular pair of animals – the wrong size, the wrong shape and they would not work in a proper manner.

And here the Lord is using this as an image to describe the form of the Christian faith – shoulder my yoke and learn from me – for I am gentle and humble in heart –

As is evident from the gospels – there were times when, through the influence of the Pharisees, the Jewish law had become burdensome – I have some Jewish friends, and when I visit their synagogue – they have great pleasure is explaining the rituals of their feasts and celebrations – in contrast our own rituals are far less elaborate – but one can see the possibility of concentrating on minute details to the extent that the original purpose and meaning is lost.

And here is the Lord explaining this same idea – if our Christianity has become a labour – if we are overburdened – then we have got it wrong. Â

But what can this mean – it cannot mean a facile, easy way of life with no principles – no demands – but going back to image of the yoke – it will be a careful and precise fit – made for us individually –

Francis de Sales – in his Introduction to the Devout life – explains – true devotion never causes harm but rather perfects everything we do; a devotion which conflicts with anyone’s state of life is undoubtedly false.

Last week – I went to Douai Abbey very early before the meeting of the HCC and shared in the morning office in the Church – starting at  6.15 and lasting about an hour – followed by the community Mass at 7.30 – a solemn and fascinating experience – sharing in the singing of the psalms and the hymns, listening to the readings – something to share in from time to time yet with all honesty, something that I would find impossible  as a daily duty – yet taking the words from the gospel, this is the burden, the yoke of the monks that they take up each day with care and with joy.

And I am sure that you can translate this into the details of your own life – whatever it may be – looking after your family – working in education – in an office – in health care -  certainly times when the work can seem hard and demanding -  it is possible to be resentful and even angry – to fight against the yoke – the difficult animal twists and turns trying to break out of the yoke – but in the end suffers pain and discomfort –

I am not suggesting servitude – slavish obedience in impossible circumstances – but rather making a reasoned assessment of one’s vocation in life – whatever it may be – this is the thing that the Lord has called me to do – and without my devotion – this particular, minute part of creation will not achieve its purpose – the demands on those who work in health care are enormous and have received a great deal of publicity – long and tiring days – and yet beneath the administrative problems – a sense of privilege in being able to help those who are sick and need your care – and this example can be found in many other parts of life – in return we can show our appreciation for those who have helped us.

So back to the yoke again – what does it mean – if we want to it can become a painful burden – we fight against it but in the end it will still control us – or it could be the wooden yoke, careful carved by the farmer so it is comfortable fits us exactly – there is still a burden – the plough to be pulled – the heavy wagon – but we accept it – this is something which has been made for us in a special way – to help us with our task – and so we go forwad.      Â

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