Newslettter 20th May 2012.
First a word of thanks to everybody who helped to make the First Communion day so special last Sunday.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Forty days after the Resurrection the Lord took the apostles to the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem. The Scriptures say that the cloud covered them and he saw them no more: the Risen Lord had returned to his Father in heaven.
The coming days are a period of prayer as we wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday. Veni Creator Spiritus …..
Today there is a second Collection for World Communications – this is the fund that supports the Press Office for the Church in England and Wales and also the web site. There are some cards giving information about this.
Thursday is the commemoration of Our Lady help of Christians, the dedication of our Church.
Feasts this week are St. Bede, on Friday, the author of the early history of the Church in our land, and on Saturday, St. Philip Neri.
Possibly I may be looking a little weary today. On Saturday my brother and his wife were celebrating their fortieth wedding anniversary. Their grandson, Mr D, was in attendance and was greatly admired by everybody. T was able to come to look after him during the festivities.
The children from St. Matthew will be coming to share in the 10 Mass on Friday. We are always pleased to welcome them and they share in the Mass in a very special way. Afterwards they love to play in the garden before returning to their classes.
The other day I came across a quotation from the writings of Pugin describing his problems with the design of Southwark Cathedral. He complained about the demands from his clients to provide a substantial building for 3,000 people with limited funds. This restricted his own ambitions. It provoked a response from Ruskin in “Stones of Venice” which was highly critical of some of the features of the design. Apparently it was considered to be too offensive and was removed from subsequent editions of Ruskin’s book. “Employ him by all means, but on small work. Expect no cathedrals from him; but no one at present can design a better finial.”
A prayer for today:
I thank thee, Lord, for knowing me better than I know myself, for letting me know myself better than others know me. Make me, I pray, better than they suppose, and forgive me what they do not know. (This comes from Abu Bekr, the father of Muhammed, who died in 634.)
And now some Yeats:
The unpurged images of day recede
The Emperor’s drunken soldiery are abed;
Night resonance recedes, night-walkers’ song
After great cathedral gong;
A starlit or moonlit dome disdains
All that man is,
All mere complexities,
The fury and the mire of human veins.
We tried this as a menu for the Eucharistic ministers the other evening. You will need a small pack of baby leeks, some asparagus tips and some flowery potatoes. Cook gently in a mixture of milk and water, adding more liquid if required. When the vegetables are soft, pass through a liquidiser and season with pepper and salt as necessary. You could serve either with a sprinkling of parsley or with some croutons.
Memories of ancient buses the other day: do you recall the single deck LT class which lasted until about 1952. An antique looking six wheel vehicle which used to work on the 227 route from Crystal Palace to Eltham. In their last days they were short of breath and the hill up from Penge to Crystal Palace was always a struggle.
A little Pepys is always good fun:
My wife and I had a small squabble, but I first this day tried the effect of my silence and not provoking her when she is in an ill humour, and do find it very good, for it prevents its coming to that height on both sides which used to exceed what was fit between us. And so the next day ….. up betimes and so to the office, there to do business till about ten o’clock.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon