St. Mary’s Blackheath
Sunday 25th October 2020
Mass Times: Saturday 6.30pm: Sunday: 9.30 and 11am and 5 and 7.30pm.
Weekdays: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am
Tuesday and Thursday: 7.30pm.
For the time being it is not possible to hold Confessions on Saturday.
Today is the Thirtieth Sunday of the Church’s year.
25th October is the feast of the Martyrs of England and Wales. Those of you who have been to our College will remember that it is a great day of celebration, with a solemn Mass and a splendid lunch.
Wednesday is the Feast of the Apostles Simon and Jude.
Next Sunday is the 1st November and we will keep the feast of All Saints. November is the month of the Holy Souls and I will put a basket under the altar for you to leave the names of those you would like to remember at Mass during this month.
We were pleased to welcome the Confirmation group for their first class last Thursday. Confirmations will be on Sunday 6th June next year. Thanks to Anna and Kamara for organising the class.
Also, we are enjoying the First holy Communion classes.
I hope that by now the repairs to the stained glass window in the Church will have been completed. It was damaged by a falling gutter. You may have noticed the temporary glass while the panels were away at the workshop.
My brother has now moved to his new house. During the course of the move, it seems that many things were lost or mislaid – so regular emails to see if I can help with pieces of missing information. I am sure that this is a common problem.
As for many people, a number of on-line meetings week. I have tried to update my broadband to provide better reception. It is difficult to cope with it all – not just at my end. A call to one of the Banks the other day for a major review with regular interruptions from a small child in the background. Gone are the days when an account review would include a formal lunch.
The garden now has an autumn appearance. The last tree to lose its leaves is the big sweet chestnut at the bottom of the garden. When these go, it is a sign that winter has arrived. But not long before the first shoots of the spring flowers start to appear. The dill and the spinach pots did well but the parsley was not so successful. I think the birds liked the seeds and I lost a lot of them. I will try again next year.
The large signal box at London Bridge Station is now closed. Everything is controlled from the major centre at Three Bridges. I remember when this was completed in 1976. It was the wonder of the age with a new electronic screen and a vast amount of wiring. I wonder if it will be demolished: it might count as a listed building.
A Spanish recipe this week. Cook some cloves of garlic in oil until it starts to brown. Add some mushrooms, sliced if necessary, some lemon juice and some salt and stir well. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are browned and serve with some parsley.
Today a prayer from the English martyrs:
Lord, give to the quick grace, to the dead rest, in especial to them that I am bounden, toe Church, holiness, grace and concord, and that thou wilt vouchsafe to take this prayer to the honour and glory of thy holy name, and that without end, sweet Jesu, Amen.
And some Eliot today:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Thinking about Christmas again and how to arrange everything – with the need to keep the spaces in the Church, I could arrange some extra Masses – I am not sure if the procession through the Village will be able to take place this year. In previous years there has been a Mass at 6.30 on Christmas Eve. I am thinking of moving this to 6pm with an additional Mass at 8pm. On Christmas morning the first Mass is usually at 9.30am. At one time we used to have an earlier Mass at 8am but few people attended. Do you think we need this?
The boy and his sister are looking forward to the half term. They hope that their mother will have a few spare days so that she can share some adventures with them. Long cycle rides are popular with a choice of food at the end and last year there was some ice skating. Energetic rather than cultural for the present. I am kept at a distance as an enthusiasm for old buses and steam engines is not encouraged.
Something from Thomas Merton to think about:
When I am liberated by silence, when I am no longer involve in the measurement of life, but in the living of it, I can discover a form of prayer in which there is effectively, no distraction. My whole life becomes a prayer. The world of silence in which I am immersed contributes to my prayer.
(This was written at a time when Merton was living apart from the main Monastery in his own hermitage – about 1954.)
I hope that you are all keeping well.
With best wishes
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon