Newsletter 9th March 2014.
Today the First Sunday of Lent: the gospel today speaks of the temptations of the Lord in the wilderness.
Purple vestments and we do not recite the Gloria until Easter Sunday. The Alleluia verse after the readings is replaced with an antiphon.
As a Lenten devotion there will be stations of the Cross at 6.30 this evening.
This afternoon we are pleased to welcome the Knights of St. Columba. They will be meeting in the hall in the afternoon and there will be a special Mass at about 4.30pm.
I am off to the College in Spain from Monday to Friday this week. This is my half yearly visit to attend to the Financial Administration. I leave early by way of London City. The direct flights from Stansted to Valladolid have come to an end so that I travel by way of Madrid. I will ask the Rector if we can come again in the autumn and will let you know the dates in due course. Goodness knows how I am going to cope with you all on the Metro in Madrid!
This means that for the coming week, there will not be a 7.30 Mass in the Church. I hope that the Bishop will be available for some of the days at 10am but otherwise there will be a Eucharistic Service.
Looking ahead, the Parish Council meets on 20th March, there is a Lenten Retreat on 29th and the Lenten Service of Music and Readings on the 30th. The next class for the new Eucharistic Ministers is on 18th March.
Friday is the Lenten Fast Day for Cafod. Envelopes are available today and you can return them next Sunday.
Thanks to all who have helped with the work in the garden recently. The storms brought down quite a lot of branches, but generally everything has survived very well. It is good to see the spring flowers. The fruit trees are now in bud – apart from one plum tree – and they should do well. Once again I am attempting to grow some basil and I am making sure that the snails do not find it. I have cleaned the herb garden and the olive tree is doing well. The fir tree at the end of the garden that we planted about 10 years ago is now 15 ft high and we will have to prune it soon.
The new Routemaster buses are proving to be very popular to the extent that the older versions, on route 9, seem to be running empty. With the electric motor, the start is very smooth, but once the diesel kicks in, there is some vibration. The engine is situated under the rear stairs: it does not drive the bus directly but powers the generator which provides electricity for the motors. It is only a 4.5 litre engine so it has to work hard.
I like this poem from Henry Vaughan:
There is in God (some say)
A deep but dazzling darkness; As men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
See not all clear;
Of for that night! Where I in him
Might live invisible, and dim.
Recently the magazine published an article on the Alanbrooke Diaries. This was based on the edited version of the Diaries prepared by Arthur Bryant in the late 1950s. A full version of the Diaries was published a few years ago, carefully edited so as to reconstruct the original text as far as possible. The editor makes scathing comments on the work of Bryant and suggests that he destroyed much of he sense of the original text. It is however necessary to remember some of the sensibilities of the time when the first version was published – when many of those mentioned were still alive.
By now you are looking for the recipe – it needs to be suitably Lenten. I suggest a lentil soup. Soak the lentils over night. Cook them with some slices of onion and maybe a large sliced potato. Season well and pass through a liquidizer and serve very hot. Serve with some brown bread. This will not break your Lenten fast.
And a prayer:
Son of the living God, Lord Jesus Christ, whose death willed by the Father, empowered by the Holy Spirit, restored the life of the world, deliver me from all my iniquities and from every evil, keep me always close to your commandments and never allow me to be separated from you.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon