Reflection for 1st Sunday of Advent 2nd December

Daily Focus for Advent

May these stars of Divine Love and Light shine through you this Advent season.

  1. Let the Star of Hope blaze through discouragement, doubt, and disgruntledness.
  2. Let the Star of Kindness radiate through your words and actions.
  3. Let the Star of Remembrance glitter in thoughts of good people and good deeds.
  4. Let the Star of Satisfaction shine through your expectations, wants and desires.
  5. Let the Star of Understanding beam love to those with whom you cannot relate.
  6. Let the Star of Laughter sparkle in your eyes and in your smile.
  7. Let the Star of Openness be a wide ray of love in your heart for those in need.
  8. Let the Star of Acceptance nudge you to receive the unwanted ones.
  9. Let the Star of Forgiveness draw you nearer to those with whom you are alienated.
  10. Let the Star of Courage grow bright in whatever requires your inner strength.
  11. Let the Star of Joy dance in the corners of your heart that have forgotten to sing.
  12. Let the Star of Gratitude encourage you to be generous with your gifts.
  13. Let the Star of Patience permeate that which you find difficult and irritable.
  14. Let the Star of Wonder draw you to appreciate the beauty in and around you.
  15. Let the Star of Justice lead you to make a positive choice for those in need today.
  16. Let the Star of Equanimity glow through your concerns and struggles.
  17. Let the Star of Faith beam through you, reminding you of the Core of Love in you.
  18. Let the Star of Appreciation gleam in your thankfulness to all who bless your life.
  19. Let the Star of Charity keep you balanced in your needs of self and others.
  20. Let the Star of Enthusiasm sparkle amid your tiredness and hurried pace.
  21. Let the Star of Compassion draw you into the world’s wide expanse of suffering.
  22. Let the Star of Delight lift your spirit and help you to see joy in simple things.
  23. Let the Star of Devotion glisten in your work and in the care you offer to others.
  24. Let the Star of Love shine through you to the persons you would rather avoid.
  25. Let the Star of Peace be a ray of steadfast calmness and tranquillity within you.

Joyce Rupp

Speakers Corner: Bishop Paul Swarbrick

On Friday 30th November 2018 Bishop Paul was the guest speaker at the first Speakers Corner Event at ‘Tabor’ – The Xaverian Centre for Mission and Spirituality.

Speakers Corner is a new event designed to create an informal space where speakers can be themselves and share something of their spiritual journey.

With over 80 in the audience, Bishop Paul shared his story in a very humble and open way.  It was a moving insight into what has shaped him as a person and brought him to this point.  People were inspired by his thoughts and many spoke of their sense of hope for the future of the Diocese with Bishop Paul as leader.

Here are two images from the event.

You can see more here.

 

 

Reflection on the Feast of Christ the King 25th November

Christ, the King of the Universe

The official name of today’s feast is Christ the King of the Universe, an attempt to reach a universal understanding of what’s going on. The Franciscan understanding is that the first idea ( the Alpha) of history is that God wanted to materialise; God who is spirit, who is shapeless, who is formless, wanted to take form. That’s Plan A. Most Christian understanding of history is based on a ‘Plan B’, that everything started with a big mistake – which is a terrible way to start history. ‘Plan B’ sees Jesus as a ‘mop-up exercise’ correcting Adam and Eve’s supposed fault. Plan A is that this material universe reveals the invisible God. That’s what it means for the Christ to be the King of the Universe. Jesus himself rejects the title of king. “That’s not what I’m about. I just came to reveal the Big Truth, not to be a king in your worldly sense.” Rather than ‘king’ maybe we should use the words ‘the first revelation of what’s going on’, ‘the inner DNA of everything’.

The Christ is not the same as Jesus. Jesus has existed for only 2000 years. The Christ, the king of the universe, has existed, according to our understanding of the universe, for 14.6 billion years! We call it ‘the Big Bang’. That’s when God decided to show God’s self. That’s the Incarnation. That’s the Alpha point. The Alpha and the Omega are the same thing. What God revealed as Plan A -that God is in the universe, in creation, in every creature, in everything that exists – is a revelation of the mystery of God. I hope you recognise that that means you are inside of something very sacred, very beautiful and inherently holy.

So Jesus doesn’t come to proclaim any kind of domination or control of history. He simply says, “I am naming the deepest meaning of history and the deepest meaning of humanity.” That’s why, in a moment in time, this eternal Christ mystery came as a person that you and I call Jesus. This is the deepest, the biggest and vast meaning of the feast of Christ the King of the Universe.

(Richard Rohr. Adapted)

Reflection on 33rd Sunday 18th November

Find eternity in each moment

The words in today’s gospel are not meant to be ominous or scary. Jesus is not talking about the end of the world but about the end of all worlds. Everything passes. Nothing lasts forever. Our great hope is that there will be something that we can grasp onto, something that’s eternal, something that’s God. We want the absoluteness, the eternity of God. We live in a world of passing things, where everything changes, nothing remains the same. The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself! That’s a hard lesson to learn. This is not meant as a threat. This is meant so that we grab onto this day, we grab onto this life and we appreciate that it is all gift and while we breathe it in we enjoy it and know that it is another moment of God. To be present to this moment and to live it fully is the only way to experience eternal life. The people who take this moment seriously take every moment seriously, and they already experience heaven. Heaven is whenever we taste life to its fullness, when we enjoy the moment, when we know that it is a gift from God and it will not last. And yet that very ‘will not last’ is an invitation to go deeper into the moment and touch upon that which lasts forever. That’s the paradox; that’s the mystery; that’s what our rational minds cannot understand and yet that’s what the saints have always come to teach us. If what we do doesn’t lead us into an eternal now, an eternal moment, an always true moment, an always loved moment, then we have not lived the moment at all.

Richard Rohr (Adapted)

There are moments when time stands still and we wish the moment would never end. In that moment we are in the flow, the wonder, and the unity of life – and it tastes good. Daniel O’Leary says that in these moments we touch eternity and because of that they do live forever.

Reflection on 32nd Sunday 11th November

Remembrance

Today is Remembrance Sunday, a day to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.

During November, the final month of the liturgical year, the Church invites us to remember those who have nurtured us in body and spirit, our loved ones who have gone before us, our teachers and guides who have encouraged us and enabled us to be where we are today.

The vibrant display of Autumn leaves remind us that our reflections on death are tinged with mixed emotions: love, gratitude, joy, sadness, fear, the pain of loss, a feeling of emptiness, a sense of hope. “The Autumn leaves are subtle reminders that we are asked to let go of many things throughout our lives. Every time we surrender something, we connect with our death, with the ultimate moment of letting go. Autumn is an opportunity to reflect on and claim that reality. Autumn is a necessary transition between Summer’s fruitfulness and Spring’s new life. No new growth will come unless Autumn agrees to let go of what has been. The same is true of our lives.

Let the Autumn tree symbolise yourself; for each part of the tree reflect on the following questions:

The roots: Who and what has given you nourishment and vitality in your life? Who and what ‘roots’ you in your time of significant change?

The trunk: What are your strengths? What events have channelled new life in you?

The leaves: What is dying in your life now? What do you feel called to let go of?

The bark: Who or what protects you, comforts you?

The terminal buds on the ends of the branches: What is your hope?”

Joyce Rupp: May I have this Dance?

Inevitably the letting-go process is accompanied by what we would describe as the painful experience of emptiness, a vacuum. “There is no such thing, either in the world or in the heart, as a literal vacancy, as a vacuum. And whatever space is really left by death, by renunciation, by parting, by apparent emptiness, there is God.”

Karl Rahner

Once again we thank Cathy York for this apt reflection.

Speakers Corner:- Bishop Paul Swarbrick

BISHOP PAUL SWARBRICK

This is the first of our Speakers Corner events. We are delighted to invite you to an informal audience with Bishop Paul Swarbrick, who will share the story of his journey so far. Entry free but donations welcome.

7pm Fri 30th November 2018

Order free tickets by clicking here.

OR ring Reception 01772 717122

OR contact Mary & Chris Cullen

Mob:- 07846 493933 or click here to email them.

Here is a link to the poster if you wish to help publicise the event