The Centre is closed for Easter Monday so you can go egg rolling on Avenham Park. Normal activities resume on Tuesday 23rd with Mindfulness Practice. The Singing Group have their monthly session on Friday and on Saturday 27th Donna Worthington is leading a retreat “The Resurrected Christ-Light“
From time to time we get feedback on the group sessions. Here are a few words from someone who attended the last session Anne gave on the 12th April.
“I’ve attended several Capacitar mornings, and at each session we’ve been introduced to practices such as tai-chi, breath work, acupressure and tapping. It’s all about promoting self-care and healing. At the same time, the group is very friendly and it’s been fun.
I’ve been using some of the exercises at home, and they make a big difference – I can focus better, I feel more peaceful inside, more free.”
If we are to be transformed by our reflection on the mystery of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection, it will be helpful to focus on one aspect so as to avoid becoming overwhelmed by so many images. This can be a difficult choice to make but the opening verses in today’s Gospel reading offer a very powerful image. Jesus takes bread and wine, His Body, His Blood, and he gives thanks.
Can we take our full life in our hands, even ‘those things which cannot be fixed but can only be carried.’ (Megan Divine) Can we then give thanks? “Thanksgiving is inherent to a true experience of wholeness. Thanksgiving is necessary to live the well, whole, fullest life. How do I fully live when life is full of hurt? How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest of life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out? For forty long years, God’s people daily ate manna – a substance whose name is said to derive from the question man hu, seemingly meaning “What is it?” Hungry, the Israelites chose to gather up that which is baffling. For more than 14,600 days they took their nourishment from that which they didn’t comprehend. They found soul-filling in the inexplicable, on that which has no meaning. They ate the mystery. They ate the mystery. And the mystery, that which made no sense, was like ‘wafers of honey’ on the lips.” What mysteries have I refused, refused to let nourish me, and in so doing have been unable to taste the flavour of honey they contain, unable to find the wonder they contain?
“Where there is wonder there is thanksgiving.” Ann’s life became one of openness to the wonders which surrounded her, finding joy in the midst of trauma, drama, pain, loss and daily duties. She learned to slow down, catch God in the moment and give thanks.
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘Thank you’ it will be enough.”
We have an invitation from Frank McGrath to attend a Rosary Service Tuesday 7th May 2pm at the Carmelite Monastery Church. Frank anticipates that about 80 will attend including 36 year 4 pupils from St Clare’s primary school.
Prayers will be offered for all expectant mothers and their unborn children and there will be a talk by guest speaker Fr. Andrew Allman.
On 9th May 2019 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm the Centre will be hosting a training session aimed at giving parents, carers and professions who work with children and young adults guidance on on-line protection.
The session will be delivered by Safeguarding Today, a training company delivering high quality safeguarding training for organisations that work with vulnerable people.
These excellent sessions have become very popular and you need to book. Bookings can be made by following the link and using the form towards the bottom of the event description. The form will send an email to Anne Harrison.
Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the recent website survey.
Mostly you are content but there are some conflicting opinions relating to the News which we must try to reconcile.
The first attempt has been to modify the Home page so that it now shows the News separately from the Gospel Reflections which we hope adds clarity by allowing each to have its space.
A common theme was to provide more News items focussed on feedback from events. It is an excellent idea although it relies on the willingness of participants and leaders to provide the material and they may have legitimate reservations about that, so lets see how it unfolds.
There are other comments and we need to work on them!
Once again, thanks to everyone who gave their views.
ACTA “A Call to Action” have three new events on the calendar that you may be interested in.
On the 18th May Rose and Greg McCrave will lead us in exploring and experiencing the joy and companionship of being part of the Body of Christ by belonging to smaller groups.
On the 13th July Simon Stewart, chaplain at The Cornerstone, a community hub which is part of Lancaster Methodist Church, will be reflecting on what he has learned from ministering in the centre of town and on his recent experiences as a prison chaplain.
On 12th October there is the ACTA National Conference in Manchester. Diarmuid O’Murchu will speak on the theme of “Imagining the Church of the future”.
All the details are on the calendar, just click on the dates above.
If you have any problems using the calendar then please contact us using the form on the Enquiries Page and we will see if we can help.
‘If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.’ (Goethe). Jesus sees the potential in every person he meets. Today’s gospel shows us how in his presence people feel capable of more. He guides them to the realisation that their growth is far from finished. Mercy gives the sinner a future when there seems to be no future. He recognises the wrong done but does not demand a penalty for it. This gospel passage models mercy at its very best. Mercy looks at others with compassion, it understands, it does not condemn, it sets free, it enables, it gives life. This ideal continues to inspire many, but for a variety of reasons Jesus’ example of tenderness and mercy proves difficult to imitate. Some of the hindrances to that imitation need to be named if we are to overcome them.
One obstacle is fear. The scribes and Pharisees are very uncomfortable with moral failure. According to their standards of justice the sinner must pay the price for what he/she has done. If the law is not kept and failure isn’t punished then the danger is that chaos will take over and chaos is very scary. In their eyes the observance of the law makes for order and that keeps chaos at bay. For Jesus too the law gives direction to life, but he looks to its deeper significance and to the need to understand each individual who seeks to follow its guidance.
Another obstacle is the self-centredness that wants more, whether it is more freedom, more control, more material goods or more power. This attitude finds tolerance and forgiveness very demanding. It is becoming increasingly evident that the more individual our views and beliefs become, the higher the levels of intolerance.
A story that begins with deathly accusation ends with divine mercy. Where the community’s condemnation would have led the adulterous woman to death, Jesus’ mercy leads her to new life. A story that begins with exposing the sin of an individual ends with exposing the sinfulness of all. Where the community begins with awareness of the woman’s sinfulness, this encounter with Jesus makes them aware of their own sinfulness. A story that begins with human testing of the divine ends with divine invitation to repent. Jesus reveals a new order in which all are called to repentance and the experience of divine mercy. Jesus’ desire for us is not death but new life.
Sources: galwaydiocese.ie/reflection; Living Liturgy