3rd October 2020

Dear Parishioners,

There is something rather autumnal in the atmosphere as I send the latest version of the Newsletter to you together with the Readings for Holy Mass this weekend. The morning is dark, wet, and a large tree in the garden is beginning to cast her summer clothes, littering golden coloured leaves across the grass. Yes, autumn appears to have arrived. Thankfully splashes of colour and vibrancy are to be seen in the late-flowering roses and a few other hardy gifts of nature. Small signs of hope reminding me that all everything going through change at the moment will indeed come back in the spring with renewed energy. May the same be true of ourselves !

At the beginning of the month we celebrated the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. Her short life was lived in an assuming manner, devoid of her initial ambition of becoming a missionary and travelling the far flung parts of the globe. However in the confines of the Carmelite Monastery at Lisieux she lived a most extraordinary life. One that pleased Almighty God. A profound lesson of her life, and one that she constantly reminds others of in her writings, was to seek to serve God in the small and often mundane aspects of life. She wrote: “Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them.” This week I received a lovely card, quite out of the blue, which contained the following kind words: “you cross my mind often and are in my Rosary prayers …” In the midst of an ordinary week, attempting to do what I do week by week and day by day, it was most touching and uplifting to be remembered in such a way.

Many of us are taking pleasure in the simple and, dare I say, activities often taken for granted in former days. What an adventure even going to the supermarket now is ! Perhaps through some small action or word, offered or spoken, by ourselves over the coming week, another life may be enriched or enhanced. It doesn’t take much to make a difference, and further the love of God in our world of today. Waiting for the rarefied climate in which to carry out an act of kindness is often an indulgent luxury. Next weekend we celebrate the feast of St. Paulinus of York, of whom St. Bede wrote. He travelled through this area and as he did so met many who were eager to be baptised. Not dependant upon the finery of an ornate baptismal font, he turned towards what God had provided, the River Calder, and, like John the Baptist, drew in the crowds as he celebrated Sacramental new life for them !

Be assured of remembrance in prayer and kindest thought. May we be united in spirit and heart.
As ever, Fr. Nicholas

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