Amid all the uncertainties and maybe confusion engendered by the restrictions imposed on Warrington (and Lymm) this week, it is comforting to know that coming to church is one of the safest things to do, thanks to all the precautions in place and the careful stewarding. Our stewards are faithful, but if anyone else would like to volunteer their assistance they only have to phone me.(The invitation last week for people to clean the church occasionally was met with a deafening silence).
I was smugly pleased with myself for looking up that word ‘exponentially’, and discovering that it vaguely means the bigger it gets the faster it grows. Of course all of you knew that – but I didn’t. My middle seems to be growing exponentially. You shouldn’t give me so much chocolate. Soon it will be October, heralded on Oct 1 by the feast of my favourite Saint Therese Martin. If you possess any books by or about her, you will surely benefit by dipping in to them. Before that comes ‘Michaelmas’, 29 September, the feast of archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Friday is Family Fast Day – you might like to donate to CAFOD on line, and there will be a collection dish available at church next week.
This weekend St Paul invites the people of Philippi to imitate Jesus by being humble and detached, and quotes that amazing hymn about Jesus emptying himself to assume the condition of a slave. The Greek word ‘kenosis’(self-emptying) inspired a whole spiritual outlook, and libraries of theology books, following those ideals set out by Paul in chapter two of his letter to the Philippians. It is hard to be humble.
The other readings are a call to repentance for those people who have promised to obey God’s law of faith and love, but are not good at keeping their word.
Our Bishop, Mark Davies, has written a pastoral letter to the people of the Diocese now that a good number of you are coming to church again. He recommends that we pray to St Joseph, who remained faithful in the most unpromising circumstances. His role as guardian and protector of the Holy Family has grown in importance now that so many people have become brothers and sisters of Christ through Baptism. We need his help more than ever.
Thank you all for phoning and booking a place at Mass. We again have a full house for the Saturday evening Mass, but there is still room at Sunday Mass. Don’t forget, phone Wednesday afternoon from 2.00pm onwards, until 10.00pm. ‘Do not be afraid’ Mass has been offered for the intentions of A Wight, P Slattery, J Dodd, and C Benson.
I invite you to join me in saying some of the rosary each day during October. Keep safe and stop these late night raves!
Fr Tony Elder