Parish Newsletter 24th February 2021

PARISH NEWSLETTER

21 February 2021

Contents:  ​The Gospel Reflection

Notices  (Including details of Live-Streamed Mass)

Reflections for the coming week

Gospel: Mark 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan.  He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee.  There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand.  Repent, and believe the Good News.’

Gospel Reflection: No Matter How Our Goodness Is Tempted, We Are Never Alone

Imagine you are in a dark room and you know there is a light switch somewhere but you can’t find it – like confusion in the night when you wake in a new room. Where is it? Lent is a bit like finding the light- switch of our souls.

The real invitation of Lent is to believe the good news, about the three big messages of Jesus :

God Loves you

We are all brothers and sisters

Good will overcome evil

That was Jesus’ life – his words and how he lived. Just watch him Sunday by Sunday in the Gospel, bringing love, compassion and welcome to all sorts of people.

Jesus saw everyone as a child of his Father, and a brother and sister of himself. Watch him healing, consoling, comforting, even challenging people to a better life experience. And, he showed on Calvary that the terrible cruelty, injustice, and evil was not the end.

Lord, let this light switch on for us this Lent.

Notices (with resources for prayer during Lent, including through CAFOD)

We Remember In Our Prayers  Rita Cullen whose Funeral was last week, Betty Walsh whose Funeral Service is at St. Teresa’s on Monday, 22nd February, Anita Aisbitt whose Funeral is at Carleton Crematorium on Friday, 26th February, Julie Richardson whose Funeral Mass is at St. Teresa’s on Tuesday, 2nd March, and Bernard Mann, whose Funeral has yet to be arranged. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.

The Live-Streamed Sunday Mass from St. Teresa’s is at 10 am during lockdown. Go to this website address, which you are on now, st-teresas-cleveleys.co.uk, and click on ‘Live Streaming’..

A Prayer That We Can All Say Together At The Time Of Communion At A LIve-Streamed Mass :

My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament. 

I love you above all things, 

and I long for you to be with me. 

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, 

come spiritually into my heart. 

I embrace you, 

and unite myself to you. 

Never permit me to be separated from you. 

Amen

Live-Streamed Mass From The Cathedral in Lancaster : This Sunday, February 21st, the First Sunday of Lent, there is a Mass broadcast from the Cathedral at 10.30 am. To join please click on to the following :

Main Link

https//vimeo.com/512854495

Back-up Link (ONLY USE IF FOR SOME REASON THE VIMEO LINK FAILS)

https//youtube1lmZtgcxsc

LENT

DO YOU WANT TO FAST THIS LENT?  In the words of Pope Francis  :

“Fast from hurting words and say kind words.

Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.

Fast from anger and be filled with patience.

Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.

Fast from worries and have trust in God.

Fast from complaints; contemplate simplicity.

Fast from pressures and be prayerful.

Fast from bitterness; fill your hearts with joy.

Fast from selfishness and be compassionate.

Fast from grudges and be reconciled.

Fast from words; be silent and listen.” 

The Season of Lent Began last Wednesday, 17th February  Last year our normal celebration of Lent was interrupted after it had begun, because of the first Lockdown caused by  the CovidVirus. This year it is being affected right from the beginning. It is still not safe to gather in church for those extra Lenten occasions we might normally have.. However, at the heart of these seven weeks before Easter is an opportunity for each of us to organise a “spring-time renewal” of our own lives – by doing something extra in our prayer, by giving up something (fasting), and by being generous in our charity for others (almsgiving).. The annual Family Fast Day, organised by CAFOD. brings all three of those elements together. This year the Family Fast Day is on Friday, 26th February, when we are asked to eat simply, and donate what we save, or can manage to give, to CAFOD, who will distribute our gifts to those who have real difficulty in finding any food or water at all.

CAFOD has given us Abdella’s story this year. Abdella leaves his home in Ethiopia early in the morning, before it is fully light, to walk and collect water for his family. It is too hot to make the journey any later. By eight in the morning it is already over 40 degrees. He walks along a dried-out river bed, then climbs into the mountains. He goes down into a valley, then climbs another mountain, until he reaches the water. There he fills his jerry cans, taking them back down one at a time to where his donkeys are waiting, before he begins the long walk home.

Abdella says, “I don’t have any more words to express how hard this is. I’m so tired, I’m struggling to give you words. The journey for water is so long.” Without water he cannot make plans for his future.

This Lent let us walk alongside Abdella, and the millions of other people like him who do not have access to safe drinking water. Let us do what we can to make a difference, to bring relief in these desert places, so that people do not have to spend all their time walking to collect water, and can instead concentrate on making their hopes a reality.

Please go to cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/Family-Fast-Day which includes a Lent Calendar and prayer card, the ‘Walk for Water’ scheme where we can be involved with and for Abdella next weekend, and ways of donating. For those who prefer to hand in their donation to CAFOD in an envelope, you can always do so through the presbytery letter box. As always Sue Ward will be collating the donations, as our parish CAFOD representative.

Please note :  The CAFOD Lent Calendar 2021 gives us the good opportunity to reflect and pray each day of Lent. It can also be found at cafod.org.uk/Pray/Lent Calendar, where you will also be given the opportunity to download a Lent Calendar for Children, and a Lent Calendar for Young People.

Daily Reflections for this week

Monday (Thomas Merton)

This, then, is what it means to seek God perfectly: to withdraw from illusion and pleasure, from worldly anxieties and desires, from the works that God does not want, from a glory that is only human display; to keep my mind free from confusion in order that my liberty may always be at the disposal of His will; to entertain silence in my heart and listen for the voice of God; to have a will that is always ready to fold back within itself and draw all the powers of the soul down from its deepest centre, poised in concentration upon the point of my dependence on Him.

Scripture (Mark 1:12-15)

After his Baptism, the Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. “The time has come” he said “and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.

Tuesday (Bede Griffiths)

For the first time I felt an overwhelming need to repent. I did not clearly understand what repentance was, nor was I aware of any particular sin of which I had to repent. My religion was based on my own reason and my own will. Now I was being summoned to surrender this independence. Something had risen in the depths of my own reason which I was powerless to control. I was being called to surrender the very citadel of myself. I had to surrender myself into the hands of a power which was above my reason, which would not allow me to argue, but commanded me to obey.

Scripture (Psalm 119 1-2,10-11,15-16)

How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the Law of Yahweh! Blessed are those who seek his instructions with all their hearts. With all my heart I seek you, in my heart I treasure your promises, to avoid sinning against you. In the way of your instructions lies my joy, a joy beyond all wealth. I will ponder your precepts and fix my gaze on your paths. I find my delight in your will, I do not forget your words.

Wednesday (Thomas a Kempis)

The true, inward lover of Jesus and the Truth, who is free from inordinate desires, can turn freely to God, rise above self and joyfully rest in God. Those who knows things at their true worth, and not as they are said or reputed to be, are truly wise, for their knowledge comes from God and not from man. They who walk by an inner light, and are not unduly influenced by outward things are hindered and distracted by such things only so far as they allow themselves to be concerned by them.

Scripture (Eph 4:17– 22)

So I say this to you and attest to you in the Lord, do not go on living the empty-headed life of those who, intellectually, are in the dark and are estranged from the life of God because of the ignorance of closed minds. Now that is hardly the way you have learnt Christ, unless you have failed to hear him properly when you were taught what the truth is in Jesus. You were to put aside your old self, which belongs to your old way of life and is 

corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind was to be renewed in spirit, so that you could put on the New Man that has been created on God’s principles, in the uprightness and holiness of the truth.

Thursday (Henri Nouwen)

It takes courage to move away from the safe place into the unknown, even when we know that the safe place offers false safety and the unknown promises us a saving intimacy with God. We realise quite well that giving up the familiar and reaching out to him who transcends all our mental grasping and clinging makes us vulnerable. It is a sign of spiritual maturity that we can give up our illusory self-control and stretch out our hands to God.

Scripture (2 Cor. 5:12-21)

So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to see. It is all God’s work; he reconciled us to himself through Christ and he gave us the ministry of reconciliation. I mean, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not holding anyone’s faults against them but entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. For our sake he made the sinless one a victim of sin, so that in him we might become the uprightness of God.

Friday (A Carthusian)

The essence of our relations with God here below is faith: faith in his love, which is his being and his life. There is no other remedy for our passing ills than God’s eternal love for us. At bottom, all our sufferings derive from the fact that we want joy and possessions that are altogether too narrow and fleeting for the greatness of our hearts. Nothing unites so much as sacrifice. It offers up as a holocaust all narrowness in us. At the same time it makes us greater, and so makes room for God who is so great, and who loves us with all the immensity of his infinite love. 

Scripture (2 Cor. 5:12-21)

So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to see. It is all God’s work; he reconciled us to himself through Christ and he gave us the ministry of reconciliation. I mean, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not holding anyone’s faults against them but entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. For our sake he made the sinless one a victim of sin, so that in him we might become the uprightness of God.

Martin Bennett

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