St Teresa & St John Southworth Churches, Cleveleys
Fr Chris Cousens—Phone: 853340
Rev Bernard Ward (Deacon) (Tel: 858346)
Enquiries for St John Southworth: Phone: 853340
15 August 2021
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
Sunday : The Assumption
Contents: Gospel Reflection
Reflections for the coming week
Luke 1. 39-56
Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled. ‘And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of lsrael his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home. The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you
Gospel Reflection : : Lit Up Before The Illuminations
Mary was a very humble person. A humble person is a transparent person. She or he receives praise and thanks the way a clean window takes in the light of the sun. The brighter and more intense the light is, the less you see of the glass itself. It attracts no attention to itself, as it keeps nothing of the light but lets it shine through.
Humble people know that without the light of God’s love they themselves would be in darkness. Such an attitude helps them to be open, and so to receive the help and gifts God wants to give them.
So it is with Mary. “All generations will call me blessed” she said, then added “because God has done great things for me”. She was praised, but she knew it was God’s doing, and praised Him for it. So her soul was filled with joy and serenity, and the light of God shone through her.
‘Mary, teach us to be humble and trustful before God like you, that we will find rest for our souls, and so that the light of God will shine through us too.’
We Remember In Our Prayers Barry Jones (Baz) whose Funeral Service is at Carleton Crematorium on Friday, 27th August at 12.30 pm. We remember him and his family, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
Last weekend we announced the sudden death of Daniel Penswick, a Governor of our School, and his Funeral arrangements. Unfortunately we were informed just the day before that those arrangements had to be postponed. We tried to contact all those associated with our school with the new arrangements, but there may be some who did not know, and tried to attend Daniel’s Funeral last Thursday. Very sincere apologies if you did. Daniel’s Funeral Mass is now next Thursday, 19th August, 10.15 am at English Martyrs Church, High Cross, Poulton.
Daily Reflections, and Now More. Each Week Our Parish Bulletin Can Be Found On Our Parish Website – www.st-teresas-church.co.uk In addition to what is given out in church you will find there Daily Reflections for each week. These are kindly written for us by Martin Bennett, whose family home is in Poulton, but who is a retired Head of RE from a High School in Liverpool.
This week Martin has informed us of further help to our daily spiritual lives, as follows:
You may wish to invite parishioners to visit the website I and some friends have been working on. It is the life and work of three remarkable priests who lived and ministered in Liverpool for many years. Fr. Tom Cullinan, Austin Smith and Kevin Kelly: Disciple, Priest, Prophet, Teacher (fr-tom-cullinan.co.uk)
The page this takes you to will give an overview of their life (a short read), and from there you can read more details about their lives and their ministry by clicking on the ‘about’ page below each of their pictures. Each now has a good selection of their writings and, in the case of Tom Cullinan, many audio talks.
Fr. Tom Cullinan gave many talks on Scripture (there are many talks – written and audio) as well as talks on Justice and Peace matters;
Fr. Austin Smith, a Passionist, lived in a house in Toxteth. In the ‘articles’ window, ‘Freeing God from unimaginative orthodoxies’, written by his friend and fellow Passionist priest, Nicholas Postlethwaite who shared the inner city ministry with Austin, is a very readable, often moving, account of their vision, life and ministry.
Fr. Kevin Kelly was a leading Moral Theologian who taught in Universities and wrote many important and influential pieces / books. One thing he always insisted on was that he was allowed to remain a parish priest, whatever the position he was offered: he believed that no moral theologian should be removed from daily contact with ‘ordinary’ people and their hopes and dreams. As a result, his tremendous learning never became ‘ivory tower’ morality – it was always rooted in the realities of life and so was a morality that knew the ideal (that would allow people to become fully human), but allowed them to grow into that, with mistakes and wrong turns that are a part of being human rather than a being morality that imposed unrealistic and rigid expectations. In other words, he understood the beauty and the frailty of being human.
Emmanuel : God Is With You!
The promise to Mary in her youth was
“The Son born of you will be named Emmanuel,”
which means ‘God is with us’.
Mary could look back in her old age
at the mystery of God being with her,
throughout all her life.
In pregnancy, as she awaited the birth of Jesus,
she was graced with the support of Joseph and Elizabeth.
In birth, when her Son was born in poverty,
she saw that some rejected him, and some received him.
She experienced the death of her husband,
and God was with her then,
as Jesus and friends consoled her.
And she let Jesus go, the Son whom she loved,
to carry out his work for God,
which involved her only in a hidden way.
She was there watching when he died,
and he gave her then to his disciples and to the Church :
“Be their mother”, he said, and
“This is your son”, as he gave her to John,
and she gave him back to God.
And in old age, like all of us, she looked back and recognised
that God was always faithful, God was always with her.
She brought God to us in the Word made flesh;
and now God welcomes her home,
fully alive in his presence.
As she now is, we one day shall be.
Thanks be to God!
The Daily Mass Times At Both Our Churches :
Weekdays : St. Teresa’s : Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30 am
St. John Southworth : Wednesday 9.30 am
Sundays St, Teresa;s : Saturday (Vigil Mass) 6.30 pm, Sunday 9 am, and 10.30 am (live-streamed)
St. John Southworth Sunday 5pm
Daily Reflections for this week
Monday (Thomas a Kempis)
(Christ instructs the disciple:) I am He who teaches man knowledge, and who grants my children a clearer understanding than man can impart. He whom I teach will swiftly gain wisdom and advance far in the life of the spirit. But those who seek curious knowledge from men and care nothing for my service will discover only sorrow. I am God, who enable the humble-minded to understand more of the everlasting Truth in a single moment than ten years of study in the Schools. I teach in silence, without the clamour of controversy, without ambition for honours, without confusion of argument. I teach people to place all trust in me, to desire nothing but myself, and to love me ardently above all things.
Scripture (Proverbs 8:22,30-36)
Yahweh created me, first-fruits of his fashioning, before the oldest of his works. I was beside the master-craftsman, delighting him day after day, ever at play in his presence, at play everywhere on his earth, delighting to be with the children of men. And now my children, listen to me. Happy are those who keep my ways. Listen to instruction and become wise, do not reject it. Blessed, whoever listens to me, who day after day keeps watch at my gates to guard my portals. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains the favour of Yahweh; but whoever misses me harms themselves, all who hate me are in love with death.
Tuesday (Thomas Merton)
The union of the Christian with Christ is not just a similarity of inclination and feeling, a mutual consent of mind and wills. It has a more radical, more mysterious and supernatural quality: it is a mystical union in which Christ himself becomes the source and principle of divine life in me. If I have this divine life in me, what do the accidents of pain and pleasure, hope and fear, joy and sorrow matter to me? Exterior things come and go, but why should they disturb me? Why should achievement delight me or failure depress me, life attract or death repel me when I already own God in his
eternity of joy?
Scripture (Eph. 3:16-19)
In the abundance of his glory may God the Father, through his Spirit, enable your inner self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then , planted in love and built on love, with all God’s holy people you will have the strength to grasp the breadth and length, the height and the depth; so that, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you may be filled with the utter fullness of God. Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
Wednesday (A Carthusian)
We must of course live our ordinary external life, which is brought into union with Him by an act of faith. Our everyday life can be what you will, but when it comes into contact with the soul it should be transformed—it should take on, that is, the soul’s form. We carry within us a principal of life which is Life Itself giving life to everything. We see now the necessity for intimate union with God, and how essential it is for us every day to make continuous effort s to strengthen the ties that bind us more and more. We do not sufficiently reflect that before being our final reward, God is already our companion in via. It is He himself who infuses our life and all its incidentals with His life, until we no longer live, but He lives in us.
Scripture (Colossians 2:6-10)
So then, as you received Jesus as Lord and Christ, now live your lives in him, be rooted in him and built up on him, held firm by the faith you have been taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving. Make sure that no one captivates you with the empty lure of a ‘philosophy’ of the kind that human beings hand on, based on the principles of this world and not on Christ. In him, in bodily form, lives divinity in all its fullness, and in him you too find your own fulfilment.
Thursday (Henri Nouwen)
Eternal life. Where is it? When is it? For a long time I have thought about eternal life as a life after all my birthdays have run out. For most of my years I have spoken about eternal life as the ‘afterlife’, as ‘life after death’. When my clear goal is the eternal life, that life must be reachable right now, where I am, because eternal life is life in and with God, and God is where I am here and now. The great mystery of the spiritual life—the life in God– is that we don’t have to wait for something that will happen later. It is the divine indwelling that is eternal life. It is the active presence of God at the centre of my living—the movement of God’s Spirit within us-that gives us the eternal life.
Scripture (John 6:53-57)
Jesus said “In truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, for my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person. As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will also draw life from me.
Friday (St.Teresa of Avila)
Are you grieved at not seeing Jesus with your bodily eyes? That would be a different matter now that he is glorified, from what it was when he was in the world. Human nature would be too weak to bear it. Beneath the accidents of bread he is accessible—if the King disguises himself, we can converse with him without ceremonies and court etiquette: indeed he seems to have waived his claim to them by appearing incognito. Take pleasure by remaining in his society: do not lose such precious time, for this hour is of the utmost value to the soul, and the good Jesus desires you to spend it with him.
Scripture ( 1John 4:14-17)
We ourselves have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. Anyone who acknowledges that
Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them and they in God. We have recognised for ourselves, and put our faith in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in them. Love comes to its perfection in us when we can face the Day of Judgement fearlessly because even in this world, we have become as he is.