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Showing posts from November, 2020

SAMUEL: By Whom God Is Heard

  He used to live in the shelter at the end of the seafront near the old bathing pool, the shelter in which the Name of Jesus is inscribed. You could see him cycling in that direction, looking happy with himself and he might glance in your direction as he did with me a few days ago. He smiled, I smiled and something within me said, “this man is going to come into your life!” And I wasn’t sure that I wanted him in my life at all. This beautiful Saturday morning, awake early I decide to open the church in case anyone might want to come in for a candle and a prayer, as Maria sometimes does on her way down to the shop. Today she doesn’t arrive but as I am pottering around the sanctuary getting ready for Advent and listening to Advent music, I notice a man come in. He kneels to pray in the half light and I leave him to it for a while. Then I decide to go to the church door in case he needs something and, sure enough he follows me out into the sunshine. The first thing I notice is that s

Friendship: A Way of Seeing Others

Reflection for Year 10 Students at St. Richard's College, Bexhill


  Take me further Lord Than I had planned to go this day   To pause by the sea And hear you speak In its heaving crashing waves The liveliness of wind   Lingering longer there Over coffee on a bench At the Bathing Hut CafĂ©

Oil For Our Lamps: Remembrance Sunday

There’s a black darkness on the sea tonight, like the Biblical darkness to be felt and I wonder what it would be like to venture into that horizon, to be enveloped in it without being in a hurry to light it up, to wait within it for the dawn to come.  Down on the shore, three people are gathered around a vibrant fire that lights up their faces, the wonderful scent of burning wood drifting through the air. Further on up a small group are trying to light their Chinese lanterns, perhaps for Remembrance Sunday or maybe for a loved one who has died. It’s not going too well. One young man succeeds in getting a flame going, runs with it that it might catch the breeze to rise into the night, but each time he lets it go it simply flops down on the stones. And I absolutely sympathise with his utter frustration when he gives it a kick and eventually stomps on it.  Getting our lamps lit and keeping them burning isn’t always that easy, as the foolish bridesmaids discovered in the Gospel. The light

First Friday Mass of the Sacred Heart November 6, 2020

"For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body." (Philippians 3)


"nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." (Philippians 3:8)

TO BE A HIBERNATING BEAR: Entering Lockdown Again

  Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him. (St. Clare) On this day nine years ago I started the Camino to Santiago, an anniversary I like to remember for many reasons but especially because it is the road that led me into the lives of my three companions. My first memory upon waking this All Saints morning is the story of a hibernating bear from long ago in childhood. The bear gathering Autumn leaves with which to cover himself and beneath this blanket he sleeps the whole winter long. The thought of this November lockdown has me saying to God, “I’d like to be a hibernating bear now!” Not that I’m in a difficult situation, and not that I actually mind the lockdown at all but some tired part of me has cracked open. The constant drone of coronavirus has a wearing effect on us all. I simply want to lay down and sleep. Not even to have the obligation of finding meaning in what is happening. I want to be the bear in a storybook but I’m not. The read