Friday 27 June 2014

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Once again, a lovely feast to celebrate today, both in the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Forms.
Those who have studied at Ushaw College or visited the St Cuthbert's Chapel will recall that, as you leave the Chapel and enter the Antechapel, there is a beautiful statue of Our Lady to the left of the entrance and a statue of the Sacred Heart to the right. During my time there, after morning Mass almost everybody, on going out of chapel, turned to the left and genuflecting offered a quick prayer to Our Lady and then proceeded out, bypassing the Sacred Heart. I remember some spiritual director saying that if we wanted to ensure our eventual ordination we should always stop for a moment before the Sacred Heart and pray for that intention. I did that, day after day, and fifty odd years ago I was ordained. Perhaps more people should pray to the Sacred Heart for vocations to the priesthood.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

A Fishy Story

Some weeks ago I promised a story about my fish. This is not that story, because I am in something of a quandary.
As you can see, the surrounds of the tank, especially the structure holding the filter tank, are beginning to fall apart. And if the filter tank falls to the ground, I will need to take emergency action. However, I was able, in the last week or so, to get a glimpse of the inhabitants of the fish tank (they are not easy to see, because the water is rather green), and I managed to see six 'silvery' types of fish, maybe sterlets, and three gold fish. I should transfer them a soon as possible to the main pond. But herein lies the quandary.
This is feeding time in the pond. I try to cover the surface of the water with food nuggets as quickly as possible, but within seconds forty or fifty fish, large and small, are trying to grab something to eat. Chaos reigns - it is a wonder that there are so very few collisions and no fights at all.
But this is my quandary - shall I put another nine fish into this existing melee, or shall I just wait until something bad happens with the other tank?

Corpus Christi Barnard Castle

Once again this year I have been able to celebrate Corpus Christi twice, once on its proper day  with a Traditional Latin Mass and again on Sunday with both a Traditional Latin Mass and with Novus Ordo Masses.
I have also been able to celebrate with a group of our children, nine in all, as they have made their First Holy Communions. Preparations began for them on the first Saturday in Lent when they were asked to come to church for instructions each Saturday morning.  And I am glad to say that they, and their parents, came each week to receive a half hour's instruction from Carol and me.
Saturday was their great day to receive for the first time, and they did so with enthusiasm and reverence.
(I can only count eight children here - one seems to have got lost!)
After Mass, we all retired into the garden where the children had an al-fresco breakfast on the lawn - and actually so did everybody since the amount of food available was immense. Indeed there was so much food that it was the basis for a great feast on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday afternoon there were further celebrations of Corpus Christi.  We had our Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, beginning in church and then processing around the outside of the church to halt near the Tomb of John and Josephine Bowes where we celebrated Benediction, and then continued back into church for a further Benediction.  Then came another opportunity to try to consume all the food which had been brought. And we failed.  Father was given the job of trying to eat everything which was still left, and even he failed, leaving quite a bit for the jackdaws who this morning were delighted to get the sandwiches which had been left over.
Many were the expressions of delight from the children and their parents at the outcome of all their hard work and their enjoyment of our celebrations.