Saturday 12th February – Saturday 19th February 2022

FEBRUARY IS THE MONTH OF THE HOLY FAMILY

THE SIXTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME


Dear parishioners,

Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus: The Transcendence of God in Catholic Life


Last Sunday I mentioned the ‘transcendence of God in our worship’. What does this mean? It can be seen in the response of Isaiah and by St Peter to the presence of God depicted in last Sunday’s readings. It is right that like Isaiah and St Peter our response to God, who is the infinite, eternal mystery beyond our human understanding, must also be just to adore him as they did.


‘And they cried out to one another in this way ‘Holy, holy, holy is Lord of hosts, his glory fills the whole earth’. The foundations of the threshold shook with the voice of the one who cried out and the Temple was filled with smoke. I said ‘What a wretched state I am in! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips’. Isaiah 6: 1-8


When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man’. Luke 5 : 1-11.


The traditional ceremonial of the Catholic Mass models this scene of Isaiah’s encounter with the divine perfectly. All kneel, priest and people facing in the same direction towards Almighty God, represented at the High Altar and present in the tabernacle, hidden by a veil and perhaps a cloud of incense smoke at High Mass. Many think that the sense of God’s transcendence has been lost in some modern trends of worship since the1970s. Sometimes now the main focus of attention is on the people themselves and ‘God among us’. To actualise this belief, some churches were completely altered or rebuilt so people could gather around an altar using colloquial language with songs in an easy popular style using non-liturgical secular instrumentation. This style actually feels familiar because it is modelled on a family gathered round the table to break and share bread, in other words, have a meal. In many cases, Catholic worship would come to seem very much like worship in many protestant churches too and seemingly a universal style of catholic- protestant worship has evolved whilst our own distinct and ancient Latin Roman identity has become harder to find. Some catholic priests take this familiarity further by abandoning the text and rubrics of the mass altogether by interjecting their own lines or invented text and in extreme cases even making it all up as they go along. In such cases the mass can seem like a conversation between priest and people. But where is the sense of Isaiah’s transcendent God who is ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts’ seen in traditional catholic ceremony or of Simon Peter who fell on his knees before the power of God that Jesus revealed? Where now is our sense of awe before God, who will become present to us in the sacrifice we offer?


There is human resistance to the encounter with the transcendent God. Modernist man doesn’t want a God who is independent of our current whims and fancies and because of its unfamiliarity, many Catholics think they don’t want the timeless style of worship which is the same now as it was a thousand years ago. Such a manner of worship expresses an objective truth of the transcendent God beyond our own time and place, using words and music which are not ours and can’t be manipulated or altered by us to project our own egos, but are from The Church, passed down to us from generation to generation. No, the modernist catholic wants something that expresses our likes and tastes and styles now: God outside our control is especially contrary to the contemporary taste for our own individual freedom of choice in all things and the prerogative to follow and express our feelings. It was however also repellent to the king of this country in the 16th century. He did not want to be guided in his actions by the Higher Power of God communicated through the Catholic Church and so in effect, formed his own which he could control. And in these times, a transcendent God outside state control is equally repellent to the despotic atheistic regime in China who suppress freedom of religion in their land. And within the Church, many modernist Catholics don’t want to hear God’s laws to guide us how to run our lives. We don’t want to hear what the Church teaches about receiving communion until we have put our lives in accord with God’s commandments regarding marriage. And we certainly don’t want to be told to make our confession or come to mass on Sunday. The idea of an obligation to keep a law of a transcendent God just doesn’t register. Nevertheless, in actual fact, it is how we respond to these obligations that make up some of our identity as Catholics, otherwise we cannot really be said to practise our religion in any real sense.


Sadly, many modern Catholics don’t want to worship anymore in ways which honour God’s transcendence, preferring what is familiar, homely, unchallenging and subjective rather than the timeless and transcendent mystery expressed in the ancient liturgy. After all, the transcendence of God, requires an admission of our inadequacy and demands a recognition that we cannot save ourselves, that although God is with us his people, he is also a mystery beyond us. God’s eternal infinite immensity is that he sent his Son to be one with us, but as St Peter witnessed on the boat this same Jesus Christ our Lord also reveals the complete otherness of his divinity, the transcendence of the God-Man who is the incarnate Word and Second Person of the Holy Trinity. In the divine presence, we gain a true perspective on ourselves: that we are but little sinful creatures and God is our Creator and Our Lord Jesus is our Saviour. Following the example of St Peter our first pope, a traditionally celebrated mass will always compel us to fall on our knees and humbly adore our Lord whose Sacred Body and Most Precious Blood become present before us.


The ‘otherness’ of God expressed in our ancient catholic liturgical ceremony may also prepare the soul for what we will all have to face when we meet Almighty God at the judgement day. In the end, we little human creatures stand in need of salvation and we are powerless to do this for ourselves. What is more, we are sinners who need to be healed and forgiven by God who sent us his Son to take our sins away. It is only through God’s mercy that we have any hope of salvation. We cannot save ourselves but we can fall on our knees before our altar to adore the Lord of hosts who is holy, holy, holy and whose glory fills the church through the sacrifice Our Lord Jesus Christ has made for us.


FORMING A FOUNDATION OF THE UNION OF CATHOLIC MOTHERS: Saturday 19th February, 10.30 a.m. meeting at Church porch.


We thank Tina and Mary for coming to speak to us and help us launch a foundation of the UCM at St Thomas More. There was a very positive response from women parishioners. Below is a summary of UCM Aims and guidelines:


1) To help women married women to appreciate the sacramental character, responsibilities and permanence of marriage and our lives and live in unselfish love observing the laws of God and his Church.

2) To assist mothers to bring up their children as practising Catholics and public spirited citizens.

3) To teach and defend Christian values in family life.

4) To offer love, sympathy and practical help to family in difficulty.


If you are interested in joining the fellowship and friendship of the UCM and being part of an age old catholic movement with branches all over the world, come along to St Thomas More Church at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday 19th February and find out more about it from Tina and Mary who will be visiting us again. (For more information on the UCM, see last week’s newsletter on line)


A Day with Mary


Saturday 26thFebruary 2022 at St. Anselm, West Hill, Dartford 10.30 a.m. -4.30 p.m.

Saturday 19th March 2022 at Our Lady and St. Peter, Victoria Drive, Wimbledon Common, London SW19

First Holy Communion 2022


NO CLASS Saturday 12th February or Saturday 19th February for half term.

Please read the newsletter every week and listen out for notices at the end of Sunday mass. Don’t forget to bring your mass attendance cards to Sunday mass!


The children’s commitments were made at all masses on the Second Sunday of Advent.


CONFIRMATION 2022

Application forms are still coming in, but hopefully full schedule will be released soon.


CHILDREN’S LITURGY

No 9.00 a.m. this Sunday for Half Term.

VACANCIES

,

At Our Lady of Grace RC Primary School, Charlton

1. For Easter 2022 or sooner: School Business Manager.

2. For April 2022 or sooner: Administration and Organisation Officer

3. For September 2022 or sooner: Class Teacher.

Visit: www.ourladyofgracecatholicprimaryschool.co.uk

And: https:// www.tes.com/jobs/vacancy/class-teacher-greenwich-1564036


Deaths


For all our brothers and sisters who ate the Body of Christ, the bread of Life, that they may be raised up on the Last Day. (Drawn from the intercession of the Funeral Mass)

Please pray for the soul of:


Mrs. Patricia Cassidy who died on Sunday 16th January. Her funeral was on Monday 7th January followed by committal at Hillview.


May the divine assistance remain with her always, and may her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.


MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK: SIXTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME


Saturday 12th February SIXTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C)

6.00 p.m. Confessions

+ 6.30 p.m. The Yeates Family (Welsh contingent) R.I.P.

Sunday 13th February

8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.

+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG Augustinho Fernandes (20th anniversary) R.I.P.

+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS (with English Readings/ missa orbis factor) The people of the parish.


7.30 p.m. Parish Social Evening in Church Hall.


Monday 14th February Ss Cyril, monk and Methodius, bishop, patrons of Europe, feast.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. Ben Jay R.I.P.

Tuesday 15th February feria.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. George Thomas (9th anniversary) R.I.P.


Wednesday 16th February feria.

The Daily Rosary at home.

NO MORNING MASS


Thursday 17th February The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. Barbara Kirsch R.I.P.

1.00 p.m. Thursday Lunch Club .

Friday 18th February feria.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. Patrick Joseph Dillon R.I.P.

6.00 p.m. Choir practice.


Saturday 19th February Our Lady’s Saturday.

9.30 a.m. Confessions/ The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m.[Latin] Fr. Michael Boland R.I.P.

( NO First Holy Communion Class today for half term)

[ + 6.30 p.m. SIXTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C) Audrey Fernandes R.I.P.


FEBRUARY PRAYER IN HONOUR OF THE HOLY FAMILY.

Acceptance of Death:


O Lord, my God, from this moment on I accept with a good will, as something coming from your hand, whatever kind of death you want to send me, with all its anguish, pain and sorrow.


Through our faith, we not only accept death when it comes but we can also pray for a happy death. Every time we say the Hail Mary we ask our Blessed Lady to be with us when this time comes. Another invocation to be said any time, any place, alone or with others and most especially with the dying is the ‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph’.


V. Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

R. I give you my heart and my soul.

V. Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

R. Assist me in my last agony.

V. Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

R. May I sleep and take my rest in peace with you.


Blessings and God’s peace to you all,

Fr Jonathon


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