...I often go to Mass at this parish. This week, the numbers attending were even larger than usual. I mention this because I get tired of being told that everythingintheChurchisterrible when it just isn't so. Here is one suburban parish where often the numbers on a weekday would not disgrace a Sunday.The other day I took part in a Confirmation preparation class. There are some 40 young people being confirmed this year. They get a systematic preparation with classes on the Church's doctrine and teachings...I was there to give a talk about saints, with the idea of helping them to choose Confirmation names. A delightful group of young people, excellent catechist, two young men from the seminary were there helping out, and a nice chap from the local Baptist church along as an observer, as part of a friendly ecumenical interchange. As the evening ended, and all turned towards the Cross as the parish priest led prayers, I felt a sudden lump in my throat. This is the Church, the place where we all belong, where we are all at home.
Today, partly because of returning some books kindly lent by Ordinariate Deacon James Bradley, I went to the Palm Sunday Mass here. A very large crowd, and things began in the school yard where the palms were blessed and a procession started which went slowly into the church, with glorious singing. Mgr Keith Newton, of the Ordinariate, was the celebrant and preached.A memorable Palm Sunday.
Hot weather. Posters around London with the stark word "DROUGHT" and urging us to use less water. The posters look grim and show dark dusty earth. If the hot weather lasts and lasts, this looks set to be a horrid summer.
Somehow the drought reflects the spiritual state of much of our country at present: but to heal that there are deep wells of glorious fresh water here, and it only needs willing hands to help pump it out...