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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Hell

thumbnail image It is a mistake to think of hell as a trap or the result of an untimely sin committed shortly before death. It is also a mistake to think of hell as a new experience that awaits us after death. It is nothing of the sort! Hell is a state of being we choose for ourselves, quite coldly and deliberately, and it begins now in our life on earth. It would be absurd if good people were somehow caught in the trap of hell; absurd because it would be unjust! No, hell is not the destiny of good people who are sinners, because good people repent and however imperfect or sinful they may be, they have chosen to love. However erratically, they will get to heaven at the last. God is infinitely loving, understanding and merciful and he knows these imperfect souls love him and long to be made whole.

M Scott Peck, in his book, ‘The People of the Lie’, explains that all good people are sinners, but truly evil people are those who love no-one but themselves. Evil is the absence of love. For example, the parents of one boy who committed suicide reacted by saying, “How could he bring such shame upon our family?” They shed no tears and showed no sorrow for their child who had been starved of parental love, even though he had material things. They only cared about their reputation and self-esteem. Truly evil people can be difficult to spot without experience or an untrained eye. Truly evil people may appear to be virtuous but in reality they have no love, compassion or empathy for others.

To live life without loving others is hell. If I hate God and my neighbour, then I choose hell for myself, here on earth and in the life to come. God is infinite love and does not send us to hell, but each of us is free, and God will not take that freedom away. Real love above all is about giving. Being in love is easy and sentimental but real love is hard work and involves sacrifice. Selfishness burns away real love and makes for loneliness. A person can be eaten up with self-love. We are terrifyingly free to turn God down and choose ourselves as all that matters, to live with no consideration for God or other people. It is a life of self, loneliness and lovelessness; it is unsatisfying, agonising, killing, hell. Life minus love equals death. We were created for something different; real love and real life. Whether we exist in heaven or hell is actually up to us and the decision we make here and now. Life is what we make it, here and hereafter.

Fr Michael Donaghy

See also: College of Chaplains

THIS WEEK'S DIARY

thumbnail image Friday 17 May
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
10.30 Cathedral Funeral Mass: Celeste Gotell
17.00 Cathedral Vespers with Westminster Abbey Choir
18.00 Cathedral Said Mass
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 18 May
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group
10.30 Cathedral Mass and WCCS First Holy Communions
10.00-12.00 Horseferry Road Prayer and Life Workshop
14.00 Cathedral Deanery Confirmations: Bp Michael Campbell
15.00 Cathedral Hall Filipino Club Flowers of May Celebration
18.00 Cathedral Mass: Archbishop Warda of Erbil

Sunday 19 May FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
12.00 Hinsley Room Catholic Grandparents’ Association
13.00 Cathedral Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.00 Hinsley Room Filipino Club
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Richard Brasier, St Laurence Church,
Upminster
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

Monday 20 May
11.30 Hinsley Room Prayer Group
18.00 Hinsley Room Christian Meditation Group
18.30 Cathedral Guild of the Blessed Sacrament
19.00 Clergy House Room 2 Studying the Catechism Together

Tuesday 21 May
09.00-17.00 Cathedral Hall NHS Blood Transfusion Service
18.30 Cathedral Guild of St Anthony

Wednesday 22 May
19.30 Cathedral Grand Organ Festival: Gerard Brooks, London

Thursday 23 May
10.00 Hinsley Room Mother & Toddler Group
13.15 Hinsley Room Art Class
18.30 Clergy House Room 2 Legion of Mary
17.00-21.00 Horseferry Road Prayer and Life Workshops

Friday 24 May
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 25 May St Bede the Venerable, Priest & Doctor of
the Church
09.00-17.00 Cathedral Hall NHS Blood Transfusion Service
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group
10.00-12.00 Horseferry Road Prayer and Life Workshop
14.00 Hinsley Room Justice and Peace Group
14.00 Cathedral Deanery Confirmation II: Bp John Wilson

Sunday 26 May SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
12.00 Hinsley Room Nigerian Catholic Association
13.00 Cathedral Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.30 Hinsley Room Oblates Group
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Matthew Blaiden, Leeds
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

WELCOME TO FR GERARD SILVA

thumbnail image We welcome to the Cathedral Fr Gerard Silva from the Archdiocese of Colombo, who will be here until September.

BAKE SALE ON SUNDAY 19TH MAY IN SUPPORT OF THE CARDINAL HUME CENTRE

thumbnail image The Cathedral’s Youth Confirmation candidates are having a bake sale on Sunday, 19 May in Cathedral Hall after the 9am and 10.30am Masses. All proceeds will go to the Cardinal Hume Centre. Please come and support us.

GRAND ORGAN FESTIVAL 2019 STARTS WEDNESDAY 22ND MAY

thumbnail image Our Grand Organ Festival 2019 opens on Wednesday, 22 May, with a recital from London-based organist Gerard Brooks. He will give a recital of music by Commette, Widor, Dupré and Dallier. Tickets are available on the door, priced £12/£10 (conc). Doors open at 7pm and the concert begins at 7.30pm, lasting around 75 minutes. More information about the 2019 Festival is available at the back of the Cathedral.

CATHEDRAL BRICKWORK RESTORATION

thumbnail image The scaffolding on the front of the Cathedral marks the start of restoration work to the Cathedral’s brickwork. The upper parts of the Cathedral’s walls are all suffering from various degrees of decay, the worst areas being on the side that faces the prevailing weather.
The work requires the cutting out of the facing bricks and their replacement. The work has started with the tops of the two turrets on the south west corner (liturgically speaking). There will be a need to dismantle these to allow for the rebuilding of the brick piers that supports the stone banding and no doubt other works will become apparent now that close up detailed inspection is possible. This work is due to complete by early June and has been funded by a grant from the Albert Gubay foundation.

N.D. Fairbairn, Westminster Cathedral Estate Works Manager

PRAYER AND LIFE WORKSHOPS ON THURSDAYS

thumbnail image Learn to Pray, Learn to Live, following Fr. Ignacio Larrañagas Method at Sacred Heart Church, Horseferry Road, SW1P 2EF. All sessions take place on Thursdays from 5-7pm or 7-9pm or on Saturdays from 10am-12 noon and will run until the end of May, with the exception of Holy Week.

MOTHERS AND TODDLERS GROUP

thumbnail image Our group comes together every Thursday morning during term time from 10am to midday for coffee, chat and catechism. The sessions offer a chance to get to know other mothers within our parish, to support each other on the journey of Catholic family life. Everyone welcome with babies and toddlers. Please contact Alexandra Watson for further information, or just turn up at the Hinsley Room. Contact aphilpotts@cantab.net

Related links: Email for Alexandra Watson

THANK YOU FROM THE SVP

thumbnail image The SVP would like to thank everyone who supported last Sunday’s book sale by donating and/or buying books, CDs and DVDs. The total raised was just over £600. The next book sale will take place on 14 July.

QUARANT’ORE 2019 - TUESDAY 18TH - THURSDAY 20TH JUNE

thumbnail image From the 5.30pm Mass on Tuesday, 18 June we will have continuous adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until a closing Mass and Procession on Thursday, 20 June at 5.30pm. The Cathedral will remain open throughout the night and we encourage all parishioners to take the opportunity to come and spend time in prayer before the Lord during this time.

SPIRIT IN THE CITY FESTIVAL - 31ST MAY AND 1ST JUNE 2019

thumbnail image Theme: Life to the Full
A Catholic Faith Festival celebrating and witnessing faith in London Leicester Square taking place on 31 May and 1 June. It starts on Friday evening from 7pm in Notre Dame de France Church and continues on Saturday all day in the Square gardens. Includes live stage music, street evangelisation, prayer teams, all day Adoration, Confessions, feet washing, activities for children, talks, etc. Come and be refreshed and renewed in your faith. For more information, contact Allegra, info@spiritinthecity.org or why not join the Mission Team and help others encounter Christ through one of these areas? To register as a helper, visit spiritinthecity.org.

Related links: Link for Registration Email for Contact

VOLUNTEER YEAR AT SPEC, THE DIOCESAN YOUTH RETREAT CENTRE

thumbnail image SPEC, the diocesan youth retreat centre, offers the possibility of a volunteer year for young adults. The volunteer missionary would live on site in Pinner in the residential community, receive formation and accompaniment in their faith and serve as a retreat facilitator, working with the employed retreat leaders. In particular, any sixth formers who may like to find out more are welcome to attend a day retreat to see what goes on and meet the community. For more information please see https://dowym.com/spec/volunteer/ or contact spec@rcdow.org.uk.

Related links: Link to Website Email for Contact

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES: 20-26 JULY 2019

thumbnail image The Westminster Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, will take place from 20-26 July. For further information please contact Tangney Tours on 01732 886666 or see www.tangney-tours/westminster.

Related links: Link to Tangney Tours

AMERICAN FRIENDS

thumbnail image American taxpayers can receive a US income tax deduction for their contributions to support the work and heritage of the Cathedral by directing their contributions to American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., a non profit 501(c)(3) Organization (EIN # 13-2983174).

They will also enjoy special events and receive newsletters about Cathedral activities. Donations may be made through bequests and charitable trusts.

Contact Ms. Una Chang, President, American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., P.O. Box 92, New York, New York 10185-0092, e-mail UChang1@aol.com

Related links: Click here for email

EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

thumbnail image This takes place in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel every Monday to Friday following the 1.05pm Mass until 4.45pm.