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CHAPLAIN’S MESSAGE: Becoming Flammable

thumbnail image A prayer for use at an extended Vigil Mass of Pentecost asks: ‘O God, who in fire and lightning gave the ancient Law to Moses on Mount Sinai and on this day manifested the new covenant in the fire of the Spirit, grant, we pray, that we may always be aflame with that same Spirit whom you wondrously poured out on your Apostles …’
The use of biblical imagery is right and unquestionable, but where does it leave us, who may be feeling less than flammable?
Last week, in his message, Fr Julio asked if we could remember and identify the gifts of the Spirit; quizzes and such being rather popular at the moment, Hands Up if you named them correctly. Knowing their names and receiving and acting on them are two different things, but not knowing what the seven are makes it unlikely that they will become fundamental to our lives, so that they become the twelve fruits of the Spirit in us. I can play other number games with you – do you remember the 14 Works of Mercy, seven Corporal and seven Spiritual, of which we were reminded in the Year of Mercy? – but what is at stake is more than playing games.
We shall only free ourselves from the grasp of the Seven Deadly Sins when we make it our business positively to engage with living out the virtues. There is a sort of circularity at work here. Our practising the virtues makes it more possible for the Holy Spirit to enter and affect our lives, to ‘always be aflame’, and that beginning of fire in turn enables our growth in charity. That, in fact, is what the prayer that I am quoting goes on to say: ‘[grant that] the new Israel, gathered from every people, may receive with rejoicing the eternal commandment of your love’. There are two images of universality here – God chooses his children from ‘every people’ and his commandment to them is ‘eternal’, that is, unchanging under every circumstance – yet they are wrapped around something unique and personal. The petition is that my response to what is asked of me will be nothing less than rejoicing. There will always be demands made which we are happy to fulfil; what marks out the work of the Spirit in the lives of the saints is the simple joy of accepting whatever the Lord asks of us. When we have thanksgiving for what we have received, we shall be the more joyful in giving, for God’s Spirit will indeed be in our hearts.

Fr John Scott

THIS WEEK'S DIARY

thumbnail image All listed services are live-streamed at churchservices.tv/westminster

Sunday 31 May SOLEMNITY OF PENTECOST
10.30 Sung Mass (Cardinal Nichols)
16.30 Solemn Vespers and Benediction
17.00 Holy Rosary (joining the National Rosary Rally)
17.30 Mass
The Easter Season ends

Monday 1 June The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
9.00 Mass
12.00 Holy Hour
17.30 Mass

Tuesday 2 June Feria (Week 9, Weekday Lectionary Year 2)
9.00 Mass
12.00 Holy Hour
17.30 Mass

Wednesday 3 June St Charles Lwanga & Companions, Martyrs
9.00 Mass
12.00 Holy Hour
17.30 Mass

Thursday 4 June OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,
THE ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST
9.00 Mass
12.00 Holy Hour
17.30 Mass

Friday 5 June St Boniface, Bishop & Martyr
(Friday abstinence)
9.00 Mass
12.00 Holy Hour
17.30 Mass

Saturday 6 June Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
9.00 Mass
12.00 Holy Hour
17.30 Mass: Vigil of the Most Holy Trinity

Sunday 7 June THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
10.30 Sung Mass
16.30 Solemn Vespers and Benediction
17.30 Mass

PLEASE NOTE

thumbnail image MASSES AND MASS INTENTIONS
The Masses listed in the weekly Diary are those which are live-streamed from the Cathedral. However, the Chaplains are maintaining the full Mass schedule and celebrating the other Masses of each day privately. Every booked Mass intention is being fulfilled. To book new Mass intentions, please email Clergy House Reception.


BACK TO NORMAL?
The Bishops have been making representations to Government regarding the needs of the Catholic faithful, with respect both to the opening of churches and to accessing the Sacraments. As soon as there is news of any change in arrangements, we will communicate this via the website and in the Newsletter. Until then, please understand that we are not able to reopen the Cathedral or to hear Confessions. Your patience is greatly appreciated; thank you.

SUPPORT AT THIS TIME
Please do let the Chaplains know if you, or someone you know, is in need of support at this difficult time. They are willing to speak to those who are lonely and isolated or troubled.
There may also be ways in which they can help those who are in material need, or who need help with shopping and collecting prescriptions. Please call Clergy House Reception between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm on weekdays in these cases.

JUNE OREMUS MAGAZINE ONLINE

thumbnail image The June edition of Oremus, the Cathedral magazine, with the usual mix of informative quality content is now available online via the homepage of the Cathedral website. Please do enjoy reading it and recommend it to your friends. It will resume both as a print publication and online as soon as it becomes possible to reopen the Cathedral.

A VIRTUAL GARDEN PARTY WITH THE PASSAGE

thumbnail image Join us on Friday 5 June from 6pm to commemorate 40 years of The Passage and its work helping people to overcome homelessness. Hosted live by BBC Gardener’s World’s, Adam Frost, from his spectacular back garden, spend the evening with us as we celebrate gardening and mark our anniversary. Enjoy tips from Adam, while tucking in to a suggested menu at home from The Passage’s Head Chef, Claudette, with a gin cocktail, recommended by HMS Spirits, who are offering 20% off their products for all attendees.
Hear directly from Passage staff who have been supporting homeless people during the pandemic in innovative ways, and take part in our auction of some fantastic lots. There will also be a variety of live music and entertainment.  For details and to sign up, visit: https://passage.org.uk/get-involved/events/virtual-garden-party/

THE CATHEDRAL FRIENDS ONLINE

thumbnail image The Friends’ Facebook Page is an important source of contact and friendship at the present time for all those who love the Cathedral. They will host another online quiz on the Facebook page on Tuesday 2 June at 6.30pm with Fr Daniel as quizmaster. The quiz is free to join but please do support your Cathedral and donate on the page on the night. For details of the quiz and other online events being organised by the Friends, please visit the page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefriendsofwestminstercathedral/

SACRED HEART CHURCH, HORSEFERRY ROAD

thumbnail image The church is closed and will remain so until it becomes possible to celebrate Mass again publicly.

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

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