Monthly Archives: April 2019

Holy Tuesday 16th April 2019

John 13:12 Do you understand what I have done for you?

This question was asked by Jesus
immediately after he had washed his disciples feet at the Last Supper.
They were shocked when Jesus did this, some were reluctant to allow it.
But Jesus wanted them to know that true love shows itself in action.
It is no good speaking about love if we do not show it in the way we act.
“As I have washed your feet so you must wash one another’s feet.”
And Jesus was not just talking about them serving their family, friends,
and those they considered worthy of their service.
He made it abundantly clear throughout his entire teaching,
that all should be considered worthy of our love, service, and attention.
As Christians we cannot pick and choose who we love and serve,
it is our calling to love and serve all who God puts in front of us;
and God has got a wicked sense of humour!
It is through serving others and allowing others to serve us,
that our hearts are opened
to the fullness of God’s presence and love within us.
………………………………

Shantiveda
 
If we wish to practice generosity
and a beggar turns up,
that’s good news.

Likewise,
if we want to practice Loving Kindness
that is unconditional,
and an enemy arrives,
we are in luck!

 

The Compline reflection will follow later
 
 

Compline Reflection Holy Monday

  To Live With a Broken Heart by Catherine Ingram
To live in majesty is to live with a broken heart.
If one is not at least partially sad in witnessing this world
then one is not paying attention.
What if we just let our hearts break over and over?
Why not just get used to living with a broken heart?
In empathy with others we experience a vast range of human feelings.
Their suffering is our suffering, their joys, ours.
The degree to which we allow empathy with sorrow
is the exact degree to which we encompass joy.

This week tells us that Jesus knew how to live with a broken heart.
Living with a broken heart does not mean living with daily pain.
It means living with a heart that is open to empathise with those in pain,
and at the same time to empathise with those who are joyful.

Jesus wept with those who wept and rejoiced with those who rejoiced.
He was not afraid of sadness, he did not avoid it, he opened his heart to it.
Neither was Jesus afraid to be happy and joyful, he lived life to the full.
But he knew that to experience and share in the joy of life,
he had to be willing to open his heart to share in the sadness and suffering of life.
One did not diminish the other,
in fact we cannot truly know joy unless we also know pain.
The disciples tended to try and steer Jesus away from trouble.
They did not want him to suffer, they did not want him to die.
He was even admonished at times for enjoying life too much!

Jesus knew that to truly live we have to allow our hearts to be open to both.
We should not be afraid of life’s pain or of life’s joys,
because it is the experience of pain and joy that makes us fully human,
that helps to become who we truly are.
This week Jesus walked the way to his cross propelled by love.
By love of God, by love of creation, by love of humanity, by love of life.
His heart was open, and broken, and truly free.
Free to find God’s holy presence and love in the worlds suffering, wonder and joy.

To live in majesty is to live with a broken heart – Wrote Catherine Ingram
May we have the courage to live in majesty –
to live life in all its fullness; in all its pain and, beauty and joy.

 

Lord, help us to live with a broken heart.
To live with our hearts open to you, to each other, to our world.
To live with our hearts open to each day’s experiences and events.
Help us not to close or harden our hearts to the pain life brings our way,
but to allow such moments to soften our hearts.
Allow it to teach us about empathy and compassion in our relationships.
In learning to live with a broken heart,
may we also learn to live open to life’s joy and beauty.
By not closing our heart to sadness, may it also be open to wonder.
Help us to recognise your presence in all that life reveals;
and may each moment draw us closer to your love
and to who we truly are.

Open within that sacred space, O God,
Where Your Presence flows and life is made whole.
Where all is welcome, nothing denied.
All is seen, nothing judged.
All embraced, nothing possessed.
All is lived, nothing is wasted.
Open within that sacred space, O God,
Where Your Presence flows and life is made whole.

Holy Monday 15th April 2019

Luke 24:26 Did you not know that the Christ should suffer these things?

This question was asked by the Risen Christ
of the disciples on the road to Emmaus who thought he was a stranger.
It wasn’t like he had not tried to prepare them for what was to happen,
but they simply did not want to hear, or believe they would lose him.
The only way Jesus could break the power of darkness in the world
was by facing it head on with compassion and forgiveness.
He constantly tried to teach his disciples that love compels us
to face the darkness of pain, sin and suffering.
As Christians we cannot live with our heads buried in the sand;
we are called to hold the darkness of our world in prayer
so the redeeming love of Christ can continue to do its job.
Christ allowed himself to be broken so our world could be healed.
……………………………….

Regina Sara Ryan
 
Our hearts must be broken open,
otherwise prayer remains surface, superficial.
When the heart is truly broken open it will cry,
and that cry is the beginning of genuine prayer.
Only when the heart is truly broken
will you know compassion.
We will no longer be praying for someone,
as if we were separate from them.
Praying dangerously means
you simply let your heart be broken open,
nothing more.
It’s no big deal.

 
To Live With a Broken Heart by Catherine Ingram
 
To live in majesty
is to live with a broken heart.
If one is not at least partially sad
in witnessing this world
then one is not paying attention.

What if we just let our hearts break
over and over?
Why not just get used to living
with a broken heart?

In empathy with others
we experience
a vast range of human feelings.
Their suffering
is our suffering,
their joys, ours.

The degree to which we allow
empathy with sorrow
is the exact degree
to which we encompass joy.

 

The Compline Reflection will appear later

Palm Sunday 14th April 2019

Holy Week and Easter at St Augustine’s
 
Holy week is important not only because of the events we remember
in the final days of Jesus’s life
but also because it is a reminder that life is not all about me.
It is very easy in this day and age for us to become self-obsessed
and wrapped up in our own wants, desires, troubles, needs, and rights.
Life can very easily become about what makes me happy.
Holy week reminds us that we are here to live our lives in service to God and others;
and, ironically, in becoming less obsessed about ourselves
we find our own lives do actually become happier and more contented.
Jesus lived in service to God and others, and calls us to follow him on that journey.

Holy week begins with Palm Sunday.
It marks the moment that Jesus entered Jerusalem for the Passover.
He was greeted by the crowds as a hero and a king,
they lined the streets, rejoiced, and laid down palm leaves before him.
Here was someone who had championed the poor, healed the sick,
and, through his teaching, had brought hope to the downtrodden.
No wonder they cheered and celebrated his arrival into the holy city.
Our worship on this day re-enacts this grand entry,
we bless palm crosses in the church hall
and then processes into church singing and rejoicing.
Palm Sunday also marks the moment when the conflict between
Jesus and the religious authorities intensifies and his path to the cross begins.
So our worship on this day also includes the Passion reading,
as we anticipate the events to come.

The palm crosses themselves are a perfect symbol for Holy Week.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem the crowds were ecstatic,
the champion of the poor and vulnerable was entering the Holy city.
Who knows what was going through their minds?
Were they expecting more miracles?
For Jesus to make himself leader and king?
Whatever it was that made them rejoice and welcome Jesus,
we know that the tide soon turned against him
and the same crowds soon shouted for him to be crucified.
It is easy for us to condemn their change of attitude,
but fear can make us all do things we later regret.
Palms are made into crosses to mark how easy all this is.
They are also a mark of victory for the love that shines through adversity.

Monday 15th April at 8pm
Compline

Tuesday 16th April at 8pm
Compline

Wednesday 17th April
10am Eucharist
8pm Stations of the Cross

Maundy Thursday 18th April at 8pm
Mass of the Last Supper followed by vigil
Including Prayers at 10pm and Compline at 11pm

Good Friday 19th April
10am   Procession of Witness
Noon   Church open for prayer
12.45   Stations of the Cross
2pm   The Good Friday Liturgy
7pm   Music for Good Friday

Holy Saturday 20th April
11am Children’s workshop
This will include various activities, including our usual Egg Rolling,
and lunch will be provided by the Mothers Union.
Please note: Children must attend with an adult.

8pm Lighting of the New Easter Fire

Easter Day 21st April at 10am
Easter Morning Family Eucharist

Saturday 13th April 2019

Mark 10:38   Can you drink from the cup from which I drink?

James and John tried for a sly manoeuvre.
They got Jesus alone and tried to get themselves recognised
as his most important friends and disciples.
Jesus, true to his nature, did not condemn them;
he merely asked them if they could drink from the cup that he drank from.
Did they have any limits?
Could they say a resounding “Yes” to life and the events of life?
Could they drink willingly and without hesitation
from both the cup of joy and the cup of sorrow?
Could they surrender wholeheartedly to all of life’s events,
trusting God as they unfolded,
and allowing God to use them to bring healing to the world?
Following Christ, serving Christ, is not an easy option in life –
but it is the path that leads to life in all its fullness.
Can we drink freely from the cup of life?
…………………………..

Hogan Bays
 
In this passing moment
I vow to choose what is:

If there is a cost, I choose to pay
If there is a need I choose to give
If there is a pain, I choose to feel
If there is a sorrow I choose to grieve.

When burning – I choose heat
When calm – I choose peace
When starving – I choose hunger
When happy – I choose joy.

When I encounter, I choose to meet
When I shoulder, I choose to bear
When it is my death, I choose to die
Where this takes me, I choose to go.

Being what is – I respond to what is.

 

Friday 12th April 2019

John 14:9 Have I been with you so long and still you do not know me?

These words were spoken to the disciple, Philip,
who wanted a bit more proof, just a bit more reassurance.
Isn’t that just like us? Always needing a bit more reassurance?
Jesus tells us again and again we are loved, we are special,
we are forgiven, we are precious in God’s sight;
but still we find it hard to believe and accept.
Surely there must be a limit to God’s love?
Surely there must be a limit to God’s patience?
Surely there must be a limit to God’s mercy and grace?
Jesus says to us:
Have I been with you for so long and still you do not know me?
THERE ARE NO LIMITS!
…………………………..
 
Love Bade me Welcome by George Herbert
 
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew me back,
Guilte of dust and sinne.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack’d anything.

A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
Love said, you shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungrateful? Ah, my deare,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve,
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

 

Thursday 11th April 2019

Luke 2:49 Did you not know I would be in my Father’s house?

He was 12 years old when he asked this question of his parents,
who were worried sick because they had lost him in Jerusalem.
They found him in the Temple debating with the teachers there.
Jesus often spoke about the need to be in the Father’s house,
the hidden room, the quiet place, the inner sanctuary.
Of course, most of the time what Jesus meant was the depths of our soul.
“The soul is God’s dwelling place” wrote Mother Julian of Norwich,
“and the souls dwelling place is God”.
If we are going to be awake rather than living half asleep,
if we are going to see with the inner eye as well as the outer eye;
we have to take time to commune with God in our hidden room,
to spend time in our inner sanctuary, to be in our Father’s house.
Life can be frantic and hectic, and we can quickly neglect time to be still.
Jesus reminds us to slow down, stop, find that inner space,
and let our spirits commune and rest with God who dwells there.
…………………………………..

Simon Parke
 
There is an important moment in the day, and let it be early.
It is a sacred moment when I remember myself:
I feel my present breathing and the clean and clear space that is me.
Why does this practice matter?
It helps me resist the subtle approaches of mechanical life,
which daily threatens to ensnare me;
the life of automatically reacting to events and people,
which deprives me of compassion and spontaneity.
The sacred moment creates a sacred space.
It’s sacred because it’s free from madness and expectation and attachment,
and is therefore a space in which I am truly myself.

As the day proceeds this space may be lost
as I drift into the nether world of automatic reaction.
But, sooner or later, with a whisper or a wallop, the space will wake me up.
As we practice returning to this space we become less and less mechanical,
and more human,
which is delightful for both the world and me.

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Mark 14:37 Are you asleep?

This was the question Jesus asked his disciples in Gethsemane,
but it was a common theme for Jesus;
much of his teaching was about waking up, staying awake, being alert.
He told the story of the virgins waiting for the arrival of the bridegroom,
and how the wise among them kept awake, alert,
with their lamps trimmed, and filled with oil in expectancy of his arrival.
It is similar to ‘looking with new eyes’ in yesterday’s reflection;
we do not know the day or hour, Jesus says, so expect the unexpected.
And it is true that we do have a tendency to drift through life
with our eyes closed, or being half asleep.
If we could learn to stay awake and keep our eyes alert,
we would see the Glory of God and experience the Presence of God
in so many different daily encounters.
………………………………

Mechtild of Magdaberg
 
The day of my spiritual awakening
Was the day I saw, and knew I saw,
all things in God and God in all things.

Tuesday 9th April 2019

Mark 8:23 Can you see anything?

He asked this of a man who he had just cured of blindness.
He then touched his eyes again so that he could see clearly.
This incident follows a conversation he had just had with his disciples,
about seeing and understanding clearly. In frustration he asked them:
Do you have eyes, but do not see?
Yesterday’s reflection was about seeing and recognising
the Kingdom of God in the ordinary every day occurrences of life;
seeing and recognising the Kingdom of God in the here and now.
Jesus wanted his followers to learn to look with new eyes, the inner eye;
to learn to look at life in a new and sacred way
and recognise God’s presence within it.
Jesus knew that once we learn to see
God’s presence and God’s kingdom in daily life,
in ordinary everyday occurrences and experiences,
then life would never be the same again, and heaven opened.
……………………….

Richard Rohr
 
There is nothing that is not spiritual for those who have learned to see.

Monday 8th April 2019

Mark 4:30 What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like?

Well, as Jesus began to answer his own question
it would seem that the kingdom of God is like a lot of different things!
It is like a mustard seed, a treasure buried in a field, a precious pearl,
someone who sows good seed, like yeast mixed with flour,
the simplicity and understanding of children, a marriage feast etc.
Jesus saw the kingdom of God in things that were going on around him,
and regularly drew his disciples attention to its presence and significance.
One thing that Jesus wanted to emphasise above everything else
was that God’s kingdom was already here, around them and within them,
and not just something waiting to happen somewhere in the future.
He wanted to teach his followers that true religion was about
the here and now, and not merely a preparation for a future heaven.
In what situation will we recognise the kingdom of God today?
……………………………..

Thomas Merton
 
The most wonderful moment in the day
is when creation in all its innocence
asks permission to be once again;
as it did on that first morning that ever was,
the virgin point between darkness and light,
between non-being and being.

Here is the unspeakable secret:
paradise is all around us and we do not understand.
It is wide open but we do not know it.
“Wisdom” cries the dawn deacon, but we do not attend.