Laetare Sunday this weekend – Laetare – joyful, rejoice! And Mothering Sunday too. Traditionally this Sunday was seen as an opportunity to relax our Lenten efforts & enJOY the day! We are sending you some related reflections & hope you will be restored by the relaxation, & feel renewed in order to go with energy into the last weeks of Lent.
The blessing this week is an ‘Irish Blessing’ from Sacred Weave. Perhaps we can pray it for all who have the role of mother in the life of others, remembering very especially those mothers fleeing from the Ukraine, risking everything for their children. Let us pray in thanksgiving for all who bring compassionate love to their mothering; in intercession for all who struggle with this role or even make no effort to mother those who need their love & care; & especially for those for whom Mothering Sunday is a painful day.
May the road rise with you;
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
May the rain fall soft upon your fields.
Until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
With our love
Maundy Thursday 14.4.22: Reflection on the Washing of the Feet – 5.30pm. (about 25/30 mins)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88261672004?pwd=Qng3bjBMZHV4UzY3Ylo0SHZrc2EyUT09 ID: 882 6167 2004 Passcode: 987291
Good Friday 15.4.22: Reflection: What is this day about?
7pm. (about 25/30 mins)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82900556488?pwd=dGNVd0d5a3diclg1MUlZc0dGTUZ2QT09 ID: 829 0055 6488 Passcode: 060489
Holy Saturday 16.4.22: Reflection: A Forgotten Day?
10am (about 25/30 mins)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85148484877?pwd=RVZpMDZuNEVvSmpVSmF4TXJMaDFkQT09 ID: 851 4848 4877 Passcode: 042996
ALSO: LIVE in Blessed Sacrament Church on Holy Saturday 16.4.22. at 11.30am – A Reflection for Holy Saturday.
Joy & Sorrow.
Joy is essential. Whatever we may think or say about God, when we are not joyful, our thoughts and words cannot bear fruit. Jesus reveals to us God’s love so that his joy may become ours and that our joy may become complete. Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing—sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death—can take that love away.
Joy is not the same as happiness. We can be unhappy about many things, but joy can still be there because it comes from the knowledge of God’s love for us. We are inclined to think that when we are sad we cannot be glad, but in the life of a God-centered person, sorrow and joy can exist together. That isn’t easy to understand, but when we think about some of our deepest life experiences, such as being present at the birth of a child or the death of a friend, great sorrow and great joy are often seen to be parts of the same experience. Often we discover the joy in the midst of the sorrow. I remember the most painful times of my life as times in which I became aware of a spiritual reality much larger than myself, a reality that allowed me to live the pain with hope. I dare even to say: “My grief was the place where I found my joy.” Still, nothing happens automatically in the spiritual life. Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. It is a choice based on the knowledge that we belong to God and have found in God our refuge and our safety and that nothing, not even death, can take God away from us.
Show us the Fullness and Mysteries of Joy
God of Story,
thank you for being a God who doesn’t discard pain but enters it. Sometimes it feels like joy is a privilege. Who is safe and well enough to partake in it? Show us the fullness of joy, that we could enter it without becoming numb to the stories that have made us. Grant us that lament which tells the truth of our traumas without allowing them to swallow us whole and gain control where they aren’t welcome. Show us the mysteries of joy, that we would no longer view it as a singular emotive happiness but as every defiant step toward hope— a being held by the assurance of a cosmic and impending healing. And that somehow that assurance, that promise, would lead us back to our dignity and delight when we are moving toward despair.
Cole Arthur Riley
Laughter of the Earth.
Come! Laugh us out of our rigidity.
Lighten hearts grown weary with anxiety.
Send us out to the meadows to play like a child.
Rise up in our souls with light-hearted Joy.
You Father & Mother Us
you father us and mother us
all our days.
Even before we acknowledged you
you loved us;
you laboured to bring us to birth,
and how joyful for you was that birthing.
In the secret places of our lives
you nourish us,
offering us the feeding
that we need
to grow as human beings.
No matter how often
we desert you
you never turn your face away from us,
and your abiding concern
is always for our good.
You weep for us,
you laugh with us,
you rejoice in our successes
and are in anguish at our pain.
Yours are the arms
reaching out to cradle us
when we collapse in death.
Loving, mothering God,
strong & tender,
tried & true
we worship you today.