Pray With Us

Dear Friends,

The last Saturday in January!  And the evenings are noticeably lighter, don’t you think?

Tomorrow is noted as Racial Justice Day and we are encouraged to work & pray for greater Racial Justice.  Our reflections focus on that theme.  Racial issues continue to be part of life for so many people.  There is, of course, aggression towards people of another race but there are also the many more subtle forms of discrimination on the basis of race here in the UK and in so many other parts of our world.

Our blessing this week is one of Marty Haugen’s, ‘The Hand of God’.  Let us ask that that blessing be extended to all who suffer injustice on account of their place of birth.

On 29 Jan our Sister Mary Magdalene reaches her Platinum (70 years) Jubilee of Profession.  The community & close family & friends are celebrating this on Sun 28th so we won’t therefore be having our usual zoomed Evening Prayer that evening.  On the Monday (29) we will be zooming as usual so we can all pray for Magdalene together that evening. However, on Tuesday 30th we will all be in Colchester again so there won’t be any Evening Prayer in Blessed Sacrament Church that evening.

With our love & prayer




Pope Francis speaks about racial justice in his encyclical “Fratelli Tutti”. In this encyclical, Pope Francis recognizes the universal aspiration for us all to live together as sisters and brothers based on God’s creation of all human beings, equal in rights, duties, and dignities. He writes about the human family and the bond of love and friendship between human beings, in the hope that this might contribute to a “rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity” . He sees around us today a world moving away from this universal human love, but he takes hope from the many men and women who have put their lives on the line to be of service. He invites us all to renewed hope, and to dream as a “single human family, fellow travellers, sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home… brothers and sisters all”.  Pope Francis builds the encyclical around the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’, a parable that is based on racial issues.  Leading up to his discussion of the parable, he briefly traces in the Old Testament the commandment “to love your neighbor as yourself”. Over time, he writes, this commandment was extended beyond one’s neighbour to all living beings – including the foreigner and the stranger. Against this background, he discusses the parable of the Good Samaritan, which “summons us to rediscover our vocation as citizens of our respective nations and of the entire world”. Pope Francis suggests that each of us has within something of the robber, the victim, those passing by, and the Good Samaritan; and each day we have to decide anew which one we will be.  The Holy Father goes on to say that the robbers in our world include those responsible for inequality and division.  Too often, we are all guilty of passing by, and the robbers find ‘secret allies’ in those of us who pass by: we claim to be impartial critics but we live off the system  Many among us are also truly victims and we are all called to be good neighbours.  In the parable, of course, the good neighbour is a Samaritan – looked down upon by the Jews. Is Jesus suggesting that the leadership in our efforts to help our sisters and brothers may often come from those who have themselves been rejected? 



When the hour comes,

you shall change my desert into a waterfall,

you shall anoint my head with fresh oil

and your strength shall overcome my weakness.

You shall guide my footsteps

and I will walk the narrow path

that leads to your house.

You shall tell me when

and where

I will walk your path

totally bathed in joy.

In the meantime,

I ask you, Lord, you who awaken

in the most intimate place in my soul

the Feast of Life!

That of the Empty Tomb!

That of the victorious cross!

Let your voice mistaken as the Gardener’s

awaken my hearing every morning

with news that is always fresh

‘Go and tell my brothers

that I have overcome death

that there is a place for everyone

there where the new nation is built.


where neither earth, love or joy

can be bought or sold

where wine & milk

are shared without money and without price’.

Written by Julia Esquivel – Guatemalan poet, theologian, and peace activist. 



God of our past, present and future,

you created each one of us in your image and likeness,

help us to recognize you in each person.

As we pray for end to suffering caused by racism
lead us this day to walk with one another,
pray with one another and work together,
so that we create a future based on justice and healing,

Where all can fulfil the hope you have for all peoples.

God of our past, present and future,

you created each one of us in your image and likeness,

help us to recognize you in each person.



We don sackcloth and sprinkle the ashes.
With bitter weeping, we refuse to be comforted,
Will you forget us forever, O God?
How long until we see your justice done?  

We crave an easy way, but strengthen us to rise above,
taking on each other’s burdens as our own,
learning that we are tied with our fellow image-bearers,
and we need each other.

Son of God, born in a manger,
You came among us, where the lowly tread.
You identify with the oppressed,
and as we do to them, we do to you.

Renew in us, o God, a hopeful kindling, fanned into flame, for the work ahead.