Our Church’s outreach in these uncertain times

Fr Jonathan Munn has come up with an excellent initiative on our Diocesan website:

There are recordings of Mass from private chapels, including our Bishop who preached a lovely sermon yesterday. My “musical offering” is also featured in which I play a piece of music and a hymn tune on my little pipe organ so that people can sing the words at home.

Since doing this video, I find that my mobile phone captures the sound better than my webcam. Future recordings will thus be an improvement. Requests for hymns are most welcome. I just ask that they are hymns included in the English Hymnal or Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised. I will include the words on the YouTube page.

It is very heartening to see our Church adapting to this situation of emergency and our duty to remain in quarantine and avoid infecting other people, whether or not we have the virus and / or its symptoms. Any institutional Church that is able to make such an adaptation of its pastoral outreach will at last be providing disinterested service to its faithful. Material concerns take second place behind what the Church is really for – that of being a communion of souls in God. Like in the political world, the common good must prevail over the selfish interests of the elite few.

As the world suffers this cruel reboot, we hope and pray that what our liturgy and sacramental life mean in metaphysical terms may emerge purified and ever more resplendent in the coming weeks and months.

There are predictions that this week and much of April will bring confusion and violence. Millions of people being shut in at home – not in nice houses like mine with gardens, but in grimy city flats with no beauty or goodness to behold – cannot last for long. Every day, I read the political rants about skulduggery and conspiracies. We just don’t know what to believe, and it is best to be sceptical about everything, suspend our judgement and keep our heads low. This is Passiontide and the time of the worst level of hatred against Christ coming from the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees. This is not the time to complain about our loss of freedom and having to be shut in. There are worse places than our own homes!

We try to put out the good word, food for meditation and prayer and prepare for our liberation, just like the French people who awaited the Allies in 1944. This time, the enemy is invisible and silent. It has no life of its own but lives from the life of our cells. This is the analogy between viruses and evil spirits wandering in the world for our ruin. Our war is a spiritual one, fought by doctors and nurses with their expertise and dedication, the rest of us by continuing to stay home and work on our spiritual lives.

Keep safe and well…

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