My Thoughts 15/03/2022

Just before the beginning of Lent, Cardinal Vincent Nichols wrote to all headteachers in his diocese, asking them to encourage everyone to make coming to Church an important part of their pattern of life, by sharing a video message addressed to Catholic school pupils.

He then wrote a pastoral letter to his people encouraging them,

‘To be ready to approach those whom you know who are not present here today, with a word of invitation for them to join us. I know this is not easy.’

The Franciscan Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, in his first of his Lenten talks last week, encouraged all to rediscover the wonder of the Eucharist. He said that aside from the many evils caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been, at least, one positive effect from the viewpoint of faith: that of making us ‘aware of our need for the Eucharist and the emptiness that its lack creates.’

He said rediscovery of the sense of wonder was important because every little progress in the understanding of the Eucharist ‘translates into progress in the spiritual life of the person and of the ecclesial community.’

He noted that speaking on the Eucharist in this time of the pandemic, and now amid the horror of the war, does not mean turning our eyes away from the dramatic reality we are experiencing, but rather helps us look at it from ‘a higher and less contingent point of view’ as the Eucharist ‘offers us the true key to the interpretation of history’.

Here at St. Thomas of Canterbury, more parishioners are returning to weekly Mass, and this year we have a record number of children preparing for their First Holy Communion which will be celebrated on the feast of Corpus Christi. Our life as a parish is sustained and strengthening by our celebration of Mass together. Without the Eucharist we shrivel and are weakened.

I am going to use these remaining weeks of Lent as a time to mediate on the Eucharist and so rediscover its wonder.

If you wish to you can read Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa’s first Lenten talk for this year.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest