Our Wednesday evening reflections this Lent have been dedicated to the words of Christ “I have come so that you may have life.” We have explored various aspects of the value and dignity of life.
“Challenges to the Value and Dignity of Life” (Fr Louis Illah CC) 8 March
“God’s creation – blessed with life” (Fr Robert McCabe CC) 15 March
“Caring for those with Special Needs” (Fr Kevin Heery CC & pupils from St Mary’s Special School) 22 March
“Living with Suicide” (Fr Declan Hurley Adm) 29 March
“Four Tasks of Grief – a Map for the journey” (Fr Philip Baxter OFM Cap) 5 April
Two aspects of our Lenten reflections this year which have enriched our time of prayer have been the chanting of the psalms, canticle and the Magnificat. Thanks to Michael, John, Tom and Gemma for their help with the music.
We have also taken a text from the encyclical Evangelium Vitæ of Pope St John Paul. His prayer is addressed to Our Lady and invite as a focus point of prayer for life at all stages.
O Mary, bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely,
in order to build, together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.
The series concluded with the monthly Padre Pio Mass during which Fr Philip Baxter (OFM Cap) explored “Four Tasks of Grief” which have been developed by Thomas Worden.
Through story and comment Fr Philip outlined a journey of recovery from grief that nurtures Christ-like presence in us. Worden suggests that on the very personalized journey that each one of us makes though grief, we will have four tasks to accomplish
Accept the reality of the loss
Work through the pain and grief
Adjust to a new environment where the loved one is no longer present.
Find an enduring connection with the deceased while moving forward with life.