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5th   FEBRUARY

2020

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Monthly letter from the magazine.

 February 2020


Dear Friends,

I couldn’t get through the weekend without ........


It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Much of what I read in my newspaper day by day is predictable. Some of it I will already know, having heard it on the 10 o’clock News last night or the  Today programme this morning. Pages about current events in  politics; conflicts in various parts of the world; crimes which are worth the whole country, not just one local area, knowing about and so on.


 But surprise there was in what I read on two separate days in the same week. One was an article which gave me 10 tips to beat stress - number three on the list was ‘Go to church’. The other was the profile of a well-known comedian - a weekly feature which includes the interviewee’s recipe for a perfect week-end, the final ingredient being ‘I couldn’t get through the week-end without ..’


This week the answer made me sit up and take notice: ‘I couldn’t get through the week-end without going to Mass’


As I say, neither of the things I read should have surprised me. But I guess the reason they did was because ‘going to church’ is something such a small minority of people do, even occasionally,   let alone Sunday by Sunday.


As I thought about what I had read on those two days, the first, ‘go to church if you’re stressed’, was easy to understand. A surprising number of people find their way into a church during the day, a place where they can have some peace and quiet, time to ‘unwind’, to think, even (some of them!) to pray. And I guess God sometimes puts the priest or a member of the regular congregation in their way and gives them an opportunity to talk to someone who is otherwise un-involved in their life - which at times of stress can be a help! And, of course, there is the ‘fellowship’ of the church community, worshipping together, meeting the Lord who said ‘Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened’.


What about the second thing I read. Here was someone I knew a bit about - I’ve heard some of his jokes, risqué to say the least; and I knew something about his wild lifestyle when he was young. How easy it is to make judgements. And it was because of my immediate judgement of him that I was so surprised when I read ‘I couldn’t get through the week-end without going to Mass’.


And then I thought of those who might read what I might write about this experience, and who I leave with the answer the comedian gave to ‘I couldn’t get through the week-end without ........’ How many of you, committed to Christ as you are, could not, like him, get through the week-end without going to Mass?


Fr Roger