The Parish of S Michael and All Angels

 Abbey Wood.

SUNDAY 28 June 2020

SS PETER and PAUL

At this time we are not allowed to offer public worship in church, although we can now open churches for prayer.  Mass is offered for you ever day in church, although at the moment this has to be without any people, and the Daily Office is said.  Even if you cannot be with us you will be in our prayers.  We produce this sheet each week, to keep everyone in touch and to provide some things to help you to join us in prayer.  Please pass sheets or information on to those for whom we don’t have an email address.

Celebrating the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (com imagens ...

THIS WEEKS GOSPEL READING.

Matthew 16:13-19

You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’  And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’  ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’  Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’  Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man!  Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven.  So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.  And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’

TIMES OF PRAYER.

This week our church will be open for prayer

Sunday 28 June  09:45 - 11:00

Wednesday 1 July 10:00 - 11:00

Please come and pray and be with God

Our worship this week

Mon 29    Monday of week 13 of ordinary time

Tue 30     The First Martyrs of the See of Rome

Wed 1      Wednesday of week 13 of ordinary time

Thu 2       Thursday of week 13 of ordinary time

Fri 3        SAINT THOMAS, APOSTLE  Feast

Sat 4        Saint Elizabeth of Portugal

Sun 5      14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME  10:00 Parish Mass

LOOKING AT HIM
HIM LOOKING AT ME

Last week I wrote about a way pf praying, this week I am afraid that I am not going to write about anything, I am just going to share with you some words of Anthony Bloom, who was an Orthodox Archbishop and a great writer on prayer.

Fr David

About twenty years ago, soon after my ordination, I was sent before Christmas to an old people's home. There lived an old lady, who died some time later at the age of 102.  She came to see me after my first celebration and said 'Father, I would like to have advice about prayer.'  So I said 'Oh yes, ask So-and-so.' She said ‘All these years I have been asking people who are reputed to know about prayer, and they have never given me a sensible reply, so I thought that as you probably know nothing, you may by chance blunder out the right thing.'  That was a very encouraging situation!  And so I said "What is your problem?'  The old lady said ‘These fourteen years I have been praying the Jesus Prayer almost continually, and never have I perceived God's presence at all.'  So I blundered out what I thought.  I said 'If you speak all the time, you don't give God a chance to place a word in.'  She said 'What shall I do?'  I said ‘Go to your room after breakfast, put it right, place your armchair in a strategic position that will leave behind your back all the dark corners which are always in an old lady's room into which things are pushed so as not to be seen.  Light your little lamp before the ikon that you have and first of all take stock of your room.  Just sit, look round, and try to see where you live, because I am sure that if you have prayed all these fourteen years it is a long time since you have seen your room.  And then take your knitting and for fifteen minutes knit before the face of God, but I forbid you to say one word of prayer. You just knit and try to enjoy the peace of your room.'

She didn't think it was very pious advice but she took it.  After a while she came to see me and said ‘You know, it works.'  I said "What works, what happens?' because I was very curious to know how my advice worked.  And she said 'I did just what you advised me to do. I got up, washed, put my room right, had breakfast, came back, made sure that nothing was there that would worry me, and then I settled in my armchair and thought "Oh how nice, I have fifteen minutes during which I can do nothing without being guilty!" and I looked round and for the first time after years I thought "Goodness what a nice room I live in — a window opening onto the garden, a nice shaped room, enough space for me, the things I have collected for years".'  Then she said 'I felt so quiet because the room was so peaceful.  There was a clock ticking but it didn't disturb the silence, its ticking just underlined the fact that everything was so still and after a while I remembered that I must knit before the face of God, and so I began to knit.  And I became more and more aware of the silence.  The needles hit the armrest of my chair, the clock was ticking peacefully, there was nothing to bother about, I had no need of straining myself, and then I perceived that this silence was not simply an absence of noise, but that the silence had substance.  It was not absence of something but presence of something.  The silence had a density, a richness, and it began to pervade me.  The silence around began to come and meet the silence in me.'  And then in the end she said something very beautiful which I have found later in the French writer, Georges Bernanos.  She said 'All of a sudden I perceived that the silence was a presence.  At the heart of the silence there was Him who is all stillness, all peace, all poise.'

 

After that she lived for about ten more years and she said that she could always find the silence when she was quiet and silent herself.  This does not mean that she stopped praying, it means that she could sustain this contemplative silence for a while, then her mind began to quiver and she turned to vocal prayer until the mind was still and settled again, then she dropped out of words into silence as before.  Very often this could happen to us — if instead of being so intent on doing things, we could simply say 'I am in God's presence, what a joy, let us be still.'

In the life of a Catholic priest of France, the Curé d'Ars, Jean Marie Vianney, there is a story of an old peasant who used to spend hours and hours sitting in the chapel motionless, doing nothing.  The priest said to him 'What are you doing all these hours?'  The old peasant said 'I look at Him, He looks at me and we are happy.'

COME TOGETHER ON SUNDAY.

We cannot yet come together for a service, but we can come together for private prayer.

This Sunday our church will be open for prayer between 09:45 and 11:00.

Fr David will say mass earlier and will leave the Blessed Sacrament on the Altar, so that our private prayer becomes an extension of the mass,

IF YOU ARE ABLE TO COME IF ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES

OUR PARIS H LIFE

Coming together again.

WHEN CAN WE WORSHIP TOGETHER AGAIN? The Government have said that public Worship can start from 4 July.  So our hope is that we can all gather for Parish Mass at 10 am on Sunday 5 July.

Before we can meet we have to carry out a detailed Risk Inspection and act on its findings, we will also have to fully comply with all the government regulations, the regulation have as yet to be published, so there is a lot of work to us do before we can open.  We will do our best to make our church as safe as possible for everyone, but to ensure that it is also a place where we can feel we can worship God.

WHAT WILL OUR WORSHIP BE LIKE ?  Things will be different next Sunday.  The Church will be laid out to allow Social Distancing and we may have to do a lot of things in a different way.  There is a possibility that singing may be restricted.  But we are thinking of ways that we can use this as an opportunity to grow and renew our worship.

We will not initially be able to have any Refreshments etc. after mass and there won’t be a Kids Zone for a while – but we will think of other ways of welcoming children.

Come along and join the fun!

WHO CAN COME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY?.

You must not come to church, if you have symptoms of Covid 19 or have tested positive or you have been in contact with someone who has or may have the Virus. You also should not come if you are quarantining.

LECTORS.  Over the next Sundays at Mass, we will need some help – Could you be a reader at Sunday Mass?  You will have to read the First Reading, the Psalm with its response and the Second Reading.  Then later in the mass you will read the biddings in the Intercessions.  We will email all readings and the biddings to you on a sheet before the mass.

We are doing this differently for a while to help with things such as distancing and because it may be a while before everyone is back at mass on a Sunday.

Can you help us?  Please tell Fr David as soon as possible.

 

HELP OUR KIDS.  Once we are able to have our Parish Mass again, it looks like we will be unable to operate out kid zone for a while.  However, we will still want our kids to feel welcome and involved.  We have considered this in our assessment and planning and we hope to give each kid a pack each week with sheets and activities in.  For this to happen however we would need someone to take charge of assembling them and dealing with them at the end of mass.  Could you make this possible by helping?  Have a word with Fr David.

If you could in the production of some of the material (colouring sheets, stories, teaching material etc), then please also have a chat with Fr David.

Or could you do the photocopying or printing?

PARISH MAGAZINE.  We are unable to print and deliver this at the moment, but we have placed some of the articles from the June Magazine on the Parish Website.

PARISH INFORMATION.

PARISH PRIEST. Fr David Sherratt. Tel.  0779432357

email dasherratt@aol.com

Assistant Priest  Fr Derek Robinson

Churchwardens  Mr Peter Ludlow,  Mr Christopher Harper

Safeguarding  Officer  Mrs Susan Robinson

Web site:  ……..michaels.church

PRAYER REQUESTS

If you want us to bring someone or something to our Lord in prayer, please let Fr David know. Prayer is one of the most important things that we can do at this time.

Please remember these people in your prayers

Text Box: If you use this sheet in church please take it home with you.
If you would like to receive it each week please email Fr David. 
dasherratt@aol.com