On a liturgical note: October 2018

By Canon Philip Gillespie

For those of us fortunate enough to participate in September’s Adoremus celebrations, the task now is to apply ourselves to letting others glimpse something of the devotion and love of those days. I think particularly of the addresses by Bishop Robert Barron which helped us deepen our understanding and appreciation of the Mass and the way in which it is food for our journey, nourishing us by both Word and Sacrament. The journey on which we are travelling is the day-by-day living out of the Gospel which brings us to a holiness which enriches not only our own family and parish communities but indeed our society in general.

The talks and workshops at the Echo Arena, the Masses at the Cathedral, and the Eucharistic Procession (despite, or perhaps because of, the significant downpour of rain!) were powerful expressions of the vitality and variety of the Catholic community, and we owe a debt of gratitude to all who worked so generously and gave of their time and abilities to welcome delegates and to nourish and deepen our appreciation of the Blessed Eucharist both in its celebration (the Mass and the distribution of Holy Communion for the sick and housebound) and also in the acts of adoration by which we sit in silence at the feet of the Lord to listen, to hear and to rediscover that peaceful centre of our lives, the relationship of love we have with Jesus, our Redeemer, Friend and Brother.

This month of October marks the opening of a new academic year here at the Beda in Rome, as indeed at many universities and colleges at home. The idea of it being a beginning is, of course, not a beginning ‘from scratch’ but rather a building-upon all the experiences and learnings which have made us who we are at this present moment. Just as we respond to the call from CAFOD to make a thanksgiving for the harvest on Friday 5 October, so let us also make a thanksgiving for the harvest our own lives – the gifts and talents, the plans and the growth in holiness which have borne fruit in our lives these past months.

Sow in our hearts the seeds of Thy dear love,
That we may reap contentment, joy, and peace;
Then, when at last our earthly labours cease,
Grant us to join Thy harvest home above.