To be glad of life, because it gives you a chance to love;
To work, to play, and to look up at the stars.
To despise nothing in the world except what is false and mean.
To fear nothing except what is cowardly.
To be guided by what you admire and love,
Rather than what you hate.
To envy nothing that is your neighbour’s
Except their kindness of heart and gentleness of manner.
To think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends, and every day of Christ.
And to spend as much time as you can, with body and with spirit, in God’s out-of-doors.
These are the little signs on the footpath of peace.
Henry Von Dyke
Perhaps you are among one of the many people who suffered the disruptions caused by the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protests in Oxford Circus last month. They have certainly managed to upset more than one, but they have also helped to raise people’s awareness of the frailty of our world and its ecosystems.
"Are we the last generation?” their banners asked. It is a question that encapsulates the dramatic times in which we are living and the urgency of this issue, as the latest research has found we may not have much time left before the impact of human activity causes a massive extinction of wildlife. But what should be our take on this issue as Catholics?
The second reading today sheds some light on this question. The new earth and the new heaven John sees in his vision are not replacements of the old, but a transformation brought about by God. And why would God transform this ageing and broken world instead of replacing it for a completely brand new one? The answer is simple: because God created this world well; He loves it; and He wants it to remain.
And so, we too, as Catholics, need to do our best to maintain what God has created and entrusted to us. However, our take on this issue differs radically from other people’s, especially those who would be ready to sacrifice the human race for the sake of the planet. “Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne," our second reading today says, "you see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them, they shall be his people, and he will be their God." This means that creation makes no sense without humans. It was created for us to find joy in it, and above all, as a sacred space for us to meet God.
Consequently, the care for this world must go hand in hand with our defence of human life. We know, though, that humanity will sooner or later run its course, so the question “are we the last generation?” is an inevitable one. But we know that even then, it will not be the end. God will raise us up from the dead and will restore our bodies and with them the whole of creation. So that together with us it may sing the praises of God for eternity.
Today is a day of prayer for vocations to Religious Life and to Priesthood.
We welcome Fr William Nicol, Pastoral Director/Formation Advisor at Allen Hall, our diocesan seminary, who will speak at all Masses this weekend.
Priest Training Fund
We pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood. The annual collection for the Priest Training Fund will take place after each Mass. This fund pays for the priestly formation of men for the Catholic priesthood. There are currently 45 men studying at Allen Hall seminary, 27 of whom are for our own Diocese, and last year eight men ordained to the priesthood to serve as our future priests. This fund also supports the ongoing enrichment and formation of our ordained priests.
Your generous donation helps ensure we can support these men who are called to be like Christ the Good Shepherd. Donation leaflets are available in the back of the church. Please take one home, read the information, and bring it back next weekend with your donation. You can also donate online anytime at www.rcdow.org.uk/donations.
Please continue to pray for vocations and for our priests.
to Sr Asterie of the Assumption Sisters, Kensington Square, who recently celebrated her Golden Jubilee to the Consecrated Life.
For more information on vocations visit: www.ukvocation.org