Good morning - no rain and no sun!
I’d like to start with a quote from Sheila Cassidy - a palliative care doctor and a nun
'Slowly, as the years go by, I learn about the importance of powerlessness. I experience it in my own life and I live with it in my work. The secret is not to be afraid of it - not to run away. The dying know we are not God. They accept that we cannot halt the progress of cancer, the inexorable march of that terrible army that takes over a human body like an occupying force, pillaging, desecrating without respect and without quarter. All they ask is that we don’t desert them: that we stand our ground at the foot of the cross. At this stage of the journey, of being there, of simply being: it is, in many ways, the hardest part.’
She is speaking, obviously, about accompanying the dying but I think it has resonances for ourselves in the way that we accompany each other during these difficult days. There is little that we can do: we are powerless; we can’t even hold the hands of those we love. All we can do is stand at the foot of the cross in silence as we listen for the last breath of Jesus.
But ... it is in that last breath that he gives up his Spirit: the Spirit which gives us the patience, the fortitude, the courage that we need. We need to know that we are there for each other and with each other, that we are not alone. And it is that same Spirit which gives us joy and hope - and a sense of deep gratitude for all we share.
Let us pray for those who are sick:
Evelyn, Adela, Winnie, Sylvia, Sister Kevina and Mary
And for those who have died:
Fr Peter, Michael, Roy, Alf, Malcolm, Elsie, Matthew, Anne, Stella, Chris, Kenneth, Carol Ann, Ingeburg, Winnie, Patricia M., Eileen, Maureen, Joan, Frank, Robert, Lynda, Cecilia, Lourdes, Dale, John, Eileen, Michael, Graham, Maria, Andrew, Gladys, Ellen, Patrick, Pauline, Michael, Alice and Mary
We pray especially for Michael Renoden and Pauline Bronson whose funerals we celebrate today.
Mass today: 5.00pm
St Joseph, patron of the dying, pray for us.