Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Spending time with a friend
The clergy had a fine Day of Recollection today at the Briery Retreat Centre in Ilkley. Fr Ian Kelly, the Chaplain of Manchester University, delivered two one-hour talks and then heard our confessions during a Holy Hour. It's a lovely sight seeing so many priests sitting in line in the chapel, patiently waiting to access the sacrament which elsewhere they administer. We ought to take a photograph of it and send it round all the parishes to cheer everybody up with the title "Sinners trying to be saints". Among the many good insights Fr Kelly shared, one struck me especially: Jesus' words in the Garden of Gethesemane as recorded in Matthew 26, "Stay with me," reveal that Jesus wants each of us to remain with him throughout our lives, ie to be faithful to prayer, day in, day out. In the evening we had our weekly Holy Hour in the chapel. That's the great thing about being a priest: pastoral circumstances oblige you to pray rather more than you might otherwise! Some students joined me. Then I celebrated Mass on the first anniversary of the mother of a local man who worships with us sometimes on a Sunday evening. It's been a good, prayer-filled day. Nothing much has happened; I haven't realised any pastoral goals; but I have spent time with a friend and I feel much the better for it.