Dear parishioners, a number of people have been in touch with me now about continuing to support the parish financially – given that our only support is from the weekly collections at Sunday Mass, which of course for the moment has been suspended. Should you wish to give to the parish through your online banking, or by setting up a Standing Order, I will provide details below for the parish account which includes both St. James’ and St. Matthew’s.
I appreciate that this may be a time of added anxiety over your own personal finances and circumstances, a period of uncertainty and instability for many with regard to their employment, so any contributions made in the light of the added pressures on your own circumstances are very much appreciated and certainly not taken for granted. Some people have given donations in other ways and I am extremely grateful for these too.
I wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all a blessed and holy Divine Mercy Sunday – a day of great graces!
We focus, as is very much the theme of this Easter Season, on the infinite love, goodness, and mercy of God, in today’s Feast. We focus on trust in the Lord: Jesus, I trust in You!
Our current situation focusses our minds very intently on this need for trust, and the acknowledgement that we are safe in God’s hands. God is the Lord of this world, and of the whole of Creation, and not human governments or powers. In fact, if anything, this current crisis had made us realise just how powerless we are as human beings, and how easily things can pass beyond our supposed control. We are not lords of our own lives, but God is.
When we recognise that God is indeed Lord of all, in control of everything, master of everything, then we need have no fear. Why be afraid when He Who Is Love is in charge, because all that He wills is our good, all that concerns Him is loving? We need then to pray that fear be cast out of our lives and love and trust enter in. Jesus I Trust in You – what a powerful, confident, prayer, a prayer recommended to us by the Lord Himself.
Fear cripples, but love sets free and saves… Fear is the tool of the Devil to enchain us, Love is the power of God and brings about our true liberty in Him…
We might feel a bit like St. Peter at this time when he walked out of the boat, across the waters, to be with the Lord – he began to fear and to sink – perhaps we feel like this at the moment… how long will this go on, how will effect me and my loved ones and all that we hold dear? They are reasonable concerns. But what is more reasonable, and more important is to think back to that story of St. Peter and remember how the Lord was there on the waters too, to reach out to Peter when he was sinking and to save him. Is Jesus not here to do the same for us? Of course He is! He is always here, always with us, always here to rescue!
The current crisis has overwhelmed many people with fear – and this is not good. We should not fear, we should trust as the Lord asks us to. We should hope in His goodness and mercy to see us through, and we should do our very best, by intensifying our prayer lives, in order to come closer to the Heart of the Lord where we can learn to be more trusting.
In a sense, in a very real sense, we should be in more fear and trembling over the salvation of our souls than we are over our bodies, and I do not mean, at all, that we should not take the very best care of the gift of physical life and health that God has given us. But what I do mean is that the salvation of our souls is even more important – without question – because our eternal destiny is to be with the Lord in Heaven, and the world and all that is in it is passing. We need to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord and on the goal of Heaven – this will keep us joyful, too, as we know that this “veil of tears” is temporary and the blissful life of Heaven is for ever – where there is no fear, or suffering, or pain.
Jesus, I trust in You – this should be our motto in life – Jesus, I trust in You… for there is nothing from which He cannot save us, no darkness which He cannot lighten, no scourge which He cannot take away from us, no fear which He cannot dispel… all things against His infinite love and mercy are nothing, so trust in the Lord always, always… and be at peace knowing that He is with you, now and every moment, and that He calls you to remain focussed on Him, trusting in Him, full of love for Him. Blessed be God, now and for ever!
(Please remember to join me on the Parish Facebook page for live streamed prayer today – I have also attached some videos below)
As I said in a previous post, I’ve been adding more things recently to the Parish Facebook Page than I have been writing here – apologies, then, if you don’t have Facebook. I’ll try to keep posting things here as well.
Today I will celebrate my second funeral during “lockdown”, the funeral of Mrs. Jo (Josephine) Atkinson. May she rest in peace.
This time is hard, for any of us, but it is especially hard for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones, or those who cannot be with sick or dying relatives – those forced to still keep their distance at the very moment when it would be natural to be together to give mutual support, encouragement, and the consolation of our presence. My heart goes out to those struggling in these circumstances, those who are not getting that opportunity to say “goodbye” to those they dearly love.
I would ask you all to support these families with your prayers. Grief is hard enough, and prayers are always needed, but to grieve alone, or to not have the loving support of family and friends at close proximity must be harder still. Prayer as you know, however, has the marvellous capacity to transcend all obstacles, and many will tell you, when they have been prayed for in trying situations, that they can literally feel the support of prayer.
We continue to support each other as a family, as a family of Faith, by means of prayer, and this will bring great consolation to each one of us, whether we mourn the loss of loved ones at this time, or whether we’re just struggling with loneliness, frustration, feeling down, or feeling overwhelmed by the uncertainties of what lies ahead for us. Prayer is our life line, our connection with “the Rock who saves us” the unshakeable one, the solid one, our God. Prayer will keep us in touch with Him and close to Him giving us the strength and grace we need to see this through and to come out stronger in the long run. (The power of Prayer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSeASW2M_yo and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRQBaYfD1Go and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX71jZsDBHU)
Padre Pio (now St. Pio of Pietrelcina) (this film is dubbed in English for those who would like to know more about the saint:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R0ifSCTgAEand a more child-friendly version:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMgfj0S7mMs) had this famous saying: Pray, hope, and don’t worry! We really need to listen to those words and take them to heart now, they will help to transform for the better what we are currently living through. Padre Pio, pray for us, and for all who are struggling at this time!
I’ve been asked pass this information on from parishioners in Auchtermuchty who are selling and delivering fruit & veg boxes, milk, bread, etc. You can contact them and purchase items by clicking on the link below. I hope this might help some who are struggling to get out and do any shopping at the moment. God bless!
I hope you are all keeping well, and having a blessed Holy Week!
This afternoon on the parish Facebook page I will livestream audio, and will read the prayers and reading from the celebration of the Lord’s Passion. If you can join me, you may wish to have next to you a crucifix, a cross, or if easier your Rosary beads, so that you can at least venerate the Cross of Christ in your own home. For those who are unable to join us on Facebook, I will post some videos below. The Facebook link is: https://www.facebook.com/parishpriestkinross for those who are interested. God bless you, Fr. Martin
I haven’t abandoned you, please be assured of that! I’ve been posting more things for parishioners on Facebook now, now that I’ve managed to get back into the parish page, you can follow me there for livestreamed audio prayers and devotions, but I think you will need to sign up to Facebook if you aren’t already on it. You can follow the link below, God bless you!
This may mean, and I stress “may”, that I could record and post videos or possibly livestream some items, such as devotions, but this would mean me working that all out. Anyway, I’m not going to try to compete with the myriad of possibilities already available but I might see what is feasible. God bless, Fr. Martin