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=8R0ifSCTgAE and 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!