Saturday, 9 February 2008

The Afternoon Sessions...

After lunch, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. There was another outdoor procession, this time of the Blessed Sacrament. Again, I stayed put and prayed quietly. Fr. Tim took the opportunity to take some photos while finishing off the parish newsletter. We prayed the Rosary when everyone returned (the Luminous Mysteries) and then we had a sermon on Our Lady by Fr. Agnellus, FI. I posted before about Fr. Agnellus when he came to celebrate a first Mass at Blackfen. The main thrust of the sermon was that we needed to pray for fortitude during Lent, to enable us to complete our Lenten observances, and that Our Lady was ready to help us if we asked her; she was a supreme example of someone who displayed fortitude.

This was followed by a short period of silent Adoration, and then finished with meditations on the Stations of the Cross. We stayed in our places for this - the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, and anyway, there were way too many people to be able to walk round the Stations.

A brief tea-break was announced: as the Blessed Sacrament was still exposed, many people just remained in the church to pray quietly. Some went out for a quick cuppa and then returned. We then had another sermon on Our Lady from Fr. Tim. This time he spoke about how we should give everything to Our Lady. It was all or nothing: either it was completely right to give ourselves to Mary, or it was completely wrong. If we needed to "save" something of ourselves for Jesus, then we shouldn't give anything at all to Mary. In fact, we give everything to her, because she gives everything to her Son; and with Mary, we contemplate the face of Christ.

Awesome stuff.

The Glorious Mysteries were prayed, followed by Benediction, and then some people were enrolled in the Brown Scapular and the Miraculous Medal. Finally we waved farewell to the statue of Our Lady with white hankies provided specially for the occasion.

That bit always makes me teary-eyed. It is such a simple expression of faith, with such a trusting, childlike quality. I love it that the Catholic Faith is so tangible, so sensible (as in "of the senses" as well as in "making sense.")

I love being Catholic.


Anonymous said...

Hm. Perhaps we need Days with Mary in this country. I once went to one at Buckfast and it was excellent and reading your and Fr. Tim's posts about it have reminded me of it...time to start doing some digging to see if it's something done over here!

LizzieD said...

What a lovely day! Great photos too. We used to be able to attend Days with Mary when we lived in Bristol, but I think we'll have to make a special effort to see if there are any going on around these parts (Shrops/Staffs). And what a fantastic blessing to have the Mass in the EF.
I love the hanky waving bit too! It always brings a tear to my eye.
Thanks for posting about this, and I hope your ankle gets better soon! God Bless.

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