Special collection next week for the Retired Priests’ Fund. Gift Aid.
Dear Brothers and Sisters
The Opening Prayer this week asks: “Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity” and so I thought that I would just say a few words about these ‘three’ of which the greatest is charity – or in modern English, love.
Faith, hope and charity are what are known as the theological virtues because they are all gifts of God – which is primarily why the opening prayer asks God to increase them – not that we might increase them as we might have expected. They are said to be ‘infused’ by God through the gift of grace and equip us for moral living, or the ‘good life’.
Faith is the gift of God which, through our freedom of intellect and will, gives ascent to the truth that God loves us and His creation, and desires to save us from death and lead us to salvation. It is opposed, in one sense to what we might call the “demand” for evidence of God and his actions in our lives. Faith believes all things as St Paul so rightly says.
Hope is instilled in us to help us trust in the promises of God and is the opposite of that very prevalent problem, despair. Hope is what we might call a “quiet confidence” in God which motivates us to keep believing and working out our salvation through prayer, acts of kindness and forgiveness. As a people it is our task to counter despair in whatever form we find it – by the proposition that God’s salvation, and our place in it is assured, if we believe – and act accordingly.
St Paul famously said of the Theological Virtues that, of the three, the greatest is love. (1Cor 13). Love is God’s gift of his ‘self’ inspiring us to act, speak and think out of love for all that God has created, but even more out of love of God Himself. Our love for God is itself his gift and enables us to sense His divine life within us and within those we choose to love. When we deny love to someone or something (a creature, the creation as a whole) we really choose to deny God in or towards that person. Also, the opening prayer suggests that when we love what God commands we are loving Him because His commandments reveal what God is truly like.
So, as we pray, today, for an increase in these Virtues, let us remind ourselves of why He gives them to us – in order that we and all His creation may attain to eternal life. Keep praying and asking!
With my very best wishes Fr David.
Bereavement Mass At one time or another we are bereaved by the death of someone close to us. This Mass will help us deal with our loss and move us towards acceptance and peace of mind and heart with Gods love. Father David and the Parish would like to invite you to join the Mass for the Recently Bereaved which is taking place in Cranleigh on Saturday 3rd November at 11am. Please feel free to invite your family members to join this Mass and please note there will be a buffet lunch in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room following the Mass. We would be grateful for your RSVP so we can provide suitable refreshments. This Mass is open to everyone with faith so please invite your extended family or friends to remember their loved ones.
CAMEO [Ladies Group] Speaker– On Tuesday 6th November at 7.30pm Gillie Nicholls will be coming to give us an illustrated talk about her charity (Les Amis Burkina Faso) which serves the handicapped girls and women in West Africa. Being handicapped or female in parts of Africa means having few or no rights. Gillie is a local woman, who until recently, was the Chaplin at Barrow Hills School and who also works at St Edmunds, Godalming. She is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. Please come along and see how much is being done for so many by this local charity. For more information about the Charity do visit www.les-amis-bf.org.uk. from Helen Rollo
The Word who is Life – don’t forget to sign up forthe coach to Guildford on the 19thNovember. Transport to this event is being paid for by the Parish. Forms and info are in the porches. There are seats available – Please return the form as soon as possible to the Office. Thank you.
Remembrance Sunday– advance notice – As this year is exactly 100 years since the armistice in 1918 and the same day and time I am not going to celebrate an 11am mass as there is an extended Remembrance Service in the Village at Cranleigh – SO to enable you to participate in the other activities there will be no morning mass at Cranleigh – so only a Vigil Mass that weekend, and 9am at Bramley.
The Talent evening has been postponed from the 10th of November until late January to give more time to prepare for it. Watch this space for further updates!
Please note: Statements from the Bishops of England and Wales, concerning their recent ad limina visit to Rome 29 September 2018 are available for you to read, the statements are pinned to the board of the Church Porches.