Another nugget of wisdom from our associate priest Fr. Kiely. I am really enjoying this series and hope that you are too.
People are now daily asking when church will re-open? It seems Pembury Anselmians are a spirited bunch who do not enjoy being deprived of the sacraments. Good! Such hunger speaks of lively faith. But sadly I cannot answer because the decision is not vested in me. I can however arrange confession, at a safe distance, so contact me to arrange this if it helps.
I imagine the clamour to re-open will grow louder now that non essential shops are opening. How do Catholics make sense of a world in which you may travel to work on the tube, play golf, visit a market or non essential shop but church doors remain closed? We don’t and we can’t.
My youngest son, Gus, hit the nail on the head as we purchased ice-cream from a mobile van at the coast yesterday. He said “people must think ice cream is more important than God. If you can hand somebody a cornet you could give them Mass.” I felt he made a valid point. What is the present situation saying, not only to children, but to all of us about the vitality and efficacy of the sacramental life? This continues to trouble me greatly.
My eldest son pitched in asking why a person couldn’t choose to go to church instead of Tesco or the garden centre? I tried to help them make sense of it but it wasn’t easy. We eventually agreed that the present situation is chaotic because the virus caught us all on the hop. We also felt the order in which things are opening rather reflects the priorities of modern society. It shouldn’t surprise us that the church is bottom of the pile given that modern man prefers mammon and Magnums to Mass.
I write all this to assure you that many clergy and bishops share your sense of frustration at present. None of us take pleasure in this scenario. So please be patient. And please pray for our bishops and government officials who lead us in difficult time and try to support them.
Perhaps take solace in two facts. First that the minute there is news to share I will update you via this blog. Second that the moment we are permitted to open St. Anselm’s we shall do so.
And thank goodness for the lovely spell of weather in which to wait for this news. At least it isn’t raining. Here is a picture of the dog taken on our walk along the beach yesterday.