Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Sacraments and Christ


We had yet another stimulating full meal of catechesis with plenty to digest over the coming week.  We listened to Father Abbot expound the church's teaching on the Sacraments with numerous anecdotes.  Now on our third session it was clear the group was relaxing and there were many questions which the Abbot very ably fielded.  As we thought about the Sacrament of Confirmation and the disciples in the Upper Room, we thought very poignantly about how the Holy Spirit had been guiding and directing us to this moment.  Like the first disciples we are certainly not perfect followers of Christ and in many ways quite "unlikely" founding members of the Ordinariate!  We remembered that the disciples were not expected to reject their Jewish inheritence as they entered the New Covenant, like we are not expected to repudiate our Anglican past in coming into full communion with the Catholic Church.  In his teaching, Father Abbot has been very keen for us to remember that all the baptised exercise a royal priesthood in the world and that the Sacrament of Confirmation has some parallels with the Sacrament of Orders, being administered by the laying on of hands and anointing with Chrism.  The ministerial priesthood is ordained to serve the royal priesthood of the baptised who minister to the world in the strength of the Holy Spirit.  We also reflected on the Sacrament of the Eucharist and thought about the royal priesthood united with the ministerial priesthood in the offering of the Son to the Father in the Eucharistic sacrifice and how the Eastward facing position symbolises this most strongly.  Although we could have gone on much longer we ran out of time after two and half hours.  We look forward to our next session, on Thursday 7th April at 2.30pm in the Upper Room.
Ian Hellyer, Buckfast Group Pastor

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Lent 3 Thirst and living water

In the Herb Garden there is a little "moat" around the poisonous plants.

From reflecting with St Anselm on deer and streams yesterday, water and thirst was very much the topic as we gathered for mass at Buckfast Abbey.  The desire for water by the Israelites following Moses into the desert was highlighted first, and this was combined with the use of thirst by our Lord at the well as a pedagogy for encouraging the Samaritan woman to thirst for the living water.  One cannot also help reflecting on fasting as well as thirsting (the two seem very much connected); for those of us journeying towards the Ordinariate must experience something of the desert.  We have had to give up things.  Perhaps it has been security in a particular, familiar home?  Or the uncertainty of launching out into the unknown, not being exactly certain of what we will be received into, except in faith to know that it is the fullness of the church of Jesus Christ.  We have had to fast from the Eucharist and wait humbly for the word, then we shall be healed.  All these things, by the grace of God, help us to thirst for living water that lasts for eternity.
Ian Hellyer, Pastor of the Buckfast Group

PS. Once again the tadpoles were checked by my sons. No legs yet! However there are fewer tadpoles.

DAY NINE (Eve of Pentecost)