The Benefice Star symbolises our ten Churches with an X, and a single Faith with a Cross. Together they make the eight pointed Natal Star.
At the Day of Judgement, we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done. Thomas à Kempis
Inspiration can be found in many things; music, writing, art or just nature itself. Inspiration is what leads us to try harder to be better - that moves the emotions or the intellect and prompts action and invention. May you find inspiration in some of what is here and may it lead to something better.
On the Beach at Night by Walt Whitman.
On the beach at night,
Stands a child with her father,
Watching the east, the autumn sky.
Up through the darkness,
While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading,
Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky,
Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east,
Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter,
And nigh at hand, only a very little above,
Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades.
From the beach the child holding the hand of her father,
Those burial-clouds that lower victorious soon to devour all,
Watching, silently weeps.
Weep not, child,
Weep not, my darling,
With these kisses let me remove your tears,
The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in apparition,
Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge,
They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again,
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure,
The vast immortal suns and the long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.
Then dearest child mournest thou only for Jupiter?
Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars?
Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades.
The one thing we can all agree, all faiths and ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house... God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives... God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war...God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.
In Germany in the Second World War, Jews in hiding left this message on a cellar wall:
I believe in the Sun even when it is not shining.
I believe in love even when feeling it not.
I believe in God even when he is silent.
From Philippians. 4 v4.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.
And the God of peace will be with you.
A Prayer of Saint Teresa of Avila
Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours;
no hands but yours;
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world.
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.
Who Is GOD
Just think of your body and ??? made your Eye.
Something more brilliant than just you or I
Think even further and think of your Brain,
That you casually use over and over again
??? could design such an intricate being,
Using these powers of reasoning and seeing
And the rest of the body with heart, muscles and veins
With many other organs within your domain
The wonder of birth for our future continuation
Would tax all the brightest within every nation
So what do we call this supreme ??? we claim
Well I think it's GOD known by any other name
On our journey through Spain, Mary and I visited Cordoba where there is a Church called the Great Mosque or La Mesquite. This was a mosque when the Moors were in control of this part of Spain before the Crusaders drove them back across the Mediterranean into North Africa where they came from. Inside it is a large and breathtakingly beautiful Church in the Moorish style and in an alcove there was a life-sized statue of the Virgin Mary with tears running down her cheeks. This statue was the inspiration for my poem “The Weeping Virgin”. Adrian Loft
The Weeping Virgin
This Lady stands with tearful eye
Who knows what ‘tis that makes her cry
Perhaps the madness here on earth
Brings forth a mournful sigh
The sorrow mirrored in her face
Mars her beauty and her grace
What is the measure of her worth
To this worthless human race?
She is the Mother of mankind
But her children’s love is hard to find
Yet she has loved us from our birth
To our sinful ways resigned
Like many a mother she will stay
To guide us through life’s precious day
And tell us that on this Good Earth
There is a better way!