Sun 10 Nov 32nd Sunday of Year
9am Fr Dushan Croos SJ
11am Fr Dushan Croos SJ
5.45pm Fr Simon Bishop SJ
9pm Fr Simon Bishop SJ
Tue 12 Nov 6pm Jesus College Mass
7pm Taizé Prayer
8pm Window on Vatican II: Fr James Hanvey SJ,
(Campion Hall): What is the Church?
Wed 13 Nov 2–4pm Follow the Hat: A Mystery Chaplain will be
available for Tea, Cake and Conversation in Art
Cafe, Bonn Square
6pm Mass St Hugh’s College
Thu 14 Nov 5pm Cake & Catechism: Decalogue 5
6pm Holy Hour
7pm Newman Nosh
8pm What is Nightfever?
Fri 15 Nov 12.45pm CAFOD Soup Lunch
8–10pm Nightfever Vigil of Prayer, at Blackfriar
Sun 3 Nov 31st Sunday of Year
Beginning of Week of Guided Prayer (WGP)
9am & 11am Fr Simon Bishop SJ
5.45pm & 9pm Fr Dushan Croos SJ
7pm Opening of Week of Guided Prayer
Mon 4 Nov 8pm WGP I: Ways of Praying
Tue 5 Nov All Saints of the Society of Jesus, Feast
8pm WGP II: Discernment
Thu 7 Nov 5pm Cake & Catechism: Decalogue 4
6pm Holy Hour, 7pm Newman Nosh
8pm WGP III: Creating a Rule of Life
Fri 8 Nov 12.45pm CAFOD Soup Lunch
8pm Close of week of Guided Prayer
9pm Bar night
Sat 9 Nov Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Cathedral and
Baptistry of Rome, Feast
2pm Alumni v Newman Cathsoc Football Match
6pm Oxford and Cambridge Lourdes Pilgrimage
Mass, Meal and information evening
Who wants to be a saint? The answer is obvious, but, sorry for being a bit insistent, I ask you – I ask us – who will dare sincerely to say in the morning before his or her mirror ‘I want to be a saint, a saint like Mother Theresa of Calcutta, a saint like Thomas More, a saint like John Paul II. ‘No, not me! It is impossible to share the holiness of such great people’. Or ‘perhaps’, but not now, first I shall finish my studies’. It seems to me that we very often tend to forget that we are all called to holiness whatever our commitments may be, whatever our vocation, whether to be married, single, consecrated. I can see several reasons explaining such a state of mind: a false idea of holiness, conceived as a kind of spiritual, human, and moral perfection; a false judgment of ourselves; very often we judge ourselves very severely, looking at ourselves only through our weakness and our sins; and our pride: as the best way to avoid failure is by refusing to try. The common point in all these attitudes is the over emphasis on our ‘self’: we lean on ourselves instead of leaning first on God.
As we hear the Lord’s injunctions: be holy as I myself am holy, or as we have heard in the second reading ‘we hall be like him’ like Christ, we grow scared and discouraged. Leaning on our small strength, how can this ever be possible? This is a trap of the devil who wants to keep us focused on ourselves and prevent us from turning our eyes towards God, from leaning on him who is confident in us.
Let us hear again the Lord’s words: ‘Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are’. Let us hear Jesus Christ’s voice saying, happy are you, the kingdom of heaven is yours.
In fact, the Sermon on the Mount says to us that being holy is to enter into the happiness of the kingdom of heaven. So first holiness is a mystery of happiness. Both happiness and kingdom of heaven are connected, ‘happy the poor, the persecuted, theirs is the kingdom’. The kingdom is manifested in Christ himself. A bit earlier in the Gospel (4,17), starting to preach, Jesus says ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ he means through me, in me. So the reality of the kingdom of heaven is fulfilled through Christ’s presence. The poor in spirit, that means the humble, and the persecuted in the cause of right, experience the presence of Christ who humbles himself and suffers his passion for our sake. Consequently we may say that since the Incarnation, since the Second person of the Trinity’s coming, the kingdom of heaven is here. But, on the other hand, we may hear in another sense that the kingdom is still to come: ‘happy the gentle, they shall have the earth as their heritage, happy those who mourns, they shall be comforted…’. The gift of the Kingdom, of Christ is given but we still have to welcome or to integrate it into our life. We have to let the deep reality of Christ’s presence invade and transform all our being, mind and body. So being holy is also being patient. Holiness is a mystery of patience that may imply sufferings. There is a gap between Christ and us, a gap that he wants to fill but that we must allow to be filled by him and by nobody else: this is the meaning of Jesus’ words: happy the pure in heart, that means those whose heart is to him alone, nor shared or divided. That’s why to be holy is also to be abandoned. Holiness is a mystery of abandon, that means to accept that our will is to do freely God’s will as it is manifested to us through the events of our life. You may have heard of blessed Charles de Foucault. He was born in a very wealthy family and very young became an orphan. As a student he lived a very disorganized life, and then he converted and was ordained a priest and settled in the desert among Muslims. Even if he knew the dangers of such a life, he was convinced that he was doing God’s will. He who used to be so proud, so self centered was discovering happiness in this silent testimony. He wrote this famous prayer at the end of his life:
Father, I abandon myself into your hands, do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all, (…) for you are my Father.
Holiness consists in this secret movement of the heart, which looks up at God as at a beloved father. To be holy is to be a son. Holiness is the mystery of our divine adoption. To be holy is to realize day after day that we are Sons and daughters of God. He is looking at me, he is looking for me, and he is looking after me. Let me conclude by quoting some words written by the blessed John Henry Newman:
God has created all things for good; all things for their greatest good; everything for its own good. What is the good of one is not the good of another; what makes one man happy would make another unhappy. God has determined, unless I interfere with His plan, that I should reach that which will be my greatest happiness. He looks on me individually. He calls me by my name; He knows what I can do, what I can best be, what is my greatest happiness, and He means to give it to me .
Whatever our pains, sufferings or difficulties, whatever our successes and joys, we are in his tender hands. Rejoice and be glad at having such a God. Amen.
Fr Bertrand Arsac
Wed 30 Oct: Campion Hall will be holding their annual reunion of former pupils of Jesuit schools and universities at Campion Hall on the evening of Wednesday 30th Oct. If you would like to attend, or for further details please email Sarah Twinn (Hall Secretary) at email@example.com before Wednesday 23rd Oct.
Sun 27 October: 30th Sunday of the Year
Ecclus 35:12-14,16-19, Ps 33, 2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18, Luke 18:9-14
9am Fr Dushan Croos SJ
11am Rt Rev John Arnold (Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster
3pm Vespers with Bishop William Kenney, CP to commemorate the Beatification of Bl. Dominic Barberi 50 year ago at the Church of Bl. Dominic Barberi, Littlemore
5.45pm Fr Nicholas King SJ
9pm Fr Brendan Callaghan SJ (Master of Campion Hall)
Mon 28 Oct: Feast of SS Simon & Jude
Ephesians 2:19-22, Ps 18, Luke 6:12-19
6.15pm Mass Merton College
Tue 29 Oct:
Romans 8:18-25, Ps 125, Luke 13:18-21
6pm Mass Oriel College
7pm Taizé Prayer
8pm Window on Vatican : Fr Nicholas King SJ: Hearing the Word of God
Wed 30 Oct:
Romans 8:26-30, Ps 12, Luke 13:22-30
12.15pm M ass
2-4pm Follow the Hat: A Mystery Chaplain will be available at Combibos Coffee, the Gallery, Gloucester Green
6.15pm Mass New College
Campion Hall will be holding their annual reunion of former pupils of Jesuit schools and universities at Campion Hall on the evening of Wednesday 30th Oct. If you would like to attend, or for further details please email Sarah Twinn (Hall Secretary) at firstname.lastname@example.org before Wednesday 23rd Oct.
Thu 31 Oct:
Romans 8:31-39, Ps 108, Luke 13:31-35
5pm Cake & Catechism: Decalogue 3 & 4
6pm Vigil Mass of All Saints
7pm Newman Nosh
8pm Jack Valero: Converting the World through your work
Fri 1 Nov: Solemnity of All Saints
Apocalypse 7:2-4, 9-14 Ps 23, 1 John 3: 1-3, Matthew 5: 1-12
12.45pm CAFOD Soup Lunch
8pm Newman Cathsoc All Saints Ceilidh
Sat 2 Nov: All Souls Day – Victoria Missa Defunctorum
11.15 – 12 noon Confessions