Dear University Members and Chaplaincy Friends
A very happy Easter to you! First and foremost, I hope that you are well and your family and friends too. Be assured of our prayers, and most especially for those of you who have been closely affected by the epidemic. Please God you have all the love and support that you need.
Thank you to all who have written to us with news; thanks too to those who read and sang and played music so beautifully for our live-streamed Easter Vigil. And a special word of appreciation for the resident students here at the Chaplaincy, and to Mi our housekeeper, for all they have been doing to support us. We are greatly indebted to their kindness, their sense of fun – there are some stories to tell! – and to their prayers.
One plea that I would make to each one of us at this time: that we pray for the Holy Spirit to help us to see how we might live differently when the current crisis has passed. May we not lose touch with all that has been most positive: a deepening of social cohesion, a sense of responsibility for our neighbour, a delight in the little things of life, the value of laughter in the midst of suffering, to name a few. I know too that there are things that I have got wrong – I haven’t handled very well some encounters with rough sleepers – and that too needs reflecting on.
I have found myself over the last few weeks returning to this quotation from ‘The Diary of a Country Priest’ – you might find it a quiet encouragement:
‘“Go on with your work,” he said, “keep at the daily things that need doing… Concentrate! Think of a lad at his homework, trying so hard and his tongue sticking out. That’s how Our Lord would have us be…. Little things – they don’t look much, yet they bring peace. Like wildflowers which seem to have no scent, till you get a field full of them. And he who prays for little things – is innocent. There’s an angel in every little thing”’.
I will write again next Week, 0th Week, to let you know our plans for Trinity Term.
With prayers and all good wishes,
Fr. Matthew and Alvea, Frs Nick and Ian and Br Thomas OP