As Holy Year draws to a close.
don't think there can he any doubt in anyone's mind just why and what it has been about. If we stop to think for Li moment or two we will realise that we have needed this time for the renewal of our love of God.
The whole point of our being in the world at all. is to love God: all the saints have agreed about that. If we' aren't loving God enough, if we aren't loving Him in the right way. we have got the whole idea wrong. we are letting our vocation slip by.
Loving God gives you the incentive for loving your neighbour. just as the sunshine and fresh air gives you the incentive for feeling it's good to he alive.
We have to love God with our whole heart, not in a tepid way; we have to love Him with our whole mind.• not just now and again when we happen to think about it: and
with our whole soul. not just the part of it that wants to get to Heaven, And then. for good measure, we have got to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Pope Paul asked us to make this Holy Year one of renewal and reconciliation and it is not too late even now to do what he asked. and to do it knowing, deep down in our hearts, it is what we should always he doing.
As I sit io my desk by the window. I see before me the valley filled with
trees. The leaves once green and
alive arc now ,golden colour blowing away gently in the wind: sonic of
the trees ara• even hare. The branches standing out like arms reaching out to the heavens.
My memora recalls the incident when Pope Paul, held out his arms to the world imploring the whole human race, people of all denominations, to renew and reconcile themselves with God and all men It is now a time for all of us to strip ourse Is es of our outward covering and face the reality and
truth of our existence, throw out our arms to Almighty God,
reminding ourselves that we are alive. alive to Him; that we are awake and ready to listen_ Let us then set forth on our journey on the path of Love. There
is onla one way to JCSUS, the way of loving acceptance to his holy will: looking upon him with intense desire of him and following where he leads.
Our life's work is to overcome our self-love and put the love of God in its place. Jesus seeks a home in each loving heart. Manysouls are indifferent to him and many are quite ignorant of him and his love. We must try more earnestly to give him our love and our company, do ing all things to please him, seeing his will in all that happens and doing each act in the way he will like best. He will give us the help and strength. grace to sec his wishes and strength to do them. He is very loving irid humble with us and he knows just how weak we are at times.
Sacriffte and suffering, whether borne w illinek or unwillingly, are
Is it reall■ iiccessary for the priest to leave the altar and wend his way to the body of the church to give a sign of peace to he taken over by the congregation hopping from one pen to another to try and prove that we are in love and charity with our neighbour?
The very fact that we approach the altar it, receive our Blessed lord in Holy Communion should he our proof that we do love our neighbour and are concerned for all mankind. If we are not, then we should riot present ourselves for Holy Communion.
All the handshakes or the latest gimmick of blowing kisses will not deepen our love for one another, nor will it make our Communion any more worthy. It is time the kissing stopped before we are proved guilty Of hypocrisy rather than love OF our neighbour.
Graeme Le Monnier 23 Wyndham Road.
Edgbaston, Birmingham, 16.
Pax Christi and loyalty
Mr David Scott, of Pax Christi, makes a reasonable request in his letter of December 5.
May I remind him of the "service" of exorcism held outside the Holy Loch Polaris submarine base — presumably directed against those officers ,irid men qf the 'Royal Navy and US Navy who man the West's nuclear deterrent.
There is also the support given by some members to those who seek to undermine the allegiance and morale of British troops serving in Northern Ireland in backing the British Withdrawal from Northern Ireland campaign. some of whose members have recently been on It is thus that perfectly respectable movements are brought into disrepute by the antics of some of their members.
Patrick Wall, NIP House of Commons, London. SW I. pari in our daily tite; as Jesus's love for us cost him much suffering. humiliation and shame, he asks us to hear a little suffering in this life for him. It is the proof of love, it unites us more closely to him and develops in us some virtue which we need.
When days seem difficult, full of trials and temptations, or lacking in fervour, remember that this is the time that Jesus is asking you for the grace he wishes to give to souls through you. Our Lord took upon his shoulder the first Cross, the heaviest, most appalling Cross all for the love of us. Many people have lovingly. obediently, walked in the footsteps of Christ. treading the long tiring way which Our Lord has shown, the %Nay which leads into the Kingdom of God, They walk. carrying their crosses; they have walked for two thousand years. those who believe in Christ. We see the bodies of the martyrs, we see the ordinary, simple, humble people of God, who have willingly taken upon themselves the Cross of Christ. There is no end to this procession. They have, and will, go on walking throughout the centuries knowing that Christ has told them that the Kingdom uf God is theirs.
It is up to us now, to take up our cross and follow Christ. He has invited us to his Kingdom and we know that every word of his is true. We know that the Kingdom of God is ours if we simply follow Him.
1 et us go forward into those outstretched arms to be embraced by his love and to give him Love for Love.
II will soon he Christmas. when we celebrate Christ's birth. It is a time. too. when we can he reborn. As Pope Paul closes the Holy Door, let us then close the door of our past and begin ti new life with the Son of God.
(Sister) Joan Lewis St Anne's, Brow rishill, St omit.
Having recently returned from a wonderful "Faith and Light" Holy Year Pilgrimage. to Rome' I feel public acknowledgement should be made to the happy band of helpers who made this event a success. Among these were parents and relatives who received special words of encouragement from Pope Paul during the audience in St Peter's.
Our spiritual leader. Bishop Brewer of Shrewsbury did a grand job not only in words, hut with practical action and advice, too. On the lay side a big thank you must be said to Dr Therese Vanier and the National Secretary Teresa de Bettando for their efforts,
It would be remiss to ignore the hard work put in by the National Executive Committee, especially the chaplain, Fr David Wilson and treasurer. Fr Gerry Ennis. But above all there has been the work of benefactors everywhere who made it possible. Thank you. one and all, on behalf of Britain's band of It was exciting to meet Jean Vanier, who provided the original idea and continues to give great inspiration. Perhaps one also ought to say thank you to Mr Charrier on behalf of the whole pilgrimage for the enormous job he did in keeping some 175 coaches in order, as they travelled to and from the Eternal City, L. B. Inkley 14 Cobs Way, New Haw, Weybridge.
It's the singing that counts
I s■rile to endorse the letter of Nos ember 28 headed "Please stop the quarrelling". It stated that Cardinal Heenan's funeral was a beautifully planned occasion and the writer, Miss Constance Holt, went on to say that she would avoid the letter pages of the Catholic Herald 'as she felt it was inevitable that somebody would find something to criticise in the funeral.
Printed directly under the above letter was the criticism of the choirmaster of Westminster Cathedral. This attack I felt to be uncalled for. unasked for and certainly not the type Of letter you would expect a priest to write. If Fr Toporowski had simply stated that he wished the television people had not •shown so much of the choirmaster I could have understood his point: but to accuse the choirmaster of "dancing, jumping, waving his arms in a most ridiculous way" I really felt it had to be answered.
Anybody who knows anything at all about music judges not the antics of the conductor hut the result the conductor obtains. I think anybody who either attended the service in Westminster Cathedral or watched the funeral on television could not help but he moved by the standard of singing of the choir. This is the important point. Alan Taylor 35 Chaucer House, Churchill Gardens, London, SW I.