Fr Roland - June 2012

posted 8 Jul 2012, 05:54 by Richard Jones   [ updated 8 Jul 2012, 05:54 ]

My Dear Friends 

At the end of May and the start of June we move through the church seasons from the end of Easter, into Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity, with Confirmation on Sunday 10th June. I would like to us to see this as a miracle time of change, not only for those to be Confirmed but also for ourselves.

After Pentecost the apostles were changed people. It is a mistake to think that the change came about in an instant. It had to be a gradual thing, a process. It was a growth process, set in motion by the action of the Holy Spirit, and growth happens gradually. Though we are dealing with a mystery, that doesn`t mean we can`t understand anything about it.

Each year from the middle of March as I drive around the countryside I love to see the first patches of green appearing along the hawthorn hedgerows, new patches on an old garment. Day by day the patches grow until a month or so later spring will have woven a completely new garment. Yet spring doesn`t make anything happen. It is only a facilitator creating a climate in which things can grow. The new life comes from within, it cannot be imposed. All these brand-new things that we see, come from within. What spring does is provide living things with the opportunity, giving them the impulse to realise what is already inside them is a germinal state.

Spring`s task is to awaken and call forth. This calling forth is a gentle process. Force is out of the question. Persuasion is the only effective weapon. For unless there is a response from within, all of spring`s efforts will be in vain. If a tree has no life in it, then all the sunshine of all springs that have visited this earth will not succeed in producing a single bud in it. One important truth about nature - it is incapable of deception. It does not put an outward show when there is nothing inside.

People need to renew themselves. This renewal, however, cannot be imposed. If this is attempted it will merely result in an outward show, a dressing up. It will not enrich the person, and will soon fade and eventually wear out like a garment.

Many people have violence done to them. People try to form them, to press them into shape from the outside or squeeze them into a mould, as if they were lumps of clay. These people betray them.

What people need is someone to awaken them to what is inside them, to help them live and to grow. But as you and I know growth is slow and painful. We do not easily let go of the old garment, woven out of old attitudes, old ways, and old habits.

But we have been given a wonderful Facilitator, namely, the Holy Spirit. The spirit awakens us to the mysterious power within us, helping us to live, helping us to grow. This gives us some understanding of what happened to the apostles at Pentecost, and what can happen to us too.

I remember a parent when asked why her child didn’t attend a post-confirmation class replying .. she did not think it of value because she had been `done`. I told her that she had not scratched the surface. Needless to say I wrong.

Sadly, but I am afraid true, too many people young and old are left unawakened and die without having experienced even one spring.

Please remember in your prayers all to be Confirmed this year. 

Yours in Christ

Fr Roland.