Pastoral Letter from Bishop John for the First Sunday of Advent
 
 

All Saints

The Beatitudes are a self portrait by Jesus, they describe what it means to be Christlike, to be a Saint.: To be poor in Spirit means to recognise that we need God, we have nothing of our own, all we have comes from God.

The gentle are those who remain serene, humble and steadfast in the face of difficulties. It is a sign of interior peace and confidence in God.

Those who mourn are those who weep not only at death but at all the effects of sin which does so much damage to God’s beautiful creation but above all to us the children he loves so much. Perhaps our deepest mourning is over our own sinfulness.

To hunger and thirst for what is right, for righteousness, that means to long for, to desire to know and to do God’s will, in our work, in our leisure, in our prayers. It is the desire to be Holy.

Mercy is that profound attitude of forgiveness which not only forgives others but sees in their mistakes the mirror of our own mistakes and in the forgiveness we offer a small part of the forgiveness God shows to us.

To be pure in heart means to speak about others, to look at others, to behave towards others knowing that they have the dignity and the beauty of people who are loved by God. Purity of heart means to see, and speak and act like God.

Peacemakers by their very presence bring peace, in themselves in others and between others, because they are at peace with God.

Finally there is persecution; circumstances can arise when no compromise is possible either we stay true to Jesus Christ and his Church whatever the cost or we deny him.

The beatitudes are fulfilled in Jesus, he receives everything from the Father, he is steadfast, he weeps at sin and dies because of it, he is holy, he is forgiveness and mercy, he sees and speaks and acts like God for he is God, he makes our peace with God, he is persecuted and dies on the cross to rise again.

The saints in heaven lived these beatitudes because they were in this life united with Christ. We too are called to be saints. To listen to our Lord speak the beatitudes, to recognise them lived in him, and making use of the grace offered in the sacraments, especially confession and Holy communion, to live those beatitudes evermore deeply.

We are all dying, death and judgement, heaven or hell awaits us all. The Devil says enjoy this life, don’t do anything special, you’re fine. Almighty God, Father Son and Spirit, the Angels, our Blessed Lady and all the Saints beg us today, begin to live like Saints now so that we may one day join them in heaven.

 
 
 


Contact details

Parish priest: Fr Ian Farrell
Phone: 07546 852229
Email: ian.farrell@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

Parish secretary: Catherine Peet
Phone: 01254 884211
Email: catherine.peet@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

Copyright © Clayton, Rishton and Great Harwood parishes 2021, part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford