The Catholic Parish Church
96 Ness Road Shoeburyness SS3 9DH
and St Gregory's 'Chapel of Ease'
The Broadway Thorpe Bay SS1 3HH
In these difficult times, please consider setting up a Standing Order, via the Office.
My dear friends in Christ,
One of the greatest of the Greek philosophers, Aristotle, famously said that human beings are political animals. By that, he did not mean that we all belong to political parties or have certain ideologies. In his terms, Aristotle meant that we are designed to live in community.
He thought that the basic unit of human society was the family, and several families gathering together made the polis. However, fundamental to Aristotle, was the idea that we grow and flourish in community. We learn from and are affirmed by others. We need to share our stories, our struggles and joys, we need to create, and we work together to achieve common goals. Even the hermit, living in a hut in the forest, can only be solitary because he or she first belongs to the human family. This social aspect feeds into and compliments our interior life; how we think and relate with the world around us, how we understand our lives and how we love, which is of course the foundation for a whole, fulfilling and healthy life.
Like a painting, we carry the tell-tale signs of the artist who made us, God. You might say we have the dynamic signature of the Most Holy Trinity, that whole and binding communion of love and grace to which we already belong.
In the 2nd Reading, St Paul, in his beautiful farewell to the Corinthians, associates grace with the incarnate eternal Son, Jesus Christ; love with God the Father; and fellowship, or communion, with the Holy Spirit. This helps us gain an entry into the mystery, but in reality, all three Persons are grace, love and communion. God has revealed to us the names Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to help draw us into this mystery, so we can communicate with the holy and undivided Trinity.
The terms express a reality, but a reality which we will only see when we participate fully in the eternal love of the three Persons. Here we have to exercise our spiritual muscles to receive the reality of the Trinity, where, in the words of St Athanasius: “In that Trinity there is no before or after, nothing greater or lesser: because the three Persons are co-eternal and equal among themselves.” Because God is communion, we are also communion. The heavy cultural emphasis on the individual and ‘my needs and wants’, are counter to our actual nature and has not done any favours for societal cohesion and wellbeing.
St Elizabeth of the Trinity, who died in 1906 and was canonised in 2016 by Pope Francis, had an especially vivid awareness of the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity. She was an ordinary girl from an ordinary family but was graced to experience profoundly the divine Persons in her daily life. She wrote: “O my God, Trinity whom I adore! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest.” We are made for communion, communion with each other and communion with God.
Keep safe, take care and let us continue to keep each other in prayer.
Here is a mid-week update for you!
Please find below your 'Holy Week' Poster, it will print in A4 or A3.
Also below an updated list of Live-streamed Masses and other useful links:
A 'live' link to the Vatican:
Take care and keep safe,