Christmas 2018 At All Saints

Join us this Christmas at All Saints.
Sunday 16th December:
6.30pm Carol Service
Thursday 20th  December:
6.30pm Leavesden Green Hub Carols
Christmas Eve: 3pm Crib Service 11.30pm Midnight Mass Christmas Day: 8.00am Holy Communion 10am Family Communion

Dear Friends May: Intimacy with God

It has been a real privilege to journey through Passiontide and Easter together, and now we look towards Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and God willing, our first service back in the Church building.

In this season our hearts and minds are turned towards closeness with God. Thomas, who although he doubted was the only one to place his hand in Christ’s wounds. The disciples who recognised Jesus in the breaking of bread on the road to Emmaus. The sheep who know the Good Shepherd’s voice. Jesus’ plea “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” And his promise of the Spirit, the comforter.

Through the history of the Church people have had profound experiences of holy intimacy. But there is none who could have been as close to Jesus as Mary his mother, who is described in the bible as having been highly favoured by God – full of His grace. As the mother of Jesus she carried God within her, and the Holy Spirit filled her.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan, a Catholic Priest, who volunteered to die in the place of a stranger in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. He wrote passionately of Mary’s relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Among creatures made in God's image, the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all. In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the Immaculata (Mary), in the depths of her very being.

In Luke’s Gospel we read of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist:

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Mary had such a closeness to God that at her greeting others were filled with the Holy Spirit! Which is one reason that Mary has always been recognised by the church as an inspiration to all Christians. In her perfect humanity and her profound spirituality.

Julian of Norwich is one of the best known English Medieval Mystics. Julian wrote of her ‘Revelations of Divine Love’, speaking of God’s love with joy and compassion when much of the world around her was suffering. In the time of the peasant revolts and the Black Death she wrote:

For all humanity that shall be saved by the sweet Incarnation and blissful Passion of Christ, all is the personhood of Christ: for He is the Head and we are His members.

As St. Paul wrote about Christ being the head and us being the body of the church, Julian understood this not just in terms of a command structure but as a wholeness. We are then as close to, as much a part of Christ, as our own body parts are as close to, as much a part of us.

As we celebrate this Easter season let us then long for a closer walk with God.

Holy and Divine Spirit!
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Spouse,
bring the fullness of your gifts into our hearts.
Comforted and strengthened by you,
may we live according to your will and die praising your infinite mercy.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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