|Dear Friends of the Church of the Immaculate Heart, |
As we are all painfully aware, churches across the UK have been closed to the public, however, prayer has not been stopped!
Masses are still said every day and I pray for you all during each Mass I offer every day in the Church of the Immaculate Heart. During these days which are so difficult for the Church, for the world, and for ourselves it is essential that we continue to pray and practise our faith as best we can. I would recommend that you pray the Rosary and make a Spiritual Communion every day, preferably with your families (Our Lord has a special love for the prayers of little children!) and that you confess at least as often as you usually do.
I will be available on the front steps of the Church of the Immaculate Heart every day from 11 am – 12 noon for Confessions, blessings, advice, etc. I can also be reached at any time by email, or telephone.
“They took up stones therefore to cast at Him, but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.” (Jn. 8:59)At the end of the Gospel for today’s Holy Mass we are told that “Jesus hid Himself.” Traditionally, all the statutes and pictures of Our Lord and the saints in the church are veiled in violet from today until Easter. This hiding of the images is first of all Holy Mother Church’s expression of sorrow over the impending death of her Divine Spouse. For us, it is also a spiritual asceticism as we ascend Mount Calvary. This year, as we are all too painfully aware, this asceticism takes on an additional form for us. Already we see churches left desolate, not of the Divine Presence, for Christ is still in the Tabernacle, but by the faithful sheep who can no longer come to adore Him. We might feel this desolation in our hearts. We must be brave and not give in to these feelings of desolation. Our Lord is allowing us to experience them, as He permitted Our Blessed Mother, the Holy Women, and the Apostles to wait in darkness during Good Friday and all of Holy Saturday. It is difficult to imagine their emotions; the depth of fear, uncertainty, and emptiness which they felt during that time. (Our Lady would not have been victim to fear or uncertainty as the others were, but her feeling of emptiness at being separated from her Divine Son was unimaginably greater than theirs.) We know, however, that all their tears where wiped away upon learning of the Resurrection of the Lord! We must always remember that the road to Heaven is the royal road of the Cross, and that the desolation of Good Friday is soon followed by the joy of the Easter Resurrection.Let us beseech the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother to strengthen us in this time of trial. With her help we will not only persevere, but also grow in Faith, Hope, and Charity, during the dark days ahead, and so merit to rejoice with her and all the saints in the joy of the Resurrection. Please be assured of my prayers for each one of you and your intentions, especially in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.Wishing you a blessed week,Canon Heppelle
An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. I love Thee above all things, and I desire to receive Thee into my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though Thou wert already there, I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee; permit not that I should ever be separated from Thee. O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine! (3 times)
Liturgical Calendar for this week:
Sunday 29 March: Passion Sunday
Monday 30 March: Lenten Feria
Tuesday 31 March: Lenten Feria
Wednesday 1 April: Lenten Feria
Thursday 2 April: Lenten Feria; Commemoration of St. Francis of Paula Friday 3 April: Lenten Feria;
Saturday 4 April: Lenten Feria;
Sunday 5 April: Palm Sunday