First Word September 2023


As what passed for summer nears an end, and we all hope earnestly for a late Indian Summer, life begins to resume its usual pattern. Children are back at school or college, old routines are resumed, and if we were lucky enough to get away on holiday, we know there will be little opportunity again until half-term. I wonder how many of us feel rested, and ready for all this? I suspect for many the holidays were as tiring or stressful as everyday life. It leads me to wonder how we can find ways to build rest and relaxation into day-to-day living? In the Gospels Jesus often makes time to be alone, to take a moment, to be silent, to think, to pray. These moments happened amid the stresses and demands of a busy ministry, where demands on Jesus’s time and his care and attention were without limit. It takes a steady nerve at such moments to realize that without taking care of ourselves, then we will eventually have nothing to give. So moments of what might seem selfishness simply aren’t. To feed we must be fed, to help others we must have the strength and the well-being to do so. So many struggle to find time for this important work, we either are that person, or know them – but it is vital, and I believe godly work, to preserve ourselves so that we can be of service to others in a meaningful way. Fr Richard