Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our cups are overflowing!

One of my former parishioners has written of last week's visit of Pope Benedict to the UK:

Yes, it was a wonderful two days, both in Hyde Park and Cofton Park. I have still to come down to earth. The sheer joy of all those present, the numbers of young people there, especially at Hyde Park, where the average age seemed to be 25-35, and of course international catholic pilgrims everywhere, who now make up such a vibrant, new and rich part of the church in our country.

The depth of the love for the Holy Father was palpable everywhere, the pride in being Catholics, the cheers and applause; but most poignantly of all, the silences. In Hyde Park, during Exposition, not a sound was to be heard amongst 80,000 pilgrims, with the giant television screens just showing the Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance. The silence too at Cofton Park, as we waited for the Mass to begin, and as the rain stopped coming down.

The images of the Holy Father in Westminster Abbey and Westminster Hall, and the huge crowds on the Mall and elsewhere, were so moving.

I had suggested to non Catholics who had asked about the visit before it happened, to listen to what the Pope said, and to be prepared to be surprised. What an incredibly consistent, clear, uplifting and humbling message he had.

I read somewhere that the politicians are now wanting to capitatlise on the "Benedict Bounce!"

I shall never forget it.the visit for as long as I live. All our prayers were answered. Our cups are overflowing!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I too was cheered by the response to the Holy Father’s visit and hope for a ‘Benedict Bounce’ also. The visit served to encourage and lift up the Catholic community in Great Britain, not to mention the not-yet Catholic faithful - showing that all have a place not only at the Lord’s Table but also in the public square. And now as the euphoria dissipates, what next? Will we see a resurgence of the Catholic Faith in Britain? One hopes so and I suspect that was one of the Holy Father’s goals as he seeks to ‘re-Christianize’ Old Europe.

    It was always impressive to see the crowds that turned out for Pope John Paul II. But there was always the suspicion that many turned out for the pageantry rather than for the substance – the man and not what he represented. Pope Benedict is cast from a different mould. It is as if he is saying “This is not about me” as he points us to Him – and rightly so. Our Lord also drew crowds, but not every attendee remained or followed Him. The Holy Father has sown the seed. The fruits remain to be seen, but they will come - though some of us may not be around to see them.


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