Thursday, 15 February 2007

Happy feast of St. Claude!

Today is the feast day of our patron St. Claude de la Columbiere, a missionary from the Lyons diocese who was the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary Alocoque. St. Margaret Mary had the revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and she told these to St. Claude who later went on to introduce devotion to the Sacred Heart in Protestant England. Put in the Tower of London on the false grounds of involvement in the Titus Oates plot to assassinate King Charles II, St. Claude was sentenced to death, and was only saved by the French king who demanded him back. He was sent back to France, only to die there from ill health which was brought about by his time in the Tower. What an inspiring life for we who aspire to be missionaries of God's love in a country slumped in despair!

We had a beautiful homily about St. Claude from Fr. Angelus, who came to celebrate Mass and spend the day with us in the East End, concluding our few days of Life in the Spirit. Along with Gabriele Sedda and Kate Moir, who are involved in the charismatic prayer group at Westminster cathedral, Fr. Angelus prayed with each of us for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He said to us: 'How often we sit in the driver's seat, deciding where to go and what way and how fast... But we need to hand the keys over to the Holy Spirit, and let him decide where we go, and how we will get there, and when we stop, and how fast we go, and only then will God's true plan for us be fulfiled.' Gabriele Sedda gave us a talk about growth in the life of the Spirit, saying that through the Eucharist and the Scriptures we can be transformed. It was a very intense day for us, so we're having a free evening to reflect and prepare for tomorrow, when we will be evangelising outside the French church in Leicester Square. There will be a Pentecostal choir there singing from around 8, so please come and join us if you can!

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