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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Protecting the human will to live and to love
The Patients First Network

Recently the Mental Capacity Bill became law. This in effect made into formal law the increasingly accepted practice of withdrawing food and fluids (or even medical care) from an incapacitated patient if their “quality of life” is deemed unacceptably low by a third party. This will develop the growing strain of anti-life mentality that has crept into some areas of medical practice in recent decades. Other related legislation is on the cards (e.g. the Assisted Dying Bill) as our society slips down the materialistic slope it has found itself on.

Many people naturally want to defend themselves against being seriously down-valued, even dehumanised, through “quality of life” or “best interest” judgments. The Church indeed believes that everyone, particularly the weak or suffering, have a fundamental role and value in building the Kingdom of God on earth for heaven. God wants them to love and to be loved – not to become disposable. Hence the Christian prohibition upon killing the innocent at any stage of life from conception to natural death.

This defence needs to be done delicately and strongly. The Patients First Network is a well thought out support structure organized by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. You get a personalized card, medallion and telephone support service. It enforces a protective statement. But this (i) does not prevent treatment being withdrawn when it is not maintaining viable life; (ii) does not buy into the secular presumption that without an expressed will to live killing can be better than allowing to live.

Purple/white leaflets are on the table towards the back of Church. They explain more and include a membership application form.
On a related note please see the information inside the newsletter concerning our visit next Saturday afternoon to the Diocesan supported prayer vigil outside the Bedford Square abortion clinic.

posted by Saint Mary Magalene Church at 7:26 pm

Sunday, November 20, 2005
Mass Comments
Last we were able to gain a lot from Fr John Edwards’ very clear commentary upon the Mass. He will be back on the weekend of Sat 3rd and 4th December for a whole eight days to lead our Centenary Advent mission. By way of reinforcement, or if you missed it, here are some of the key points he covered.

The Mass has two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word, where God in Christ humanly speaks to us, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, where God in Christ becomes present for us by the power of the Holy Spirit. In both these parts we offer up ourselves to God (through the Introductory prayers before the Readings and through the Offertory) and then He comes down to us (in the Readings and the Eucharistic Prayer).

In the Introductory Rites we prepare ourselves through repentance and praise to listen to the Word of God. As the readings from the Sacred Scriptures are read, especially the Gos-pel wherein Christ is present in his own words, and in the living commentary of the Gos-pel, we should expect to hear a word for us that deepens our knowledge and love of God.

At the Offertory we offer the joys and sorrows of our lives to God, through money, which flows directly from our time, sweat, skill – and Bread and Wine.

The priest prepares the altar & places a small drop of water (representing us) into the wine (to become the blood of Christ) praying quietly “By the mystery of this water & wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

In Eucharistic Prayer we are obeying Christ’s command to “Do this in Memory of Me”. Through u s Christ prays and offers to the Father actually becoming truly, physically present in the form of bread and wine. That which was bread and wine becomes one with the Body of Jesus, offering Himself to the Father. Physical matter is always changing. This is the highest vocation matter can have – to be actually part of the Body of Christ.

The Doxology, where the priest says “Through Him, with Him, in Him…All glory & hon-our is yours almighty Father ..” sums up magnificently this prayer & action of God for us.

We then stand to say the Our Father and receive back the peace Christ has won for us, as represented by the Sign of Peace and actualised by Holy Communion. (Fr John highlighted that if we are aware of deliberately and knowingly having done something seriously against Church moral teaching we should as a way of moving forward, wait until we can express it in Confession before receiving Holy Communion.

We come up to come I into physical and spiritual (i.e. human, personal) Communion with Christ that He through his Holy Spirit may work and suffer and love through us.

posted by Saint Mary Magalene Church at 8:40 am

Sunday, November 13, 2005
Centenary Parish Mission
Sat 3rd December – Sun 11th December 2005
By Fr John Edwards S.J.
Who today will be introducing himself and commentating on all Masses.

We are very pleased and lucky to be able to announce that Fr John Edwards, the very sought after preacher will be leading our Centenary Advent Mission next month. Fr John gets booked up about two years in advance. In early 2004 we were lucky that he had these dates free and we snapped him up!

A Mission is a chance for all to ‘retreat’ a little from the daily routine and attempt to listen a little more intently to what God is currently saying to us, to discern the direction he is currently prompting you in. For He is speaking to you and prompting you through Mary, His Saints and also those around you. We do need to create ways of listening and discerning.

To this end Fr John will be preaching at Masses on the two Sundays. On the days in between he will be leading an hour long Morning (9:30 am) and Evening (6:30 pm) Mission Service, ending with Holy Mass (at 10:25 am and 7:25 p.m.)

At these services he will lead us in reflection and prayer concerning the following subjects:
Monday: Is our religion true?
Tuesday: Repentance: Why go to Confession?
Wednesday: Our Lady
Thursday: Union with God.: Grace.
Friday: Our Dead.

Our Young people will be involved in various ways. There will be a pre-First Communion age retreat on the morning of Saturday 3rd and a Family service on the morning of Saturday 10th. Members of our Youth Club and Youth SVP will perform Drama and dancing at the Tuesday evening service (6th).

- There will be a Service for the Sick with Sacramental Anointing @ 4pm Sat 10th
- There will be confessions after each Mass during the Mission.
- Leaflets will be shortly available.
- Please put this great opportunity for growth into your dairy.

posted by Saint Mary Magalene Church at 8:37 am