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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Second Sunday of Lent – 4th March 2012
Up Hill Struggle

Given that the Oscars have just been awarded and we have recently celebrated St David’s day, I am reminded that some years ago a film came out entitled, The Englishman who went up a Hill but came down a Mountain. The plot centred on the community in a Welsh village who tried to persuade a cartographer that their hill was in-fact a mountain. I haven’t actually seen the film but I suspect as with most nice British films and the give-away title it had a happy ending and the locals succeeded in altering Hugh Grant’s perspective.

The perspective of the apostles is altered enormously in today’s Gospel when they go up Mount Tabor with the Lord. Their knowledge and understanding of who Jesus is undergoes a seismic revelation. But in order for this to happen, Mark tells us that they went up the mountain so that, “they could be alone by themselves.”

It’s interesting to note that we can grasp the fasting and alms-giving sides of Lent quite easily but the prayer aspect is harder to quantify. After all, we always ask what people have “given up for Lent” or what their favourite charity might be, but do we ask, “How’s your prayer going?”

A teacher I know undertook to do a sponsored silence with the year two classes in her school this week. But rather than just sit there trying not to talk the children spent the time in meditation. Using gentle music and a prayer focus the class teacher was amazed at the absolute silence that lasted the entire lesson. When the children came out of their mediation she asked them how they felt. One boy put his hand up and said, “I heard someone call my name.”

For my current spiritual reading I’m enjoying a book by a Carthusian monk. These monks live in silence and in hermitages within the monastery walls. I’m not sure I could follow that lifestyle myself but the silence wouldn’t go amiss. There aren’t too many mountains in Willesden Green for us to climb to find an intimate moment with Christ so as to better understand Him and ourselves. But as one seven year old knows you can create that silence anywhere – even in a busy school – if you set your mind to it.

Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 8:45 am