Two things strike me about this coming week.
For this coming Tuesday the Bishops of England and Wales have specifically asked us all to remember in our prayers those who are Survivors of Abuse. Pope Francis has asked for it to be a worldwide day of prayer within the Catholic Church. It is a very sobering initiative of the Holy Father and it is right and fitting that we should bring Survivors before the Lord in our prayers that they should be touched by the healing grace of God.
The other reminder that comes before us this week is that Tuesday is also the feast day of the English Martyrs, to whom, along with St Joseph, our Parish is dedicated. They came from all walks of life and all parts of the country. They were men and women, high born and low born. Some were strong in faith, some found themselves weak; some were bold, some were timorous. Above all, they were people who became conscious in themselves of the existence of right and wrong in the world around them. They learnt of the power of the State peering into their souls and found themselves faced with a wall of silence and secrecy. Even neighbour betrayed neighbour.
We should beware of the danger of secrecy in our own lives and, as the Gospels encourages us, live in the light and move out of the darkness, for all our actions have effects on others. We are all part of the vine that is the Church and whose very sap is Christ Himself.