a personal reflection by Bishop Emeritus Christopher Budd in Newton Abbot
Around 40 people attended an event organised by the local ACTA group on 16th July. We heard Bishop Christopher encourage us make space in our lives for some contemplation about God and His loving mercy, recognising that judgmentalism can be a common fault in all our lives. He spoke about the delight and joy which God has in us, and how we can reflect this, hopefully, in our own daily lives, in how we feel about ourselves and relate to other people.
Bishop Christopher then highlighted some of the key points about the Year of Mercy which Pope Francis has written and spoken about, the concept of the “holy door”, pilgrimage and sacrament of reconciliation which all provide opportunities for renewal/new start in our lives. He also spoke of the importance of being open to the needs of the poor.
He concluded by emphasising that the Jubilee Year of Mercy would end on the Feast of Christ the King, but that we all need to carry forward the clear messages it has brought into the rest of our lives, or as he memorably said, “all our tomorrows”. The burst of applause and chatter which followed were clear demonstrations of how helpful and stimulating the address had been, and after some thoughtful questions from “the floor” the afternoon concluded with a short and effective prayer service which organisers had prepared. Many thanks to all involved.
Peter Farrell, ACTA Co-ordinator in the Plymouth Diocese Area (e mail:firstname.lastname@example.org)