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Thought for the Month - November

Message from Deacon Fiona de Boltz

As we go into a second lockdown, many people, especially those who live alone, may be feeling apprehensive and isolated. We’ve done this before, and many of us will have found new ways to get our food shopping, to fill our time (baking, sewing, going for walks etc), and different ways of connecting with people using the phone or social media, Zoom etc. But there may be times when some of us experience moments of loneliness, fear or anxiety- so I share some thoughts that have helped me:

In Mark 8:23-27 we read that Jesus and the disciples were in a boat crossing Lake Galilee when a storm blew up. Jesus was asleep, and the frightened disciples woke him. Jesus took control and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

Jesus is ‘in the boat’ with us too and we can speak to him at any time in prayer. We may feel as if we are being buffeted by storms of uncertainty about the future, family and/or money worries, fear of the virus, in danger of being overwhelmed by stories on the news of suffering and chaos across the UK, Europe and the world- but here’s the thing: God is with us. God is with you, and God loves you.  God is stronger and more powerful than any of the things we fear or dread. Jesus is in the boat with us! He know our fears, our weaknesses, our failures and yet He loves us and will come to our aid, if we ask him. There is a beautiful piece written by Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622), which has helped me and I share it now in the hope it may help you too:

“Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life with fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God to whom you belong will in his love enable you to profit by them. He has guided you thus far in life. Do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand, He will carry you lovingly in his arms. Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same Eternal Father who takes care of you today will take care of you tomorrow, and every day of your life. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace then, and put aside all useless thoughts, all dreads and anxious imaginations.” Amen.
May God bless you and give you his peace.

Deacon Fiona de Boltz

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