Category: New Work 2019

Cursillo Weekend Approaches

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So, in just 12 days, the Shrewsbury Cursillo Weekend for 2019 will begin. As part of the team leading the 3 days, yes, a 3 day weekend, I am responsible for talks and the music. The talks are laity and holiness

As a Catholic, I find these weekends both challenging and very rewarding. We are blessed with Mass every day, although, sorry, I prefer to eat before praying, it means stomach growls aren’t included!

As Vice President for Shrewsbury, I will also be representing the President of Cursillo in England and Wales in what we call our closure, our closing Mass. I’m trying to decide what music we’re using for that as well as everything else.

So, my quandary is, how do I prepare for what is one of the 5 spiritual highlights of my year, the other three are Christmas, Easter and Pentecost, as well as the National Day of Discernment usually in June

The answer is, as every year, I just don’t know, with a full-time job as well as these commitments, I suffer from a distracted mind, earning what a close friend called me, being a slutterby

Here’s hoping the Spirit will take control, as He always does, and inspire us all with His love and leadership of the weekend. After all, we are the team, not the leaders.

Modern Prodigal to be Used on Forthcoming Cursillo Weekend

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When I write, there are times I am just led as the music plays, and sometimes there is a theme. The Prodigal Son is always the first reflection on the Thursday evening when we gather to start our three day weekend. Usually it’s done by the Spiritual Director, but this year, they will not be arriving until the Friday morning, so the task falls to us.

Modern Prodigal – Dare I Hope? is a two layered poem. There have been many times in the last nine years, I have felt as lost as the speaker in the lines. Working through so much family trauma hasn’t been easy, and there have been times when I’ve felt in a lonely place, trapped in the eye of an unwanted and unexpected hurricane. when the fury has gone, I look round to see the ruins of the life that was, and have to work out how to put the pieces back together.

The question “Dare I hope” has been an integral part of working through that trauma. Suffering can make you a deeply aware and changed person, but when so many people close to me, including 3 deaths and 2 life changing events with long term health affected, the ones I relied on most for support were those afflicted, and I felt stranded. Yet, so often, my pride and self-reliance over those years proved to be my downfall. It was only when I began to realise how worn-out, how exhausted those efforts made me, that I started to reach out, no, not out, upwards. I’ve lost count of the prayer, “Oh God I’m tired of all this, please help” was uttered, yet time and again I walked away instead of leaning into Him

I sent the poem to the Lay Director for Shrewsbury Cursillo asking if they thought it suitable for anything on the weekend. Imagine my surprise when they said that it’s going to form part of the reflection that Thursday evening.

It will, I have no doubt, be an emotional reading, but without honesty and integrity, what are we? And with so much despair, anxiety and fear in the world, we truly need to be honest and ask “Dare we hope?” Indeed, the question is not, dare we, but how can we not dare to hope?