Note from Jim… (August 2018)

5th August 2018

As this magazine is published we will be celebrating our Patronal Festival, the feast of St Oswald, with our Bishop, Gregor.

We all know the life of St Oswald as we hear it many times. St Oswald fled to Scotland after his father was killed and the kingdom fell into enemy hands. It was in Scotland that he converted to Christianity, and on regaining his kingdom he brought St Aidan to Northumbria. This was the beginning of a missionary partnership which had great impact on the North.

What often does not form part of the story, a story of a Christian warrior king bringing the Gospel to the North, is that Oswald was noted for his spiritual life and acts of charity. St Bede tells us that Oswald often spent many hours in prayer during the early morning and that prayer underpinned all of his actions. It is this deep spiritual aspect of St Oswald that we seek to imitate in our lives; if prayer is not the base of our every thought and action nothing we do in His name has real worth.

In the early church prayer accompanied most daily acts: prayer to greet the new day; prayer as the fire was laid; prayer as the meal was prepared and eaten; prayer before and after a journey and prayer before sleep.

In our busy modern world, we often seem to push God to the side-lines, speaking to Him and spending time with Him if and when we have time. We forget to thank Him and include Him in the little things, in our daily actions and life.

Time spent with Christ in prayer, in study and in quiet not only feeds our soul but helps us to live our lives in service to Him and those around us, sharing His compassion and joy.

As we celebrate St Oswald we pray that we may learn from his spiritual life and grow in our companionship with him.

Lord God almighty, who so kindled the faith of King Oswald with Your Spirit that he set up the sign of the cross in his kingdom and turned his people to the light of Christ: grant that we, being fired by the same spirit, may always bear our cross before the world and be found faithful servants of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.