Pastral Letter - Summer 2022
from the Rt Revd Dom Alistair Bate OSBA, M.A.Div.
Once more I am called to write a few words of encouragement, as I do a couple of times each year. This time last year it seemed as if we were still in a very dark place, but happily for most of us the world seems to be less hostile than a year ago. Of course the battle being waged by major world powers, jostling for supremacy, still rages in Ukraine and our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the common people and conscripted soldiers who, as always, are those who suffer most.
So, let us not return to a state of drowsy naivety. The jostling of powers, both temporal and spiritual, continues behind the scenes, and it is only a matter of time before the New World Order tries to subject us again to whatever evil plan they have in store for us, so stay awake!
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith.” (1 Peter 5: 8-9)
After the last couple of years it would seem that we can take a deep breath, and it struck me, that now would be a good time to speak to you all about healing, something which many of us particularly need at this time. As we know, healing is not just for the physically ill, but also for those who suffer spiritual, emotional and mental dis-ease, and since the time of our Lord healing dis-ease has played a major role in Christianity. At its most basic, we might say that Christ revealed a God who is Love and expressed the Divine Compassion mainly through works of healing, something that our Liberal Catholic founders especially understood and appreciated, evident in that fact that they included a special Healing Service in our Liberal Catholic Liturgy.
I would warmly recommend the Healing Service to you as a regular observance. It won’t do you any harm and may possibly do you a power of good! Dom Bruno and I often take advantage of the presence of visiting clergy and celebrate the Healing Service with them. It is simple, yet deceptively powerful.
“From the earliest days the church has accepted that there were people who had special gifts of healing. There is nothing strange in this. All of us are healers. We can bring encouragement, a change for the better, in the mental or even physical being of those whom we meet. This is universal quality of life, for all is activated from the “whole”. A flower, a blade of grass, is a healer. But some seem able to transmit the vital being of the “source”, the Whole, in greater measure. So St Paul says some are given healing as a special quality, …. besides this, the church has recognised that any sacrament is a therapy. An inflow of divine grace from the source of all, for whatever purpose, brings realisation and new relationship with creative living. …. Within proven and tested methods and patterns, mediated, normal, divine wholeness and healing is shared through the priest who has, behind him and in him, the resources of the ages. But the priest acts simply as a channel. Reverently regardful of the needs and purpose of the work he is doing, he becomes a means by which the healing may flow.”
Fr Paul-Bernarde OSBA in England; Fr Pietro Maria OSBA in Italy and Fr Zoltan in Serbia; not forgetting the ordination of Deacon Paul, also in England. Congratulations to you all and may the Lord use you as channels of His healing power!
Anyone who has been properly ordained to the priesthood will understand from personal experience how the anointing of the hands activates the healing and blessing potential in the hands. In my opinion that grace given in ordination is sufficient for any priest to be a healer, however, deacons & minor clerics, especially those ordained to the office of exorcist, may also share in the healing ministry, as may deaconesses and lay people. For the natural healer the healing power may flow unbidden without any human intervention, but it is also useful to learn and practice one of the very many healing modalities on offer today. I myself have offered training and attunements in Celtic Reiki for over twenty years now and also developed the Seven Ray Reiki healing modality, utilising Bishop Leadbeater’s teaching on the rays and jewels. I’d be happy to discuss healing modalities with any of our clergy and members who feel called to learn.
For now, I wish you all a beautiful summer - or winter if you are in the southern hemisphere - as I leave you with this Celtic blessing by Caitlin Matthews:
“A Summer Cincture of Protection
I weave the cincture of protection
from the paths of the pilgrim:
aspiration of heights,
guidance of star-paths,
dryness of deserts,
clarity of clearings,
refreshment of wells,
choice of crossroads,
shade of forest-paths,
wisdom of caves,
deepness of depths.
Nine pathways to guide and protect you
on the ways you shall walk this day.”
Yours, as ever, in the peace and power of the Spirit,
Abbot-Bishop of Glendalough & Primus