Blessed Sacrament

Brother Leo

This is Brother Leo.

He is a Franciscan Friar.

This means that he is a follower of St Francis. You can always tell a follower of St Francis by the cord around his or her waist. It is an important clue to watch out for in finding out what community someone belongs to.

When Br Leo was a teenager he met some friars on the streets helping the poor. He was so struck by their kindness that he decided then and there that he wanted to be just like them. He prayed and prayed and his heart became totally centred on God until one day he was ready to enter the order.

Br Leo lives in a friary with a small community of brothers, they spend their evening here and pray together but during the day they are out and about.

Br Leo is an active religious brother, this means he spends his day actively in the world spreading God’s kingdom by looking after the poor and speaking to them about Jesus.

 Br Leo works on the streets helping the homeless and in a soup kitchen making sure they get something to eat. In loving the poor Br Leo knows he is really showing his love for Jesus, because, he remembers it says in the Gospel ‘whatever you do to the least of these you do to me.’

Br Leo is still a novice in his community, he is in formation, this means he has a novice master who teachers him how to live as a religious brother and live out the vows he will make. Br Leo is very excited about becoming a professed brother and he is praying that he will become a true follower of St Francis, by being obedient, poor and loving towards God and neighbour.

Br Leo has been in this friary for two years, as a member of an active religious order, this means that he can be asked by his Father Superior to move to any friary at anytime. This is part of his vow of poverty, calling no place his home. He could be asked to move to New York, London, Canada Australia or even New Zealand, and he would willingly leave everything and go because he knows that God’s will is made known to him through his Superior.

As well as working with the poor, an important part of Br Leo’s day is Holy Mass and the saying of the Divine Office. It is at Holy Mass that Br Leo receives Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Consecrated Host, this is where he gets all his energy from, the energy he needs to spread God’s Good News in the world each day. 
It is like going to the service station and filling up the car with fuel so that you can drive for miles and miles, from London to Scotland if you wish. Br Leo fills up on Christ to help him spread ‘The Good News’ the whole day long.

So now you know Br Leo. This week is Holy Week and I pray that you will have a very holy week thinking about Jesus and all He has done for us. 

Have a joyful Easter and I will see you back here in two weeks time to introduce you to Sr Charity. Can you guess what community she is from? 

Until then, remember we are praying for you. Sr Anežka. 

Music Lovers

Do you like Music? Can you play an instrument? When I was at school we all had to have a go at learning the recorder, but I am afraid that I never got any further then playing ‘three blind mice’.

All your little sisters play an instrument, some play the guitar, some play a flute or recorder or piano and one sister even plays a little harp. Music is a wonderful thing, it can lift your heart to God, make your spirit fly and fill you with joy.

St Cecilia is the patron saint of music and her feast day is the 22nd November. She is an early Roman martyr who lived just a few hundred years after Jesus did. Imagine that, that means she lived about 1800 years ago. It’s hard to imagine someone from 20 years ago liking the same things as we do now, But St Cecilia from hundreds of years ago has something in common with us, she loved Jesus and she loved music.

St Cecilia was a young girl in Rome, which at that time was not a Christian city. Cecilia loved Jesus very much and when the people found out that she was a Christian they told her to renounce her faith. “Say, in front of the whole city, that you don’t believe in Jesus, and we will spare your life.” 
But St Cecilia couldn’t do that “I won’t, I won’t I won’t, I love Jesus with all my heart, He is more real to me than anything else on earth and the most important thing in the whole world. You can take my life, but you cannot take me from Him and His love. They were so mad with her for saying all this that they killed her then and there. It is said that as she left this world for heaven she could hear the heavenly choirs singing and playing music. 
The angels and saints welcomed her into heaven with beautiful music because she had given witness to Jesus, that is, she told others what Jesus meant to her.  Have you ever wondered what sort of music they might play in heaven? Will they be playing ‘if you’re happy and you know it’? Or maybe Bach or Beethoven? Who knows, we will have to wait and see. I think the reason why music can have such an effect on us, that is -making us feel so happy, is that music (which we all love) is one of the things we have in common with those in heaven.

I play the guitar. Each Monday morning Sr Yolanda Bakhita and I play music as the rest of the sisters sing along joyfully. We have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament ( that is, Jesus in the little white round Host).  We enthrone Jesus on a pillar in the middle of our choir and surround Him with candles, and we form a circle around Him and sing to Him, showing Him our love by worshipping Him with our music, like they do in heaven.
We join with the saints and all the angels of heaven singing God’s praises. It’s pretty cool to think that when we sing to Jesus we are united with heaven and all the thousands of millions of people who throughout the thousands of years of history have sung His praises and who will sing His praises in the future. We are all one big choir singing aloud with one voice “Jesus we love you, you are our King, we worship and adore you now and always.”

Maybe you could join us, today, right now wherever you are and sing your praises to God. Tell Jesus of your love through music and join the choir, tell Him of your heart today, and be like St Cecilia, a witness to Jesus.

See you next week and remember, we are praying for you. Sr Anežka